Published by Avon/Harper Collins
ebook & paperback : 12 January 2017
YOU HAVE SIX SECONDS TO READ THIS MESSAGE…
The body of a 15-year-old is found hours after she sends a desperate message to her friends. It looks like suicide, until a second girl disappears.
This time, the message is sent directly to the Metropolitan Police – and an officer’s younger sister is missing.
DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton will stop at nothing to find her. But whoever’s behind the notes is playing a deadly game of hide and seek – and the clock is ticking.
YOU HAVE 24 HOURS TO SAVE THE GIRL’S LIFE.
MAKE THEM COUNT.
I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the second in the series of the ‘Social Media Murders’ books by Angela Clarke. I reviewed the first, Follow Me, here on the blog in 2015 and was looking forward to Angela’s next book. Along with my review, below, I have a guest post from Angela and also a giveaway. Angela has teamed up with a huge number of authors to offer a giveaway of both her and their books on each day of the blog tour (you can follow the tour from the banner below). The books I have to give away are The Hope that Kills and Worth Killing For by Ed James, in addition to a copy of Watch Me. Further details of how to enter the giveaway are below, but it is a Twitter based one.
How to Use Social Media to Become a Bestselling Author – A Tongue in Cheek Guide
by Angela Clarke
Social media can be a powerful weapon for authors, but with great power comes great responsibility. Or so that man in a full red body stocking said. Being in all-in-one-Lycra and shooting webs from your wrists is a lot like being a modern writer. None of us know what we’re doing, there’s a lot of hanging around, and using a printer is like battling a supervillain. Social media is more important than posters on the sides of busses, national newspaper reviews, and even the book itself. Win at social media and you win at writing. Simples, as all the kids say. So how do you go about it? I’ve used my modern writing brain and vast experience of sitting in pyjamas staring at the screen of my mobile, to bring you some fool proof sosh meedja tips to make you a guaranteed bestseller:
1. Tell your followers about your book in every single tweet, Facebook, SnapChat and Instagram post you make. Tell the how much it costs, and where to buy it from all day, every day, on the hour, on the half hour, on the minute, on the second. Forever. I mean, they only follow you to find out about your writing anyway, right? And you’re only on this social media doo dah to flog books, so drop the pretence of anything else and give the people what they want. Which is your book. Obviously.
2. Send an automated message to everyone that follows you to tell them how much your book costs and where to get it from. See point 1.
3. Get a dog! What links Rowan Coleman, Sharon Bolton and CL Taylor? They all have dogs and they’re all Sunday Times Bestselling authors! Sure, their books are superb and they’re brilliant writers, but you know what was the real game changer for them? Getting a puppy and Instagramming it.
Most writers struggle to choose which bit of their glamourous lives to photograph and share, when they spend life at their desk eating cereal and crying over a thesaurus. No one wants to see pictorial evidence of how many chocolate digestives you can fit in your mouth while you aimlessly move one comma around the same paragraph. Believe me, I’ve tried. Authors don’t go to fashionable parties, or hangout with YouTubers, and if we spent twelve hours getting the perfect yoga headstand, leg split, soft porn, eat clean posed shot we would never finish this book. And to be honest, we’re not sure we can finish this book anyway. We’ve forgotten how to put the words in the right order, our story has gone on vacation with our plot, and the printer appears to have been hacked by Putin. But don’t fear. When all hope is lost, bring in the dogs! Dogs are adorable, especially when they are chewing your manuscript, lying across your keyboard, or scent spraying your to-be-read pile. Instagram problem solved! People love dogs. People will love your photos of dogs. People will love your books! It’s a win wag situation.
4. Be enigmatic. Let’s really shake things up! You know what gets people talking? Mystery. Intrigue. Privacy! When Stephen Fry left Twitter it made the news. Take a leaf out of his blog, join every single platform there is, and then ghost. Disappear. Shut it down. Leave your audience wanting more. They’ll be desperate to know where you’ve gone, why you’re no longer posting, you’ll probably get mentioned on Have I Got News For You. That’s prime-time coverage. You can’t buy that kind of marketing magic.
This is the second in the Social Media Murder series and follows the characters of DS Nasreen Cudmore and her one time childhood friend Freddie Venton. Both appeared in the first book, Follow Me, which had at its core, the use of Twitter to publicise a murder. This time, the social media app in the spotlight is Snapchat. I’ve never used this app and now that I know a little more about it, I don’t intend to!
When a young women disappears and is shortly after found dead, the circumstances of her death lead to the conclusion of suicide – there being no reason to think that there was anything suspicious. However it is not until there is another disappearance, this time connected to the police cyber crime team that Nasreen is working with that a pattern emerges and it becomes clear that the team have a dangerous individual to deal with.
If you have read Follow Me, you will know the background to Nasreen and Freddie and how Freddie came to be involved in the #Apollyon murders. Whilst not a direct sequel, this second story does follow on and makes reference to previous events so some parts may be a spoiler. If you haven’t read Follow Me then you are definitely missing out on character development and background but Watch Me can be read and enjoyed quite easily on its own.
The main part of the story is set over a period of 24 hours and this timeframe gives a sense of immediacy and heightened tension to the plot. With each chapter heading including a time countdown, the reader is always aware of time being of the essence in the race to save a girl’s life. The story moves along at a fast pace with the investigation team making use of Freddie’s in depth knowledge of social media to help solve the case. As you would expect with a crime thriller, there are twists and turns throughout and I have to admit that all the way through I had no idea who was responsible – I just sat back and enjoyed the journey!
I enjoyed the first book but with Watch Me the bar has been raised. Nasreen and Freddie’s friendship is still complicated and even though there is now an uneasy acceptance between them, they are both still struggling with their past, especially Freddie who has gone from being a kick ass character to an emotionally fragile and rather vulnerable one, although she can still kick off and lose her temper on occasion. She is still trying to come to terms with the trauma suffered from previous events and I felt much more sympathetic to her in this book.
With this series, the dangers that come with our obsession with social media are highlighted and it makes for a chilling story. The issues are relevant and have been cleverly incorporated into a believable story encompassing revenge porn and email hacking etc. with the perpetrator taunting the police through the use of Snapchat where messages are short lived and self deleting – unless of course they are screenshot before they disappear …… The way that such apps are used for bullying and blackmail is particularly nasty and this aspect brings a sobering tone to the story.
Watch Me is a fabulously addictive read that will pull you in from the first page and for those who will particularly enjoy the social media aspect, this is definitely one to put on your reading list. The third book in the series ‘Trust Me’ is out later this year. I can’t wait!
My thanks to the publisher for the paperback ARC copy to review. I was fortunate enough to attend the launch for this book last week and bought my own finished copy signed and dedicated by the author.
About the author:
Angela is an author, playwright, columnist and professional speaker.
Her debut crime thriller Follow Me (Avon, HarperCollins) was named Amazon’s Rising Star Debut of the Month January 2016, long listed for the Crime Writer’s Association Dagger in the Library 2016, and short listed for the Good Reader Page Turner Award 2016. Follow Me has now been optioned by a TV production company.
The second instalment in the Social Media Murder Series Watch Me (Avon, HarperCollins) is out January 2017. And the third Trust Me (Avon, HarperCollins) is out June 2017.
Angela’s humorous memoir Confessions of a Fashionista (Ebury, Penguin Random House) is an Amazon Fashion Chart bestseller.
Her play, The Legacy, enjoyed its first run at The Hope Theatre in June 2015.
In 2015 Angela was awarded the Young Stationers’ Prize for achievement and promise in writing and publishing. She also works for The Literary Consultancy critiquing manuscripts and mentoring. Angela, a sufferer of the debilitating chronic condition Ehlers Danlos III, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, volunteers with Womentoring, Meet a Mentor and at HM Prisons. She is passionate about bringing marginalised voices into the industry.
Today’s giveaway – two books by Ed James plus a copy of Watch Me by Angela Clarke
The Hope that Kills (DI Fenchurch Book #1)
The body of a young woman is found on the streets of East London, in the shadow of the City’s gleaming towers. No ID on her, just hard-earned cash. But there is no doubting the ferocity of the attack.
DI Simon Fenchurch takes charge but, as his team tries to identify her and piece together her murder, they’re faced with cruel indifference at every turn—nobody cares about yet another dead prostitute. To Fenchurch, however, she could just as easily be Chloe, his daughter still missing after ten years, whose memory still haunts his days and nights, his burning obsession having killed his marriage.
When a second body is discovered, Fenchurch must peel back the grimy layers shrouding the London sex trade, confronting his own traumatic past while racing to undo a scheme larger, more complex and more evil than anything he could possibly have imagined.
Worth Killing For (DI Fenchurch Book #2)
On a busy London street, a young woman is attacked in broad daylight and left bleeding to death on the pavement. Among the eyewitnesses are DI Simon Fenchurch and his wife.
Fenchurch pursues the attacker through a warren of backstreets and eventually arrests a young hoodie with a cache of stolen phones—an ‘Apple picker’ on the make. The case should be closed but something feels off…Was this really just about a smartphone? Why did the victim look nervous before she was targeted? And why don’t the prints on the murder weapon match the young man in custody?
Before Fenchurch can probe further, his superiors remove him from the case, convinced he has let the real culprit run free. But Fenchurch is determined to get to the truth and, before long, uncovers a conspiracy that reaches high above the street gangs of London.
FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN –
Sorry, but the giveaway is open to UK entrants only. This giveaway will close at 10.00pm (UK time) on Sunday 15 January 2017 when I will select a winner at random. The winner’s details will be passed to the publisher so that they can despatch the books direct.