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Follow Me: The Amateurs 2 Paperback – 5 Oct 2017
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Praise for The Amateurs: 'A delicious and suspenseful page-turner' - I. Marlene King, executive producer, Pretty Little Liars 'A dark and twisty thriller which might just fill the Pretty Little Liars shaped hole in my heart' - Danielle Paige, best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die 'A classic whodunit with a contemporary edge' - Cecily Von Ziegesar, best-selling author of The Gossip Girl 'High stakes, high-octane, compulsively readable suspense' - Kami Garcia, best-selling co-author of Beautiful Creatures 'Fast-paced action, humour and romance' - Katharine McGee, author of The Thousandth Floor 'Devious and thrilling' - Kass Morgan, best-selling author of The 100 'A clever, well-structured mystery' - Kimberly McCreight, best-selling author of The Outliers * Praise for The Amateurs * Once again we're sucked into the whirlwind of crime, mystery and suspense. It's super eerie and you won't be able to put it down * Maximum Pop * full of twists and turns * Autumn Frost * Plenty of teenage angst, and a decent mystery at the heart of this YA crime thriller * Crime Review *
Praise for The Amateurs:
'A delicious and suspenseful page-turner' - I. Marlene King, executive producer, Pretty Little Liars
'A dark and twisty thriller which might just fill the Pretty Little Liars shaped hole in my heart' - Danielle Paige, best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die
'A classic whodunit with a contemporary edge' - Cecily Von Ziegesar, best-selling author of The Gossip Girl
'High stakes, high-octane, compulsively readable suspense' - Kami Garcia, best-selling co-author of Beautiful Creatures
'Fast-paced action, humour and romance' - Katharine McGee, author of The Thousandth Floor
'Devious and thrilling' - Kass Morgan, best-selling author of The 100
'A clever, well-structured mystery' - Kimberly McCreight, best-selling author of The Outliers (Praise for The Amateurs)
Once again we're sucked into the whirlwind of crime, mystery and suspense. It's super eerie and you won't be able to put it down (Maximum Pop)
full of twists and turns (Autumn Frost)
Plenty of teenage angst, and a decent mystery at the heart of this YA crime thriller (Crime Review)
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Basically Seneca, Aerin, Madison and Maddox are the modern day Scooby Gang and Thomas pops in occassionally to liven things up. None of these characters read as anything other than flat and one-dimensional and the premise that the police would take these teens seriously is ridiculous and the fact they never get warned off "investigating" is palpably laughable.
The evil protagonist, Brett or whatever he decides to call himself on any given day, is not the criminal mastermind the team seem to believe he is but rather clumsy and if they had read any crime novel or watched any crime series they would be able to see right through him.
I am sure there is a market for this book for the YA audience as a primer to a "proper" crime story but when you consider some of the excellent fiction out there specifically marketed for this age group I am not even so sure about that.
I did finish the book but had to grit my teeth to do so and power on through. Honestly, if you are outside the target audience I would seriously recommend giving this one a miss.
When a local girl goes missing in a small beachside town, the Amateurs believe that the game is on again. Their suspicions are confirmed when Maddox receives a taunting letter in the post and so they head to Lafayette to begin the chase.
I love Seneca's determination not to be beaten by Brett and her desperation to make him face justice for her mother's murder. She and Brett are well matched opponents, although he always seems to be two steps ahead of them. Some chapters were told from his point of view and it was creepy being in his head. I suspect there is still a lot to be revealed about him, his past and his motives.
I was hooked on this book and read it in practically one sitting. Sara Shepard has such an ingenious mind and plots incredibly well crafted stories that always leave you puzzling over the series of events. There are so many twists and turns and well planted red herrings that it makes for fantastic reading. I was totally engrossed from start to finish.
The ending of the book was a real jaw-dropper. I can't believe that Sara Shepard left things hanging where she did. I'm so impatient to get my hands on the next in the trilogy - this is a series not to be missed.
All the teenage detectives have moved on since the prosecutions in the murder of Helena Kelly with mixed fortunes from Seneca and Maddox Wright exchanging anodyne emails and Aerin Kelly barely speaking to her admirer and former cop, Thomas Grove. But when a post on the online forum which spawned the initial investigation from their prime suspect inviting them to “come and play” appears, feisty Seneca sees a chance to even up the scores and avenge her mother’s killer. From this suspected disappearance, and hints that their nemesis has infiltrated the New Jersey preppy crowd, the team are playing catch-up and just as easily led! The major disappointment in this follow-up though is that with a few extra characters this is a rehash of the first investigation and even after their being thwarted once, they are just as naively confident. The details of this investigation rely heavily on aspects of technology - from spyware, drones, bugging right through to photo sharing on PhotoCircle which for those readers whose eyes glaze over at mentions of digital aspects will rapidly bore. There is a large focus in on the flamboyant lifestyles of the Newport Beach youths, who seem to move from party to party and one extravagance to the next and this makes it hard to relate to or care about the spoilt brats involved. In common with the debut, there is huge detail on culture, class and wealth differences between the characters involved, something which was all unwarranted and added nothing to the story.
If the first instalment was woefully short on clues and offered limited suspense, this one is another similar clutching at straws encounter, again marred by romantic elements and with Seneca the only individual who seems to really care about the outcome and the driver for the whole investigation. Given that the group proved both inept and naive in The Amateurs, they don’t do anymore to reassert their claims but this encounter really ups the ante with the guilty party assuming numerous new identities and seeming to have myriad resources at his disposal, especially hard to run with as he is approximately the same age as the investigating teens. Disappointing, I again found the characters a difficult mix to warm to and given the paltry lack of mystery and intrigue present, I would find it hard to recommend. Follow Me makes no sense as a standalone read and given that it ends with a mighty similar hook to the first book, I have no further interest in reading more of this groups efforts at crime solving. Despite the idea likely appealing to a younger teen audience (12-13), it should be noted that the characters are of age seventeen upwards and there is mention of pursuits that may not be suitable for such a young readership.
After reading The Amateurs and Follow Me, I would find it hard to recommend either novel which have a romantic element that supersedes any focus on an actual mystery and fails to surprise.
I received a free copy of this book from Readers First and my review is my honest and unbiased opinion.
Review written by Rachel Hall (@hallrachel)
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