Review published on April 8, 2017.
This novel has more twists and turns; in fact, it is more complex than unravelling fairy lights at Christmas. There is a deep backstory that is revealed tiny piece by tiny piece. It draws us into a deep identification with Mia, who has been running away from her difficult past in the small town of Wayoata all her adult life. But when her brother is named by the Wayoata police department as a person of interest, Mia confronts her past and returns to her hometown to prove Lucas’s innocence. This pulls her into her own private investigation into who is responsible for Joanna’s disappearance and murder. Driven by fierce loyalty, Mia finds herself spiralling towards madness until everyone in the small town seems to have a motive and Mia herself is in danger. At the same time, Mia has to come to terms with her own family’s past and face her mother, who she has not seen in years.
This is a crime thriller whose pages turn themselves. I read this greedily, wishing as I neared the end that it would continue longer. Smith leads us through its pages carefully, allowing us to be just half a step ahead of amateur investigator, Mia, as she tries desperately to prove her brother’s innocence and find the real killer of her brother’s sixteen-year-old student, Joanna. Joanna, the talented dancer, popular girl, but a girl mixed up in a rebellion against her over protective, pushy mother. Themes of family relationships, addiction, and what lurks under the facade of small town suburban life are intertwined in the mystery behind Joanna’s murder. All small towns have their underside, as do all families, especially those with dark secrets to hide. Highly recommended. Addictive and hugely satisfying.
Rachel Hirstwood 5/5
Follow Me Down by Sherri Smith
Titan Books 9781785654046 pbk Mar 2017