I read this fabulous debut thriller from Sherri Smith and then asked her 5 quick questions. Want to know who her favourite literary character is? Read on….
First, my review
This is great. I loved it. A new thriller author to watch out for.
We jump right into this story. From the beginning we are told that Lucas has disappeared and is wanted for murder. His twin sister, Mia, returns to her childhood town to help in the search to bring him back. She KNOWS he is innocent of what he’s been accused, but being a small town, with small minded people populating it, Lucas has been found guilty in the eyes of the community.
Mia has a drug problem. She has a white collar, middle class pill popping addiction, not a back alley heroin addiction – why we distinguish between the two I don’t know. Why is one more acceptable than the other? Again, I don’t know. But I found that although I wouldn’t want to be friends with Mia, I did feel empathy for what she was going through, and truly wanted her to succeed in her quest to exonerate and find her brother.
The twin’s mother is in an assisted living facility following a car crash which left her brain damaged, and in a coma for some time. Mia feels guilt because of an argument that happened just before said accident, and also the fact that she only visits her mother once in a blue moon.
It’s fast paced, suspenseful. We follow Mia in her search for the truth, drifting back in to her past and meeting people she’d rather forget. There was a reason she left this place people!
The scene is set well. I could feel the place I was meant to be in. The small town vibes from locals and those old school mentalities, came shining through the pages. There was suspense at every turn – each time Mia found a bit of that puzzle, I had to turn the page to know what happened with it and whether it fit into this crazy jigsaw we were trying to complete!
I was hooked, and it is the type of book you would read in one go, and I would have too, had I not had a pretty packed week. I snuck in a couple of pages at every opportunity because I wanted to know what was happening and if Mia had found anything else to help her bro.
It had a kind of claustrophobic feel at times. What should Mia do next, the dead end that led nowhere in particular and the sense of helplessness for your own family. She was trying so hard to help her brother, and yet he wasn’t helping her back, with his previous lifestyle – it was starting to look like he could be the baddie here. I loved Mia’s loyalty. Having a brother myself, we know what it is like to want to believe in them no matter what. We know the disappointment when we find something out that’s not so good. But love shines through, and that is what we see here.
The ending was great. I think it tied up all the loose ends nicely.
Well done Sherri, glad I invested in a such a thrilling read! 🙂 Really one of my top reads this year!
I spoke with author Sherri Smith and asked her 5 quick Q’s. Here’s what she said:
1. If you had to pick one of your characters that is closest to you in personality, which would it be?
I might not want to admit it, but I’d have to say Mia. While I do not share her pill addiction, I do share her sense of humour. I think she’s really funny but then, I guess that’s kind of narcissistic to say since I wrote her. But hey, my writing mantra is to entertain myself first! Ha!
2. Who is your favourite character of all time, and why?
I can’t say I have a favourite character but many characters have very much stuck with me. Most recently, I quite loved Lily from THE KIND WORTH KILLING and Aaron Falk from THE DRY. I love every character Laura Lippman writes—they’re so alive. And of course Offred from THE HANDMAID’S TALE has stuck with me since my first reading of it in high school.
3. Who would you say, if any one, has influenced your writing the most?
There are so, so many authors who inspire me. Honestly I could go on for days. Books are my life’s playlist, which author, what book I was obsessed with at any given time reflects a lot of what I was feeling in that period. Nowadays those obsessions are Meg Abbot, Gillian Flynn, Laura Lippman, Peter Swanson, Liz Nugent, Karin Slaughter. There’s more, but I’ll stop here.
4. Are you planning on writing any more crime fiction in the future?… please?
I just finished another thriller titled THE RETREAT. It takes place at a wellness retreat and involves psychotropic tea and murder. It will be released August of next year.
5. What is your favourite cake? 🙂
I can honestly say that I am not a huge lover of cake (I know it sounds like a lie, considering what my body looks like) but I was that kid, who would pass on her own birthday cake. I do love ice-cream though and a good cookie. So an ice-cream, cookie cake? Is that cheating?
We’ll let her off her for her dislike of cake – because she is such a good sport answering our questions! Thanks to Sherri for taking the time. And make sure you go out and buy FOLLOW ME DOWN and look out for THE RETREAT, released in August next year, we certainly will!
About the author
Sherri Smith has previously written two historical fiction novels for Simon & Schuster UK. When not writing she spends time with her family, three rescue dogs and restores vintage furniture that would otherwise be destined for the dump. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada where the long, cold winters nurture her dark side. FOLLOW ME DOWN (Forge Books, March 2017) is her first thriller.