A Richard & Judy Book Club Pick Summer 2021
'Smart, gobble-at-a-sitting thriller about life as a yummy mummy influencer and the dark side of Instagram' – Guardian
'Brilliantly original' – Clare Mackintosh, author of After the End
'Deliciously dark and devious' – Red
'Highly recommended' – Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange
'Gone Girl-esque' – The Times
‘I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough’ – Abigail Dean, author of Girl A
People like Emmy Jackson. They always have. Especially online, where she is Instagram sensation Mamabare, famous for telling the unvarnished truth about modern parenthood.
But Emmy isn’t as honest as she’d like the fans to believe. She may think she has her followers fooled, but someone out there knows the truth and plans to make her pay . . .
A deliciously dark, page-turning thriller full of unguessable twists and turns.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This riveting debut marks the arrival of an exciting new voice in thrillers. Ellery Lloyd is the pen name for married writing duo Collette Lyons and Paul Vlitos, and they tell this high-suspense tale from a husband-and-wife perspective. The two main narrators are Emmy, a mum of two and hugely successful parenting influencer, and Dan, her struggling novelist husband. Dan is unimpressed with the assiduously polished and fictionalised version of their family that Emmy presents on social media but he tolerates it to live off the money it brings in. Watching from afar—and alarmingly closely—is a third, anonymous character who burns with dangerous resentment and obsession over Emmy’s seemingly perfect life. The story begins in the immediate minutes before a terrible event and then winds back to the six weeks preceding that moment. Expertly pacing Emmy and Dan’s journey towards their fate—via tension, peril and thrilling twists—Lyons and Vlitos intelligently explore how social media’s lens can warp the lives and values of stars and followers alike.
With a million-plus Instagram followers, former fashion editor Emmy Jackson, the co-narrator of this unnerving debut from the pseudonymous Lloyd (husband-and-wife writing team Collette Lyons and Paul Vlitos), is Britain's most famous Instamum. Emmy claims her Mamabare account offers an unfiltered view of life raising three-year-old Coco and five-week-old Bear, but Emmy's embittered husband and co-narrator, Dan, can attest that her posts contain about as much truth as the novel he published eight years ago. Still, without Emmy's endorsement deals, they couldn't pay their bills, so Dan (aka Papabare) keeps quiet and plays his part. Little do the Jacksons know, someone watching their lives unfold online deeply resents their "perfectly imperfect" existence, and is determined to destroy it. Some of the multilayered plot's more nefarious twists strain credulity, but clever red herrings, sharply drawn characters, and steadily mounting dread largely compensate. Lloyd dramatically highlights the artificiality of influencer culture and the toxicity of society's social media obsession.