Viral - Helen Fitzgerald

Genre: Fiction
Synopsis: "So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety six people have seen me online" When Leah Oliphant-Brotheridge and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf, only Leah returns home. Her successful, swotty sister remains abroad, humiliated and afraid: there is an online video of her, drunkenly performing a sex act in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it. Ruth Oliphant-Brotheridge, mother of the girls, successful court judge, is furious. How could this have happened? How can she bring justice to these men who took advantage of her dutiful, virginal daughter? What role has Leah played in all this? And can Ruth find Su and bring her back home when Su doesn't want to be found?


Review: I so rarely give 1 star reviews to books, but using my rating system 1 star means 'I didn't like it', and I definitely didn't like this. I can't really even give it 2 stars to say 'it was okay', because I actually don't think it was okay.

I'm not going to labor the point with a long review - I'm used to reading thrillers from Helen Fitzgerald which, while they often don't blow me away, have (until now) always provided some satisfying thrills and some interesting plots. Even based on the synopsis, I wasn't sure how this was going to become a thriller - and it never did. I then thought maybe she was taking a different direction with this one - well, she did, but that direction was backward.

The premise is great, the premise is the stuff of modern nightmares - I've seen this exact thing happen to (I think) a British girl, and it also happened to an Irish girl at a festival a couple of years back, resulting in the trending hashtag SlaneGirl and some hospital visits for the girl. The potential here to write something either really insightful or utterly terrifying was immense - but it ends up just being a weird attempt to illustrate a search for personality identity for the main character against a backdrop of utterly insane characters reacting in unpredictable and unbelieve ways to this viral video. It was just extremely inconsistent and therefore impossible to get into.

Helen Fitzgerald is a good author, just please don't bother with this one.

Rating: 1/5

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