CAN ANYBODY HELP ME? – Sinéad Crowley

help me

Available now from Quercus

Source: NetGalley

It was crazy really, she had never met the woman, had no idea of her real name but she thought of her as a friend. Or, at least, the closest thing she had to a friend in Dublin.

Struggling with a new baby, Yvonne turns to netmammy, an online forum for mothers, for support. Drawn into a world of new friends, she spends increasing amounts of time online and volunteers more and more information about herself.

When one of her new friends goes offline, Yvonne thinks something is wrong, but dismisses her fears. After all, does she really know this woman?

But when the body of a young woman with striking similarities to Yvonne’s missing friend is found, Yvonne realises that they’re all in terrifying danger. Can she persuade Sergeant Claire Boyle, herself about to go on maternity leave, to take her fears seriously?

This story centres around the members of ‘Netmammy’ – which is essentially Netmums, the online forum where mums get together to discuss their children, offer parenting advice, and generally have a bit of a moan. No offence to the Netmums members out there, each to their own, but it is really not my thing at all. I have two young children – I know newborns are tiring, and strange rashes can be scary, and I’m pretty sure all parents at some time or other wonder if they are doing what’s best – but I certainly didn’t have the inclination to bang on about these things to a bunch of strangers who were ‘in the same boat’. So it did get a little tiresome when large chunks of this book were devoted to listening to these women moan about dirty nappies, night-time feeds, and teething – if I’d wanted to read so much of that I would have just logged onto the website, any chance we could just get on with the story now please?

Anyway, now that I’ve got that out of my system, I did get a bit bored early on with this one, but I figured it was maybe just one of those slow burners and I’d have to give it a chance to get going. The prose was a bit jumpy, I found myself often having to re-read the same sentence because it didn’t really flow very well and that threw me off. But I stuck with it, mainly due to a line of critical acclaim plastered on the book cover…

Brilliantly original… a shocker of a twist that you won’t see coming.” – Melissa Hill

I have to admit that that was probably the deal clincher to my reading the book at all. And… well it was all lies wasn’t it?! If there was a shocker of a twist, I missed it – maybe I nodded off after so much incessant “I love my children but I hate being a parent” chatter – I’m sure it couldn’t be referring to the culprit of the piece – because that twist was so obvious it came with seventy-six trombones very early on!

It was a complete anti-climax. Even though I knew who was responsible, I thought I’d at least be given some sort of dramatic showdown – but no it was all a bit naff and then the story just kind of petered out…

I will say that the basic premise was good; I liked how the story showed that people think they are posting ‘anonymously’ online, but it is in fact very easy for others to deduce your identity from the tiniest clues you give out – but to be honest this probably could have been conveyed in a double page spread in the fiction section of Take A Break or the like.

No, not for me at all.

My thanks to the publisher for providing this book for review.

Happy reading x

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2 Comments

Filed under Reviews

2 responses to “CAN ANYBODY HELP ME? – Sinéad Crowley

  1. Kay

    I laughed out loud as I read your reaction to this book. I think I saw this on Netgalley or Edelweiss or somewhere and wondered about it. Well, but did you like it? LOL LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Terry Tyler

    Ah, I love you even more now, Storm – I keep experiencing this sort of thing. I bought a book about a subject that interested me, recently, based on its 50-odd 5* reviews, and I thought, but this is just rather banal chick lit. Actually, it depressed me; I wondered if ‘banal’ is the key to mass approval. Seems like all you have to do is say ‘yay’ and talk about chocolate and cake a lot, make hackneyed observations about men/women/kids, etc, and you have a best seller on your hands. As for twists that you see coming about 20% in… don’t get me started!

    Liked by 1 person

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