Influencers, the social media phenomenon of cool young women who make fortunes by posting pictures on the Internet wearing clothes fashion brands pay them to model, are to my generation a strange breed. It somehow seems immoral to make money by showing off; sort of sneaky too. So, Ellery Lloyd’s snappily written thriller about a “mummy blogger” is absolutely fascinating. Emmy Jackson is Mamabare, an Instagram sensation, a cool yummy mummy who nevertheless shares her vulnerability with her millions of followers. She looks gorgeous in her bright prints and slogan T-shirts, but she talks about how chaotic her life is, tells funny stories against herself, and encourages all young mums to admit their raw mistakes and be just like her. Her husband Dan is a struggling novelist, so although he hates his wife’s carefully calculated false image he lives with it because it pays the bills.
Emmy is a fraud; in real life she’s far from vulnerable or chaotic. Her house is tidy (she has a cleaner, and deliberately messes the place up before media visits), she is totally organised and has an agent. Dan’s sour comments about his wife are entertaining but also a bit sinister. (One reviewer described the book as “Gone Girl on steroids”). The reader is kept on edge by Dan’s cynicism, suspecting evil intent, but lurking in the darkness is someone else: a stalker who knows too much about Emmy’s life, and is determined to get revenge. People Like Her is a really good thriller, a chillingly suspenseful tale which you’ll find unputdownable. It’s timely, perceptive and a total page turner. Great stuff.