The Influencer was a book that really took me by surprise since I knew little to nothing to the book. I responded to a call to arms for bloggers to review the book and I have to say that after finishing the book, I’m glad to have taken the plunge.
The book really centres around Skye, a Social Media Influencer, who takes an interest in a local homeless charity run by Nathan, who set up the charity in memory of his wife. At first, Skye’s interest really did seem only as an effort to enhancer her own profile in order to become more famous. Yet, ever so slowly, this interest becomes much more obsessive, to the point that it becomes sinister.
The way in which the author is able to turn up the uneasiness of Skyes behaviour is excellent and so subtly done, that the only way to describe it is by using the analogy of a frog being put in a pot of cold water and slowly turning up the heat so that the frog doesn’t know that it is being cooked. This really does describe the “relationship” between Nathan and Skye. It was also really clever how the author highlighted the fact that since Nathan is a man, some of the things that Skye does would be difficult for any man to highlight for fear of either being laughed at or for the tale to be turned on its head. This is especially evident in the morning after of an awards show.
Nathan does everything he can to try an manoeuvre the balancing act of boosting the profile of his charity, while trying to keep Skye at arms length from his private life. So as you see this unravelling you can’t help but analyse his actions and see if there was anything he could have done differently to stop things falling apart. Yet, Skyes obsession with Nathan and his family just won’t be shaken and thus with the flashbacks to Skyes history, you start to build a better picture of the woman he is dealing with.
From the get go, there is something that just doesn’t ring true with Skye. She is so secretive with her background and any mention of people she used to know, she seems to clam up and change the subject. Through the flashback’s you find out a bit more about the family who took Skye in and how it could have had an influence on how she turned out the way she did. So, when I got to the halfway mark, I guessed the truth about Skye or at least how she became “Skye Walker” the social influencer star. It is only in the second half of the book, that we really see the woman behind the mask and although I did have some sympathy on the reasons why Skye felt that she had to do what she did, it still doesn’t excuse her actions.
The final act of the book was nail biting and I really didn’t know how it would all play out. The fact that it was on a yacht in the middle of the sea, racks up the tension to its highest level. When Skye begins to monologue, the truth begins to come out and I felt genuine fear for Nathan and his family.
There is one final sting in the tale that really had me gasping out loud and it had me questioning how easily influenced some young women are by the influencers online and though this is to the extreme you do hear how they put themselves at risk in order to be like those they follow online.
This is the first book that I have read by the author and I can’t believe that she has slipped under the radar. This book really would suit those who have been loving watching the psychological thrillers that have really took off with the streaming channels. I’m now looking at her back catalogue as I really want to read more by here.