‘One photo couldn’t hurt, could it?’
One Click is the second novel from Irish writer and blogger Andrea Mara. A psychological thriller, One Click is described as a ‘disturbing tale of cyber-stalking and trolling, blogging and social media, but it’s also about real life – a marriage break-up, trouble with children and work, and some good old-fashioned murder.’
Just published by Poolbeg Press, One Click is a novel for our time, a novel that will certainly make you stop and rethink your social media habits and patterns.
I was certainly able to connect with this book!! Read on for my thoughts…
About The Book
When Lauren takes a photo of a stranger on a beach and shares it online, she has no idea what will come of that single click.
Her daughters are surprised that she posted a photo without consent, but it’s only when she starts to get anonymous messages about the woman on the beach that she deletes the photo. It’s too little too late, and the messages escalate, prompting Lauren to confess to the woman. The woman has her own dark story, one that might explain the messages, but Lauren isn’t convinced. Then her ex-husband begins to harass her, telling her she shares too much online and brought this on herself.
She’s also dealing with other problems. A difficult client at work starts to show up in places he shouldn’t be. Her younger daughter is behaving out of character and Lauren can’t work out what’s wrong. And the cracks are literally beginning to show in her old South Dublin house, mirroring the cracks in her carefully curated life.
Meanwhile, the messages from the internet troll become more personal and more vindictive. Her friends feel she should stand up to her stalker, but Lauren isn’t so sure. And then she makes one small mistake that brings everything tumbling down.
As a blogger I am online alot. There are times everyday when I stop and think about what I am doing and why? Social Media and my blog have opened up a whole new world to me where I have met authors online and in real-life, and I have made some amazing online friendships with fellow bloggers across the globe. I have developed great working relationships with publishers and tour organisers and I have had the honour of receiving and reviewing some incredible books….but….and there is a but…..Do I spend too much time online? Are other areas in my life affected by it? Have I unwittingly revealed too much personal information? These are all questions in my head after reading Andrea Mara’s latest novel One Click.
Lauren is on holidays in Italy with her two young daughters. She works as a psychologist but her hobby is a photography blog. It’s something for herself and it’s something she is very proud of. Her marriage has just broken up and this time away with her girls is to regroup and get some much needed time out away from the stresses of her busy life in Dublin.
In complete innocence, Lauren takes a snap of a young woman lying on a beach. For Lauren, this image symbolises life pre-children, so she uploads it without a second thought with the caption #howiwishispentmytwenties The picture unexpectedly goes viral and for Lauren she gets caught up in the initial buzz. The online interaction is very exciting and as a blogger, Lauren is thrilled with the reaction. But soon this feeling changes to dread, when Lauren is faced with a very sinister message from a stranger wanting to know who is the woman in the image.
Lauren has been on the butt end of a troll in the past, at a time when her husband constantly referred to her online obsession, leaving Lauren upset but still determined to continue with her blog. She has made numerous friends online, a community of like-minded people who have been there for her when she needed company and a chat. This time though the threat is more real. As Lauren returns to Ireland, she tries to dismiss it as nothing but an ominous feeling descends over Lauren when she begins to receive messages with personal information that no troll should know.
Lauren decides it’s time to contact the woman in the image and soon discovers that this woman has a rather mysterious past leading her to all sorts of conclusions and raising more alarm bells.
Meanwhile work is challenging for Lauren with a very menacing client, an individual whose presence Lauren finds incredibly unnerving. Her boss is questioning her commitment to the job and her daughter seems to be upset about something leading to some very unusual behaviour.
With the continued threatening online presence and the challenges in her personal life, Lauren feels like her life is literally falling apart.
Is it her fault? Is this a consequence of her online behaviour? Are her daughters being influenced by her constant need to have her phone on hand? Was her husband correct in his observations? Who is this troll and why are they fixated on Lauren?
Lauren only ever joined the Twitter community to be part of a wider conversation and following on from the break-up of her marriage, her Twitter friends helped her through the lonely evenings spent on her own. Looking at it with a wider lens, does this opening of our homes/lives to the online world make us a target for these trolls, who can make the internet a very scary and unsafe place indeed?
One Click is a very contemporary novel, a very thought-provoking look at the impact of social media on all our lives and the impact that one innocent tweet or post can have. Cyber-stalking is an unfortunate and very frightening side-effect of having an online presence and to be honest I think we all need to be little more aware of what we post, and even more importantly of what our children are posting.
One Click is an unsettling and disturbing novel, but it is also a cautionary tale for all. It is a fast-paced, page-turner that you will not put down. It is an eye-opening read, reflecting on what can go so very wrong online today in a society that is switched on ALL the time.
Menacing. Ominous. Scary.
Purchase Link ~ One Click
About Andrea Mara
Andrea Mara is a freelance writer, author and blogger who lives in Dublin with her husband and three young children. She writes lifestyle features for Irish newspapers and magazines, and has won a number of awards for blogging
She attempts, often badly, to balance work, family and writing, then lets off steam on her blog www.officemum.ie
Her first book, The Other Side Of The Wall was published by Poolbeg Press in 2017 and shortlisted for the Kate O’ Brien Award in 2018.
One Click is her second book and is OUT NOW.
Twitter ~ @office_mum