‘Followed by a Million. Targeted by One‘
– Unfollow Me
[ About the Book ]
A single photo taken in college defined Eve Kelly’s entire life. The iconic image of the falling girl in a red dress brought her unintentional fame. Twenty years later, @beli’EVE, a successful model turned influencer, is a reluctant leader. Over a million people follow her every move, but sharing images of a #perfectlife can be dangerous, especially when you have secrets.
When someone begins to scratch beneath the glossy surface she presents to the world, Eve’s past starts to close in. Is it time to take the fall? To at last pay the price of success?
She’s about to discover how many other lives one photo defined. A picture never lies. Or does it?
At the peak of her fame, it seems there’s only one way down for Eve. If you’re going to share, be sure you have nothing to hide. #unfollowme
[ My Review ]
Unfollow Me by Judith Cuffe was published with Poolbeg Press on July 18th and is described as a ‘modern day suspense thriller based around the dangers of social media, what we share, and how we never really know who is watching.‘
Twenty years ago Eve Kelly became famous for an album cover on which she featured as the falling girl in the red dress. It became an iconic pose, one captured by her then college boyfriend Conor. The photograph quickly became famous and Eve Kelly was in demand as a model, with a career that took a stratospheric turn. Eve chose not to grasp the opportunity of the international modelling lifestyle but instead returned to Ireland.
With her American husband, Dex, by her side, Eve established herself as an Irish influencer. She embraced social media from its earliest stages, developing a very successful career. Living in the spotlight brought unexpected pressures which, to a certain extent, Eve was willing to accept and compromise. However, when threatened, she has to face a few ghosts, ones that she hoped were put to bed over twenty years ago.
Now, living in a beautiful home in Co. Wicklow, Eve works hard, locked away in luxury, fulfilling the demands of all her clients whose products she promotes. She has over a million followers on social media who soak up her every move. She has her detractors but most people want to emulate her life, this glossy persona that the world sees. Behind closed doors, Eve’s life is very different. Her personal relationships are under pressure and Eve is aware that her time in the spotlight is limited. With new influencers always pushing to knock her off her perch, she intends making money while she can. But when she starts to feel threatened, she fears that past secrets will be revealed and her castle will come crashing down around her.
Unfollow Me is a very relevant tale. It highlights our obsession with social media and the strive for the perceived perfect Instagram lifestyle. Judith Cuffe does ‘dabble’ with social media herself so she knows the pitfalls and the dangers of perception. Keyboard warriors, the trolls of social media, lurk behind screens causing untold psychological damage. But when they come out from behind those screens their obsessive behaviour can take a frightening turn. Eve Kelly has a secret to hide. All her life she has attempted to keep her past where it belongs. With her friend Ronnie to support her, she has managed to keep her image relatively squeaky clean. But now Eve is concerned. She is about to face her greatest challenge yet, one with potential consequences that will ultimately destroy everything she has worked so hard to create.
Unfollow Me is a novel of suspense. It is set in the present day, with flashbacks to incidents over the past twenty years. Personally, I did feel it was a little bit too long, but its core message is an important one. Eve Kelly’s story, while fictional, is relatable, as most of us, to some extent, have an online footprint. Judith Cuffe wanted to draw our attention to the darker side and to the impact a throwaway comment or remark can have – as she says herself, “social media should be, first and foremost, social! ”
A cleverly plotted mystery, Unfollow Me has plenty of red-herrings along the way to confuse the reader. With a very current premise and an intriguing cast of characters, Unfollow Me is an entertaining and cautionary tale.
[ Bio ]
Judith Cuffe lives in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland, with her husband, three children and two dogs. When she’s not writing you’ll find her at the gym, walking the dogs, ferrying the kids, filling then emptying her online Zara shopping basket and dabbling in social media which she believes should be, first and foremost, social! Unfollow Me, a suspense thriller, is her fifth novel. Also by Judith: When Destiny Sings, Sing me Home, Lying with Truth, Unexpected Events.