Since Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl there have been dozens of thrillers featuring not entirely reliable husband-and-wife narrators and plots exploring social media’s distorting lens. Like Our House by Louise Candlish, what distinguishes this is the plausibility of its central pairing, its sharp humour and sustained (and only latterly credulity-testing) twists and turns. Screen and translation rights have been snapped up, and rightly so; this Insta tale works hard for its handclap emoji.
People Like Her , the first novel from husband-and-wife writing team Ellery Lloyd, is a cautionary tale for the social media age...
Sharp observation, well drawn characters and cleverly ramped-up paranoia more than make up for the rather hammy ending.
they do have something interesting to say. Not just about the vacuousness and dishonesty of Instagram, its addictive ability to make people believe they’re on intimate terms with people they’ve never met, or how one badly-judged comment can bring it all crashing down, but that selling one’s soul to make a living from it can profoundly change a person in ways they won’t even realise.
And while People Like Her isn’t nearly cautionary enough - no spoilers - these are points well worth making.
We've all seen them on Instagram, those women who appear to have everything. With a successful online platform and seemingly perfect family, Emmy Jackson is one of them. But there is a darker side lurking. Ellery Lloyd is a husband-and-wife team, who write, and their different voices add to the atmosphere.
A cleverly plotted thriller told from three viewpoints: an Instagram "mumfluencer" known as Mamabare; her novelist husband Dan, who hasn't written a book in years; and an anonymous "follower" of Mamabare who bears a terrible grudge against her. A good thriller is joy enough but People Like Her is also a razor-sharp look at Instagram culture, the Faustian pact made by influencers who share every detail of their lives, and what it might mean when the world knows so much about your children. Very highly recommended.