|Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne is a story about two wealthy teenage girls: Adamma and Scarlett who become best friends. That is until Adamma chooses love over their friendship and Scarlett goes missing…
Adamma moves from New York to England after her father becomes the Nigerian Commissioner based in London. Crofton College is her new private boarding school, for the elite of society and is set in the leafy suburbs of the village Ostley.
On Adamma’s first day at Crofton she meets Scarlett and they instantly become best friends. Scarlett is aloof and it’s clear from early on that she has secrets. She lives over the hill with her ‘hippy’ parents and the fable she tells about how her parents met in Paris is beautiful.
Next Adamma meets Dominic, Scarlett’s childhood sweetheart. Something starts to develop between Adamma and Dominic; Scarlett finds out and tells her to choose.
Adamma chooses love and then Scarlett goes missing. Scarlett’s gone missing before, but this time it’s different. Follow Me Down becomes a mystery novel: what happened to Scarlett and whose responsible? At this midway point, the book it is an addictive read that is unputdownable. It keeps the reader captivated and constantly questioning those that might have had something to do with Scarlett’s disappearance, which are:
Dominic – He loves Scarlett on some level, yet why is he having a relationship with Adamma? Can he be in love two women?
Sam – Dominic’s cousin, who Scarlett was having a secret relationship with before her disappearance. Coincidentally he has a broken wrist just after Scarlett’s disappearance. How did he break his wrist? Why were they keeping their relationship low key?
Mr. Lucas – The 23 year old Teacher that all the girls seem to love and who once stayed in one of Scarlett’s parents houses. Is this young teacher hiding something? Why does he go above and beyond the call of duty for his female students?
The story is written from Adamma’s perspective and has good description of places, people and events. Each of the characters are loveable, with each having their own flaws that are shown really well to the reader. Byrne is an author that shows great promise; but the structure and storyline could have used more work.
Follow Me Down is structured by flicking between before Scarlett’s disappearance and after. This was a great idea but the flicks back and forth seemed sporadic. This made the storyline feel disjointed; particularly in the most important parts of the book: at the beginning and at the end.
The storyline it’s self started out really strong, the middle was brilliant, but the ending left a lot to be desired. The ending was predictable, fundamentally unbelievable, rushed and left the reader unsatisfied. Despite these criticisms, if Byrne had made Follow Me Down longer the reader would have read on; enjoying Byrne’s engaging writing style and unique writers voice.
Overall Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne is a reasonable story, with fascinating characters that the reader will enjoy getting to know. Thanks to Headline Publishing for kindly sending out a preview version.