Green Giants–Irish Author Spotlight: Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinead Crowley

June 9, 2014 Book review, Green Giants 5 ★★★★★

Green Giants is my feature where I share some of my favourite books by Irish Authors.   I’m passionate about Irish Authors, there is a great and exciting mix of books to choose from, hopefully you will find something new to try.  Today it’s Sinead Crowley whose debut novel really impressed me.

green giants

 

An internet parenting forum doesn’t sound the most likely place for a creepy murder tale to unfold. But that’s just what happens here in this chilling, goose-bump inducing read. Be warned, you may never feel secure meeting any online friend again!

Green Giants–Irish Author Spotlight: Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinead CrowleyCan Anybody Help Me by Sinead Crowley
Published by Quercus Books on 1st May 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Emotions & Feelings, Mystery, Thrillers, Womens Fiction
Pages: 257
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

It was crazy really, she had never met the woman, had no idea of her real name but she thought of her as a friend. Or, at least, the closest thing she had to a friend in Dublin.

Struggling with a new baby, Yvonne turns to netmammy, an online forum for mothers, for support. Drawn into a world of new friends, she spends increasing amounts of time online and volunteers more and more information about herself.

When one of her new friends goes offline, Yvonne thinks something is wrong, but dismisses her fears. After all, does she really know this woman?

But when the body of a young woman with striking similarities to Yvonne’s missing friend is found, Yvonne realises that they’re all in terrifying danger. Can she persuade Sergeant Claire Boyle, herself about to go on maternity leave, to take her fears seriously?

First Line of Can Anybody Help Me?:

“It was the ‘Mum’ that did it.”

My Thoughts on Can Anybody Help Me?

The brief version of this review is I loved it! The social media setting was so familiar and that made it all the more realistic and frightening. The book centres around a bunch of mums that chat anonymously on a parenting forum but unbeknownst to them, an unsavoury person is lurking in there with them. A person with zero morals, the worst of intentions and who can skilfully lull the women into a false sense of security.

I have to admit; I was once an active member of forum like this. The most well known parenting forum in Ireland is ‘rollercoaster’ and when I was undergoing fertility treatment; the TTC board was my life saviour. I talked to others in the same situation daily as I felt like no one in my real life knew what I was going through. So I totally get how addictive these boards get and how you can let your guard down as you really feel like you are amongst friends. And I’ve watched in disbelief as some people gave out way too many identifying details.

So this book felt so real to me. I can understand how these friendships develop and while the majority of time, they are real, you always need to consider the alternative. There is always that danger of not knowing just who you are talking to or what their motives are. So the setting was a huge part of why I loved the book. The chatty, friendly, supportive tone of the women (and the inevitable bitchy know-it-all troll) contrasted strongly with the evil acts of the murderer.

The POV’s changed a bit during the book. Not in an annoying way as it was always clear who was talking and I found this format really kept me engaged with the book. And I also liked both main characters – Lorraine and Claire. They were intelligent, determined women and it was easy to relate to both of them.

I was kept guessing the whole way through. I thought I guessed who the murderer was and felt a bit disappointed that it was that easy to predict but that was only because I was backing the wrong horse. When the twist came, I was full of appreciation for how it slotted in. And I enjoyed spending time reflecting back on a few earlier scenes to piece it all together whilst muttering of course, of course under my breath.

I love my thrillers and I really love those with an Irish setting. So I’m delighted that I have found a new author to add to my list of must-buy authors in this genre. As a debut novel, I loved that the author nailed the twist and I’m looking forward to more from Sinead in the future.

Overall a very easy to read, entertaining book with interesting characters and a killer twist!.

 

Rating Report
Characters
five-stars
Setting
five-stars
Pace
four-half-stars
Did I feel it?
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

 

Who should read Can Anybody Help Me?

I’d recommend this to fans of psychological thriller books especially if you’ve ever participated on an internet forum as you will really get it. New mums would also empathise with the setting.  Or If you like authors like Mary Higgins Clarke, Samantha Hayes or Melissa Hill then you should also enjoy this one.

Thanks to Edelweiss and Quercus Books for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

five-stars

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5 Responses to “Green Giants–Irish Author Spotlight: Can Anybody Help Me? by Sinead Crowley”

  1. Amanda @ Go Book Yourself

    I liked it too but I felt the ending was a bit meh. Like I didn’t really feel like the killer had enough of a reason to be doing what he was doing!! (not they often do) I loved the rest of it though. If we all took a step back I think we’d realize that we reveal way too much of ourselves online!
    Amanda @ Go Book Yourself recently posted…Review Wrap Up

    • trish

      It felt like the oldest reason in the book to me so I did believe it. No harm to think about what we say online every now and again too. I was a bit shocked when it was shown just exactly how easily it was to find all the details for an ‘anon’ poster.

    • trish

      It’s a good one and a bit of chilly read if you are someone who spends a lot of time on line. *cough* LOL

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