A filter can hide all manner of secrets…
When budding true crime blogger Maggie Shaw is invited to the Influencer of the Year awards, it feels like everything is finally falling into place. Held on a glamorous yacht, the awards are the perfect opportunity for Maggie to network and achieve her dream of turning her channel into a full-time job. But by the end of the night, the party is in ruins and there’s one question on everybody’s lips: who killed Stella Knight?
Stella was beautiful, famous, and hiding a host of secrets behind the perfect facade. During her short career, Stella had made a number of enemies in the industry, and all of them were at the awards. Maggie is trapped on a boat with a killer and must work out who is telling the truth, and who is faking it before they strike again…
Hi and welcome to my review of The Influencers!
This time last year I talked about S.V. Leonard’s debut, The Islanders, which I LOVED, so I was thrilled when I discovered her second book was available on NetGalley, and even more so when I was approved to read it. It pains me to say that I didn’t love it quite as much as its predecessor.
It took me a while to be taken in by The Influencers, it didn’t grab me right away. Now, I did have a lot on my mind at the time of my reading it so I could blame my frame of mind, and to some extent, I do. But the fact also is that it took a while to take off, and I didn’t think it wasn’t atmospheric enough to pull off the slowburner thing. Even more importantly, I didn’t click with the main character, Maggie, the narrator of the story.
So what happens is that we’re at this influencer award ceremony on a yacht when the Queen Bee dies. Taken at face value, it would seem that she got too drunk or overdosed on drugs, but one of her influencer friends immediately screams MURDER. This is right up Maggie’s street, she’s a true crime blogger after all, so she immediately starts interviewing people. Even when back on dry land, she doesn’t let it go and decides to continue her investigations.
Knowing what I know now, it does make sense why she’s so meddling and tenacious. The problem is, I didn’t understand her at the time, and couldn’t really stand her either.
In the second half, the action and suspense are ramped up and The Influencers became so addictive, I literally couldn’t put it down. I had planned on finishing it the next day, but I couldn’t do it, I had to know what was what and how it might all pan out.
Unfortunately, after all that tension the ending fell a little flat. Without going into detail, I don’t want to spoil things but I do need to explain my niggles. The author was obviously going for a shocking twist, and it was, but I personally didn’t think it made a whole lot of sense. For me, shocking twists only work if you can go back and with hindsight realise that silly little details were actually clues. I went back to check a few things I remembered off the top of my head, and I really don’t think it all adds up.
I’m sorry to say The Influencers missed the mark for me. While I thoroughly enjoyed part of this book, other parts just didn’t work for me. Don’t let that stop you from checking out this book, most other reviewers seem to be wildly enthusiastic about both the story and the twist.
Thanks to Canelo and NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own.