I am delighted to share my review today for The App by Stuart James. This is a brilliant psychological thriller and one that really made me think about the internet and the way we use apps on our phones.
My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloo Books Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.
Once you’re in, they’ll never let you leave.
Whatever happens, don’t download The App.
* It will come in the form of a link. Maybe in your DM’s on a social media account, the junk folder of your emails or a WhatsApp message from a friend.
- You’ll be enticed by the chance of winning one hundred thousand pounds on offer every Friday, wired straight into the winner’s bank account.
- It’s not a joke.
- This part is genuine.
- Someone can and will win the money.
- But at what cost?
Marty Benson gets the link sent to him by a friend. So what is the harm in looking?
He clicks it, downloads the app and enters a few basic details.
A message prompts him to wait while he’s loaded onto the system.
An hour later, another message.
• Do not delete the app.
• Do not tell anyone outside of your family about the app.
• Send the link to one person who is close to you.
- Do not throw your phone away.
- Always narrate while streaming.
• If you break any of the rules, we’ll kill a member of your family. Then we’ll kill you.
Marty is sent a picture of his wife, who is shopping with her mother in Oxford Street.
As Marty struggles to breathe, he clicks the links and watches the most recent streams, realising what happens within the
Every Friday morning, a person is randomly picked from social media.
They now have a bounty on their head—a death warrant. But they don’t know it.
Their profile appears on the app’s main page; all their details are displayed.
Every app member must play the game at least once a month or face the consequences.
Kill the person randomly selected from social media.
Win one hundred thousand pounds.
As Marty watches the terror unfold and everyone streaming the hunt within the app, he realises he has to do something.
But how do you stop a murder, when everyone could be the killer?
So most of us own a mobile, and most of us download apps. So what if you were sent a download to an app from a trusted friend that could potentially bag you a nice sum of money? Sounds good, and yes we all know that you “don’t get ‘owt for nowt” but all that is required is your name. Great, simple, but then after that, you get a message to say you are not allowed to delete the app, talk about the app or go to the police about the app otherwise a family member will be killed. As proof that they are not joking a photo of one of your family members is sent to you, it is recent, and when you look through the links you realise that this is not a joke. You will be expected to kill someone chosen randomly once a month or a member of your family dies.
I love the psychological taunt of this, the synopsis is brilliant at setting the sense of suspense, tension and dread as the realisation sets in for what is going to happen in this book. A simple app that will make you turn to murder. It sounds unbelievable but when the owner of the app seems to know everything about you and your family then things become serious. We are all aware of people being coaxed into doing things via social media, from the harmless little challenges to the awful and heartbreaking suicides. So, when a story like this comes up I always think to myself, this would never happen in real life. But would it? This is where a story like this works so well and the author has done an amazing job of creating an addictive and dangerous story that is much more than a simple game of cat and mouse.
This is a fabulous story and one that got under my skin, it does have a weird effect as you read it, it makes you think about what you use your phone for, how intrusive social media can be and how easy it is for hackers to get into accounts and manipulate data for their own ends.
A tense and action-filled thriller that starts off at a nice pace but then suddenly screams into a super fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat race against time to save the people that the main characters of the story care about the most. This really had me hooked to the point where I jumped feet and scared the poor dogs to bits when my own phone rang!!!
If you like a story with thrills, action, suspense, mystery and a few bodies, then this is going to be one for you. I adored it and would definitely recommend it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.
There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.
I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns. My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.
This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.
I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.
I’m 49, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing. I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.
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