If you want to destroy someone’s reputation, social media provides the perfect tool.
Emmie Hobson, children’s author and TV presenter, is riding high on a wave of popularity when an unscrupulous newspaper editor, desperate for a scoop, brings Emmie’s world crashing down.
Social media picks up the baton and a terrifying backlash of hate and abuse is unleashed. Threats are made and there are those, inflamed by the rhetoric, prepared to take the law into their own hands.
I’ve read previous books by Alex Craigie and thoroughly enjoyed them all, my latest review, that of Means to Deceive, is here: https://tinyurl.com/5y98ak9e
The Bubble Reputation is a story with a chilling message, but it’s not overtly didactic; as usual with this author’s work, this is a steady unveiling of the plot; the revelation of how evil social media can become when driven with the intent of ruining someone’s life.
The character of the protagonist, Emmie Hobson, is well rounded and it’s easy to emphasise with her. And when her optimism and confidence, the enjoyment in her life, is gradually reduced to despair and uncertainty, it’s heartbreaking. This is a book where the reader can see what is happening and wonder how far her jealous antagonist will go, and what Emma can do to stop the malice.
And with a cast of realistic and credible minor characters, some of whom are spreading the spite and others who seem incapable of stopping it, it becomes frustratingly impossible to see who will finally win in this struggle.
The dialogue carries every character’s personality, leaving no doubt who is speaking. But, sometimes, that spoken dialogue becomes unreliable, and leaves the reader to question the words when they don’t match the inner dialogue and actions of of a particular character. The narrative is often the only disclosure of the reasons behind the actions. It’s a clever ploy by the author.
And, as I’ve said in the past, Alex Craigie has a talent for writing descriptions which give a great sense of place. So it is with The Bubble Reputation. But, equally fascinating for me, is the way she has brought the world of social media to life with all the possibility of the inherently manipulative and dangerous behaviour within it. Social media becomes a character in its own right and intrinsically carries the warning that is the main theme threaded throughout the story.
Above all else, this is a tale that is well written, with strong narrative, convincing characters and a plot that progressively moves onwards, taking the reader with it towards an accomplished ending.
I enjoyed The Bubble Reputation and have no hesitation in recommending Alex Craigie’s latest offering to anyone who enjoys a slow-burning psychological drama.
About Alex Craigie
Alex Craigie is the pen name of Trish Power.
Trish was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and written in pencil in a book with imperial weights and measures printed on the back.
When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines before returning to the teaching job that she loved.
Trish has had three books published under the pen name of Alex Craigie. The first two books cross genre boundaries and feature elements of romance, thriller and suspense against a backdrop of social issues. Someone Close to Home highlights the problems affecting care homes while Acts of Convenience has issues concerning the health service at its heart. Her third book. Means to Deceive, is a psychological thriller.
Someone Close to Home has won a Chill with a Book award and a Chill with the Book of the Month award. In 2019 it was one of the top ten bestsellers in its category on Amazon.
Book lovers are welcome to contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org