Viral by Helen Fitzgerald
Su is not the girl you see drunk in the club, she’s not the girl with a bad reputation but she is the girl with the good grades, the good diet and who likes to keep fit. Su is the last person you’d expect to see on the internet giving oral sex to a group of men in Magaluf.
“So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety-six people have seen me online. They include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth-year Biology teacher and my boyfriend James.”
When Su discovers her new found fame she packs her bags and hides, leaving her sister, Leah, to return home to their devastated parents. But when Leah gets home, her Mother has no time for her pitiful apologies. As a court judge, their mother doesn’t see a promiscuous girl in the video, she sees her daughter being sexually assaulted while numerous people, including her own sister, look on and do nothing. The law doesn’t agree but as Su’s future is left in tatters her mother is set on finding the man behind the camera.
Viral is a psychological thriller that not only manages to be a gripping page-turner but also raises questions over consent in modern society. Su never denies her actions were her own and never refers to herself as being assaulted but her mother clearly sees it this way. It also questions the law in this blurry area, Su was aware of the camera and over eighteen but did the person behind the camera really have the right to share it? These ideas are woven into the tale of an adopted daughter in need of acceptance and a mother with years of anger to vent.
I adored Viral, compelling, fast-paced, intelligent and absorbing it’s everything you could possibly want in a thriller. It may only be February but I can easily see this as one of the best psychological thrillers of 2016.
Buy your copy of Viral by Helen Fitzgerald