Sara Shepard’s novel series, Pretty Little Liars, inspired one of ABC Family’s most popular series of all time. Shepard’s spin-off book series, The Perfectionists, is currently in development as a new Freeform series, but today we are focusing on the second installment of her Amateurs series, Follow Me. It pits a demented criminal mastermind against college-aged friends who have to find a way to beat him at his own twisted game.
The excitement began last fall when The Amateurs introduced us to Aerin, Seneca, Maddox, and Madison. These four young adults had their world turned upside down when both Aerin and Seneca had relatives murdered. What did they have in common? Both victims were pretty, blonde, and flirtatious. The twisty, shocking ending revealed the murderer behind the crimes, someone close to the sleuthing friends who got away and left no trace for the authorities to follow.
Follow Me begins with the abduction of a pretty, blonde, and flirtatious Instagram star in a touristy beach town in New Jersey. When the amateurs receive a message from this criminal mastermind, they start a race against time to find the killer before he can strike again. But with a new identity and altered physical appearance, it will be much harder than they think. To the killer, this is all just a game and the amateurs are his pawns.
It’s clear that Shepard spent a lot of time analyzing the murderer’s steps. In all of his actions, he makes sure that someone else is conveniently framed or setup to prevent the cops from looking further than what they find on the surface. In doing so, he ensures that only the amateurs, his favorite subjects, are the only ones on his trail. He delights in playing this game of chase, leaving them hard to solve clues to try and prove that he’s smarter than them.
While I missed out on the first novel, I found that Shepard provides enough of the backstory when needed to fill in the gaps for readers just starting on book two. Like the first book, this one has a shocking and unexpected ending. All I can say is this won’t be the last Amateurs novel and since this is published by Freeform Press, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a TV series or a series of original films for the network. But whether it makes it to the screen or not, fans of Pretty Little Liars will love Shepard’s latest masterpiece.
Follow Me – An Amateurs Novel is a fun, quick read aimed at ages 14 and up. It very much reminded me of I Know What You Did Last Summer combined with Scooby-Doo in a modern setting without a talking dog. I’m excited to see where the series heads next and hope we don’t have to wait too long until the third book. The suspense is killing me.