When Kate’s boyfriend goes missing, the only clue left behind is his smartphone.
Handsome, charming Scott Palmer seems to have it all, and Kate Collins can’t believe that, after some struggles in her personal life, she’s finally found true love. Then Scott asks her to move in with him! When she shows up to find Scott’s apartment completely empty, though, and Scott nowhere to be found, her worry and anger war with a sense of inevitability. Strangely, the only thing Scott seems to have left behind is his smartphone, and Kate, who has struggled with phone addiction in the past, tries to avoid the temptation to snoop, but as it’s the only possible clue to Scott’s disappearance, she manages to hack her way in. She finds evidence that Scott is currently posting to various social media sites—but something still seems awry. Soon, Kate begins seeing strange lights in the apartment and deep gouges on the outside of the door. As she draws closer to discovering Scott’s fate, she realizes that she may also be in danger—and that some things we think we control may, in fact, be controlling us. One compelling argument for first-person narrative is that it allows the reader to fully experience an individual character’s voice, but in Arnopp’s (The Last Days of Jack Sparks, 2016) novel, this turns out to be a detriment. Kate is a whiny, selfish slave to technology, which may make her the worst version of many of us, but the way she assumes Scott has left her rather than worrying that something dire has happened to him just makes no sense. It takes too long for the reveal, a problem exacerbated by the way the book constantly switches back and forth from the past to the present in very short chapters.
The idea offers sharp commentary on our social media–obsessed society—but the execution lacks precision.