Length: 298 pages
My rating: 2 out of 5 stars
New York defense attorney, Neil Brewster, is a bully. Always has been. He’s rich, successful, awaiting a partnership that’s just around the corner, and engaged to the woman who matches his lifestyle and status. But he’s a bully. It’s how he’s gotten to where he is. He’s prepping for a high profile, important case when he gets invited to a reunion with four of his high school friends. Neil doesn’t have time for friends and hasn’t spoken to the men in decades. But a camping reunion sounds like the perfect getaway before the upcoming case. Until, at the summer camp where the reunion takes place, his friends tell him how a boy he had relentlessly bullied as a counselor had killed himself years ago. Neil has no reason to blame himself. He doesn’t even get affected by the news. Until ghostly voices and apparitions begin to appear around him.
Neil begins to descend into a hell that seems reserved only for him. His biggest asset, his mind, begins to fracture. And as he desperately searches for some logical explanation, his own mind starts throwing new questions at him. Was he responsible for the suicide of the teenage boy? Is he being haunted by the sins of his past? And will his sanity – and life – be able to survive the weekend?
The Bottom Line:
Follow You Down makes for a mediocre read, with just enough (highly predictable but entertaining enough) thrills to keep you turning the pages while unfortunately not making a mark of any sort.
Thanks to NetGalley and Amberjack Publishing for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
There are quite a few reviews for Michael Bradley’s Follow You Down that greatly contradict each other. Some people absolutely hate Neil Brewster and are glad to see the horrifying things that happen to him. Others feel bad for what he goes through.
To be honest, though, the book (to me) didn’t seem compelling enough to actually warrant any kind of strong feeling. Yes, you do feel a slight twang of sadness for the victim of Neil’s bullying and a bit of dislike towards Neil. But those feelings don’t really run very deep. The emotion you feel throughout is more along the lines of, “Okay, this is a bad, mean dude who’s facing a few bad things.” And that’s it. It’s more just acceptance of these linear events, than an inclination to feel strongly about them or the characters they involve.
And that’s the way the entire book goes.
One positive thing about the book is that it is written quite well. The narrative is good, flow is good, and quality of writing is really good. There are also some scenes that are actually thrilling enough to send a chill up your spine.
But these positives aren’t completely flawless. While the writing was great for the most part, the dialog was poor altogether too often. It seems too scripted, breaking the flow that the rest of the book has the potential to create. As for the thrilling scenes, yes they are good, but they are also too predictable.
The story itself is nothing unique. Maybe the basic concept isn’t the most common. But the way it unfolds is too done and done. I wouldn’t say the end was surprising or unpredictable. I mean if you’ve read enough thrillers, you would have seen that end coming a mile away. Plus, there is a point in the book where a very random, sudden shift occurs. I think it is meant to be a ‘you-didn’t-see-that-coming-kind-of-shock’. But it’s just abrupt and confusing, and (when you do wrap your head around it after a few sentences) highly predictable.
All in all, Follow You Down is a book that was just okay. It isn’t something I’d actively pick up or recommend. It’s just one of those books that, had it not been written, wouldn’t have really affected anyone too much. It doesn’t really make you associate with any of the characters and you tend to just not care. I’d recommend passing up this book for any other thriller. I won’t really bother reading anything else from Michael Bradley unless it came very highly rated/recommended.
Let us know what you think of Michael Bradley’s books (and if there’s any that you recommend). Or what you thought about Follow You Down. Drop a comment below!