The 100 Society are a group of students who are following in the footsteps of previous groups since the 1960s and whose purpose is to graffiti tag 100 sites around the city. All of them have personal reasons for their involvement but for Grace, the central character, it is because she wants to feel some achievement because of the lack of attention she gets from her father (who works overseas). The story becomes dark as the protagonists find themselves being stalked by a shadowy character and eventually things become deadly.
This is a first novel for the author and it is fair to say that we hope it will not be her last. She has written a story that even I wanted to finish and I am not a great fan of ‘horror’ stories. She ramps up the tension slowly but surely and there is a constant sense that we are waiting for the next shock. I particularly liked the way we were thrown so many red herrings about who the psychopath was. There was a constant feeling that it must be ‘x’ or ‘y’ only to discover that they become victims and we are back to square one. Whilst the main threats come directly from the stalker of the young people, the author shows them using some very modern ways of infiltrating the lives of their victims. The characters find that their website has been hacked and images changed, threats and messages arrive by text and email and there is the constant feeling of being watched and followed.
The setting is in the UK, so that there is a sense of understanding about the situation and an empathy with the characters that can often be missing when the setting is elsewhere. The language is up to date, but not so much that it will date too rapidly (a constant issue these days) and the technology is there, but not overplayed. A really excellent first novel.