Risky business

RiskRisk by Fleur Ferris

Taylor and Sierra are best friends, but their relationship can sometimes be a bit of a love/hate thing too. When they are both talking to Jacob Jones in an online chat room, Taylor thinks he will only be interested in Sierra. She is rapt when Jacob gets in touch with her and wants to arrange to meet up. Riley, another friend, encourages Taylor to get out there and grab this guy. Imagine Taylor’s hurt and surprise when she discovers Sierra has been contacted too, and is meeting Jacob tomorrow, straight after school.
Taylor says nothing, and sighs as Sierra runs off to be with her “dream guy”. After a prearranged phone call, to make sure everything is okay, Sierra tells Taylor she is going off on a date with Jacob. And that is the last Taylor ever hears from Sierra.
When she doesn’t come home on Saturday, Taylor’s not particularly worried. She has done this kind of thing before. Taylor’s friend, Callum, who is becoming more than a friend, is the only one who thinks something bad might have happened. Taylor shrugs it off and then 1 day turns into 2 days and the police are brought in after Taylor confesses about what is going on to Sierra’s mum.
Amid the blame, and guilt, Taylor still can’t believe that anything really bad has happened to Sierra – after all, she was all set to meet up with Jacob herself.
After a series of events that I cannot reveal because of spoilers, Taylor attempts to locate Sierra’s abductor herself and, along with Riley and Callum, finds herself in a murky world of internet scamming and lies she never knew.
I found this book to be very believable – especially the jealousy between friends, the denial that something is really wrong, and the developing relationship between Taylor and Callum. The first kiss between Callum and Taylor is exquisitely written and evoked long-forgotten memories in this reader. Fleur Ferris really captures the voice of her characters well, and the details in the story show her background in law enforcement.
Very definitely a cautionary tale, and a fantastic thriller to boot. More please.
For ages 12 and up.

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