Viral by Helen FitzGerald

Viral by Helen FitzGerald
Viral by Helen FitzGerald


So this just arrived from Faber—a “break-out thriller from acclaimed writer Helen FitzGerald, about mothers, daughters and a viral sex tape.”

I usually open a new book at random to get a feel for the writing but I started this one at the beginning. I planned to read the first page. I read the first thirty. Then I put the book down because I can tell right now that this is going to be a binge read. The writing cuts straight to the chase and the plot is pacey. It’s the kind of book you look forward to diving into on a Friday night or when you’re settling in for a long-haul flight.

Helen FitzGerald has made a name for herself in a genre sometimes called Domestic Noir. But this particular novel is about what happens when the lowest point of a person’s life is not only made public but actively shared with as many people as possible.

I found this book a timely arrival on my doorstep as the challenges of raising children in a digital age is a popular topic in my circles at the moment. Our kids are starting to see pictures of themselves cropping up on other people’s social media accounts, realizing that CCTV is hooked up almost everywhere they go, and just generally beginning to grasp that it might be safest to presume someone is not only watching but recording most of what they do.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how FitzGerald tackles this whole culture of exposure in the rest of her book, although I’m not confident it’s going to set my mind at ease about the shape of things to come!

NB: My copy is a proof, courtesy of Faber, but Viral will be available for purchase early 2016!