A cautionary tale for a world in which social media has shattered the boundaries of intimacy. The first time that Mélanie met Clara, she was stunned by Clara's sense of authority, and for her part, Clara was struck by Mélanie's pink, glittery nails, which shimmered in the dark. "She looks like a child," thought the first. "She looks like a doll," pondered the second. These two women, both of the same generation and exposed to the same forms of media throughout their lives, could not be more different in adulthood. Mélanie is a social media superstar, broadcasting her children's daily lives on a family YouTube channel. Clara is a young police officer, assigned to the case after Mélanie's daughter Kimmy is abducted.
The novel’s pace and sense of journalistic realism are enhanced by de Vigan’s spare, direct prose, elegantly translated by Alison Anderson, and the transcripts of police interviews and other documents interspersed throughout the narrative ... Yet what really elevates this page-turner are its political urgency and psychological depth. De Vigan digs into both protagonists’ histories, unpacking the origins of their opposing attitudes toward social media ... If de Vigan’s chilling tale is as prescient as it seems, so-called kidfluencers are just one of the psychological ticking time bombs planted by the dissolution of privacy in our culture of unfiltered digital exposure.