Monday, 22 August 2016

Saving Sophie - Sam Carrington - gripping psychological crime thriller



My Review - Saving Sophie – Sam Carrington

When I began reading this psychological crime thriller, I soon realised how cleverly written it is, constructed with so many twists and turns you just can’t put it down and the pace builds brilliantly with the author ending every single chapter on a cliff hanger, so you keep thinking, just one more, then end up galloping through it to a cunning and Eek filled conclusion.

Sophie is the 17 year old daughter of Karen and Mike, one Saturday night she goes out with her usual group of friends and is brought home by the police in the early hours, rolling drunk, incoherent and with no memory of how she even got home. Par for the course for a lot of teens.

That’s a pretty bad situation, but things rapidly deteriorate further. The next day when she tries to remember what happened and piece things together it becomes apparent that her friend Amy never returned home and Sophie may have been the last person to see her, so why can’t she remember a thing?

Sophie’s Mum Karen has agoraphobia which throws its own problems into the mix, her best friend is Amy’s Mum and when a body is discovered which turns out to be Sophie’s pal Karen is unable to leave the house to offer comfort to her friend. She never leaves the house at all, following an incident repeatedly referred rather vaguely to as her “attack” some years earlier, about which the details are pretty sketchy.

Even when you possess irrational phobias yourself it doesn’t automatically make you sympathetic to those of other people. Where I might have had empathy with Karen and sided with her, her continual shaking and quaking, nausea and retching at the thought of going outdoors and rapid breathing into a paper bag just exasperated and annoyed me and I really wanted to give her a good slap, especially when it transpires that the attack which triggered this phobia whilst unpleasant doesn’t seem particularly bad.

In fact that’s a bit of an irritation for me with this book, it’s far too sanitised for a gritty psychological thriller. All sexual content is so glossed over I’m never even sure if any has taken place. The group of 7 or 8 lively youngsters barely seem to swear and have conversations like a group of 40 something Mums at a knitting bee. Personally I’d have liked it to be a little more explicit thus creating a touch more realism. But don't let this put you off, it's a really great read.

The story however is gripping, I found it intriguing enough to overlook this niggle, there are lots of diversionary tactics and curve balls to throw you off the scent and send you happily meandering down a cul de sac into a brick wall !

Essentially, following the discovery of young Amy’s body Karen and the police continue their own efforts to unravel the truth behind what happened to Amy and Karen begins to fear that Sophie too is at risk and is determined to save Sophie. Is this another of her unfounded phobic anxieties? Sophie meanwhile tries to piece together what happened that fateful night and worries that her subconscious may hold clues she isn’t sure she really wants to reveal.

One thing is clear – there is a sadistic and twisted mind at work, and a very real threat. One teenager dead, we don’t know why or at the hands of whom and other people at risk. Tantalisingly electrifying with a good dose of “Noooo don’t do that’s” followed by “Ok so you’ve done it, now let’s see you get out of that one”

I received my copy via Netgalley. It's recently been published and you can buy a copy now.

The Blurb

A teenage girl is missing. Is your daughter involved, or is she next?

Your daughter is in danger. But can you trust her?

When Karen Finch’s seventeen-year-old daughter Sophie arrives home after a night out, drunk and accompanied by police officers, no one is smiling the morning after. But Sophie remembers nothing about how she got into such a state.

Twelve hours later, Sophie’s friend Amy has still not returned home. Then the body of a young woman is found.

Karen is sure that Sophie knows more than she is letting on. But Karen has her own demons to fight. She struggles to go beyond her own door without a panic attack.

As she becomes convinced that Sophie is not only involved but also in danger, Karen must confront her own anxieties to stop whoever killed one young girl moving on to another – Sophie.


Follow the publisher @AvonBooksUK on Twitter to join in the buzz that involves #SavingSophie 

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