Saving Sophie is Sam Carrington's debut psychological thriller, and has been attracting a fair bit of chatter on social media, in addition to some glowing reviews. This prompted me to purchase a copy and pop along to her first ever book signing at Waterstones in Newton Abbot!
Published by: Avon (15 December 2016)
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.
The events that occur after teenager Sophie arrives home are narrated in turn from the perspectives of Karen Finch, Sophie's mum; Detective Inspector Wade, lead investigator; and Sophie herself. This means there is a wonderfully rich blend of information and opinion.
From the time that Sophie was escorted home by the police officers, it was pretty clear to me that something petty serious had happened, and I was hooked. I couldn't put the book down as I was desperate to find out what had happened that night. With each chapter, more is revealed about the narrator too. The story takes shape as Sam Carrington's captivating writing style reveals secrets, as twists and turns are deftly woven in and the reader is pulled in too.
Sophie has a pretty dysfunctional relationship with her mother, but it's hardly surprising as Karen has so many issues herself. Although I initially felt empathy for Karen, after a while I became a little annoyed with her; her daughter is very likely in danger and she seems more concerned about other things! Karen's husband, Mike, doesn't score highly on the parenting scale either. In a book, I do enjoy the characters that irritate me, that really get under my skin. They are much better that the too-nice characters that are just too eager to please. Give me a bad guy, as in genuinely bad, any day!
I really like the way the story builds with each chapter, adding in more twists, until nobody knows who to trust. Then, Sam Carrington pulls it out of the bag - an unforseen final twist! I gave an audible gasp! It would've been much louder and followed by 'Nooooooooooooo!' but it was 4a.m. and I didn't want to wake:
1 - the man that was snoring beside me.
2 - the dog that was asleep on my feet, snoring contentedly.
I'm happy to report that Sam Carrington is busy with her second novel, which I'll definitely be purchasing when it arrives in all good book stores.