You’re 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 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.
There has been a lot of hype around this book and, admittedly, I did wonder if Saving Sophie would live up to it. I’m pleased to say I was not disappointed and it certainly deserves the attention it has been getting.
Perfectly plotted from the outset, I was immediately drawn in by the prologue, and then Sophie’s behaviour in the first chapter, for some reason, really freaked me out and gave me the creeps! I knew then that, potentially, this was going to be a book I would struggle to put down, and it certainly continued to deliver on that front. With chapters that end at exactly the right moment and snippets of information that are drip fed, Sam effectively keeps you hanging and you have to prise yourself away from it.
I love good characterisation in a book and Saving Sophie is brilliant in this respect. Told mainly by Sophie and her mother, Karen, with some chapters told from the perspective of the Detective, Lindsay Wade, you get to know Sophie and Karen inside out. Karen drove me a little nuts and at times I wanted to shake her. Sophie is the typical teenager, and I understood her fears and where she is coming from, although, as you often do with teenagers, I wanted to shake her at times too! This is one of those books that had me saying “no, no, no” at regular intervals. Sam has very cleverly used certain traits within her characters to add to the sense of rising dread within the reader. The regular focus by Karen on her breathing adds to the tension and you feel the panic with her.
It is very much told via the experiences of Karen and Sophie, the parts involving Detective Lindsay Wade are minimal. I really like that the focus is on the people directly involved, rather than on the police trying to solve the case. It brings you into that family’s life and all that they are going through. Here you discover that not everything is as it seems and a series of secrets and lies has taken it’s toll on the family unit. This added further depth to the story.
I really didn’t know which characters I could trust in this book and at one point was uncertain about every single one of them.
Sam keeps on cranking up the creepiness as the book progresses. While reading, I went through every possible scenario in my head trying to work out what had happened and how it would end. It was incredibly difficult to predict where the story was going, which, lets face it, is what you want in a thriller, and all my guesses were wrong. I LOVED the ending!
This is a perfectly paced, nail biting thriller and a very accomplished debut novel by Sam. Highly recommended, I also recommended locking the door and turning off your phone while reading Saving Sophie as you won’t want anything to drag you away from it!
Thank you to Sam Carrington, Avon Books UK (Harpercollins) and Netgalley for the advance copy.
Published on eBook 12 August 2016 by Avon Books UK (Harpercollins).