‘A teenage girl is missing. Is your daughter involved, or is she next?’
Saving Sophie is the debut novel from Sam Carrington.
Just recently published in both ebook and paperback format by Avon books, I was delighted to be asked to hop on the tour bus by Kaisha Holloway aka The Writing Garnet
Please continue reading for my thoughts on Saving Sophie…
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’
Sophie Finch is a young girl who loves to party with her friends at the weekend. One Saturday evening Sophie waves goodnight to her parents Karen and Mike, as she heads out on the town with a gang of buddies. A knock on the door later that evening raises concern with Karen and Mike when they open the door to two policeman and a disheveled and drunk Sophie.
Initially her parents are angry with Sophie, but they soon realise all is not as it seems. Sophie’s glazed eyes on returning home combined with the fact she has no memory of what happened raises concern. This concern moves up a notch to fear when the body of a young woman is found the following day close to the site where Sophie was picked up by the police.
Meanwhile Karen is dealing with her own issues. Due to a past incident, Karen suffers from agoraphobia and no longer leaves the confines of the family home. This has put huge pressure on her relationship with her husband and really has fractured the family as a working unit.
Karen and Sophie appear to have quite a very unusual relationship. It is almost like that of two friends as opposed to mother & daughter. Over the years of Karen’s prison-like existence, her reliance on Sophie is evident and they appear to confide in each other quite a lot.
Mike is a tough character to fathom, as he is portrayed as quite an angry man. Lacking in patience with Karen, he appears like a man on the edge, not really prepared to invite any more trouble into his life. He shies away from any prospective danger, almost hiding away from reality. Mike has had enough!! I’m probably in the minority here but I had a lot of sympathy for Mike.
Karen and Sophie dangerously hide facts from him, putting their lives and of others around them at risk. In reading a novel, all characters will never appeal to a reader. In my case I could empathise with Karen’s condition but her actions were not those of a sane person, a stable mother. There were many scenes in the book where I found myself shouting at her ‘What are you doing?’ Meanwhile, Sophie is an only child with the strong personality of a teenager used to getting her own way. Sometimes it felt when reading the novel that Sophie was the adult, with neither Karen nor Mike capable of stepping up to the job of parents.
Saving Sophie throws the ‘normal’ in the family unit out the window.
The Finches have a very obscure relationship and their behaviour, I found at times, rather bizarre. I always consider it interesting to see how readers react to the personalities of a book because it is these thoughts and feelings that encourage us to read more.
Sam Carrington is a writer to watch. Her experience in psychology and working in the prison services has given her a fascinating insight into the unfathomable workings of the criminal mind. Already working on her second novel it will be very interesting to see from what angle she approaches her next writings.
Can Sophie be trusted?
What does Sophie really remember?
How far will a mother go to find out the truth?
Well….you will just have to pick up a copy yourself to find out…
Purchase Link : Saving Sophie
Meet Sam Carrington:
Sam Carrington lives in Devon with her husband and three children.
She worked for the NHS for fifteen years, during which time she qualified as a nurse. Following the completion of a Psychology degree she worked for the prison service as an Offending Behaviour Programme Facilitator. Her experiences within this field inspired her writing. She left the service to spend time with her family and to follow her dream of being a novelist.
Before beginning her first novel, Sam wrote a number of short stories, several of which were published in popular women’s magazines. Other short stories were included in two charity anthologies. Sam moved quickly on to novel writing and completed her first project within six months.
Although this novel attracted attention from agents, it was her next that opened up opportunities. She entered this novel, with the working title Portrayal, into the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award in 2015 and was delighted when it was longlisted. Being placed in such a prestigious competition was instrumental in her success securing a literary agent.
When completed, this novel became SAVING SOPHIE, a psychological thriller which was published by Maze, HaprerCollins as an ebook in August. The paperback and audio editions were published on 15th December 2016.