Today I am absolutely thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for Saving Sophie to celebrate the release on 15th December of the paperback. Thank you to Kaisha Holloway of The Writing Garnet for organising and inviting me to be involved.
About this book…
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.
Karen sat with her knees up and her back against the soft velvet-covered headboard, tapping the screen of her phone.
‘What are you doing?’ Mike asked, walking around to his side of the bed.
‘For God’s sake, Karen, it’s midnight. Leave it.’ He sat on the edge of the bed, peeling off his trousers. Small change from his pockets scattered on the wooden floor, clinking and rolling everywhere. ‘Darn it!’
‘I need to know if Amy’s home safe.’ Karen spoke the words quietly, thinking if she said them softly, he’d understand her need for reassurance.
‘Sophie’s so pissed up she wouldn’t have a clue who she’d been out with. Anyway, she obviously got separated from them and now they’ll be in the club until three. Do not worry Liz about it. Just go to sleep.’ He was tired. Irritable. Karen knew he hated it when she couldn’t let things go.
‘Yeah, right, like sleep is possible now. I think it’s more than just alcohol.’
‘Relax.’ He bounced up and down, settling himself and yanked the duvet up over his shoulder. He turned away from her.
‘Mike,’ she pleaded, adamant that the conversation should continue despite his warning tone. She had things playing on her mind: disturbing things. ‘Don’t you think she looked like she’d taken drugs? Or that someone had drugged her? The way she was talking . . .’
‘Are you for real?’ Mike flung the duvet back off, exposing his muscled torso, and sat up, eyes glaring. ‘Don’t you think the police would’ve been a bit more concerned if they suspected something untoward had happened? Just because you used to work with a bunch of screwed-up criminals, it doesn’t mean every time Sophie goes out she’s going to be targeted by would-be rapists.’
Karen smarted. ‘You were the one who shouted at Sophie, said anything could’ve happened – weren’t they your words?’
He rubbed his palms aggressively up and down his face, groaning.
‘I meant she could have been knocked over, ended up in a ditch somewhere, and yes, it did cross my mind someone could have taken advantage of her. But that clearly didn’t happen. What you’re saying is that someone purposely drugged her. I’ve no idea what goes through your head. Now please let me sleep, we’ll talk to her in the morning. It’ll all be some pathetic teenage drama, some stupid fall-out with Amy, that’s all.’ He returned to his position, facing the window with his back towards her.
A tear rolled down Karen’s cheek and hit the duvet cover. She stared at the mascara-stained drop for a moment, then ran her fingertip over it, smudging it. How could he be so insensitive? His irritation had pushed aside all he knew about her, her own traumatic experience: the attack, two years ago almost to the day. Had he forgotten why she was this way? She looked down absently. The cover would need washing now. She lifted her head, staring for a while at the back of her husband of twenty-three years. Then she continued the text.
Hi Liz, sorry to text this late, was wondering if you’ve heard from Amy? Sophie has been brought back by the police in a right state – I don’t know why she wasn’t with the others! I hope the rest of the girls have fared better. Text me when you get this please.
She put the phone on vibrate and placed it under her pillow. Snatching her sertraline tablets from the bedside table, she popped two in her mouth and swallowed without water, then went to check on Sophie.
I love discovering new authors especially when I get that lovely tingly feeling reading the first few pages of a book and I think to myself “this one is going to be a good one!” There has been a bit of a buzz about Saving Sophie on the social media platforms recently and sometimes that can be a bit of a let down when you actually come to read the book itself but in this case, not only did I really enjoy it, I am now desperate to read her next book based on the blurb at the back of Saving Sophie!
I could tell from the start that Sam Carrington MUST have some experience of teenage girls as this first chapter is every mother’s worst nightmare. When Sophie is brought home by the police after having been found wandering the town the worse for wear, it’s obvious that something is very wrong. She seems more than drunk, she isn’t making sense and where is her friend? The complex mother/teenage daughter relationship is brilliantly brought to life here (I should know! Enough said!) and it raises the tension levels right from the start especially as there is also a discrepancy in the parenting styles between Karen and her husband Mike.
Told from three viewpoints (Karen, Sophie and DI Lindsay Wade) this psychological suspense really does contain some unexpected surprises. The second half of the book racked up the tension for me personally and I found it impossible to put down until I had finished. It’s creepy feel really did make my skin crawl at times especially reading the emails that were occasionally interspersed that also seemed to also have something to do with Sophie and the night her friend disappears. This book is very much of our time especially with its use of social media and technology and how it seems to affect the lives of teenagers nowadays.
There is so much that could be discussed about this book making it ideal for a book club debate. Karen’s agoraphobia for instance and how it’s affecting her relationships not only with her own family but with her friends too. It certainly made for uncomfortable reading when she was forced to put Sophies safety above her own debilitating condition.
Although we are given an in-depth look into the thoughts and consequent actions of Karen and Sophie through their alternating chapters, I didn’t feel I got to know DI Wade as well and would loved to have had more of an insight into what made her tick and act the way she did. Maybe I am just too used to the Detective being the one with “the story” though as she did make an interesting contrast to the complexity of Karen and Sophie. Hopefully though, when we meet her again this will be resolved as I think there is a fascinating character there waiting to be revealed.
Saving Sophie did what many books struggle to do nowadays…it surprised me! I really liked Sam Carringtons writing style and I will definitely be looking out for her next book.