Book Review: Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington

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Title - Saving Sophie
Author - Sam Carrington
Publication Date - August 12th 2016
Publisher - Avon
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - 300

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 front 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.
Review
In case you missed it, yesterday saw the publication of Sam Carrington's much-talked-about debut, Saving Sophie. Avon did an exceptional job of sharing the bookish excitement surrounding this release and I, for one, became completely caught up in the rush, as rave reviews were shared and the book was shouted about throughout the day. It was brilliant, and I couldn't wait to begin reading the book myself. I'd had my eye on Saving Sophie since the cover was revealed and the book itself sounded right up my street. The blurb had me wondering all sorts of things and I couldn't wait to see what the author had in store for me.

Carrington begins her debut in the most intriguing of ways, ensuring the reader's attention is caught well and truly. The reader is introduced to Karen, mother of seventeen-year-old Sophie, and sufferer of severe agoraphobia. Even attempting to leave their home, despite counselling and numerous attempts in the past, results in Karen needing to breathe into a paper bag until the panic attack subsides. On the night in question, when this story begins, Sophie is returned home, accompanied by the police, who've found her wandering along the street, alone and drunk, making no sense at all. What began as a night out with her friends quickly spirals into something much more sinister than everyone first believes. In fact, there's a whole lot more to that evening that any of them could even begin to imagine...

The pacing of Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington was spot-on for this book. It was fast, sharp and kept me hooked right the way through. I was reading it past midnight on two occasions, revelling in the twists and turns the author delivered within the plot. Each time I thought I had things figured out in my mind, it turned out I was wrong which only made it all the more exciting. As the plot continued to thicken, introducing more characters and suspects, I found myself repeatedly wondering who was behind the devastating events that took place within the story. A guessing game like no other. It was full of suspense, and written in such a way that made me feel as if I was part of the investigation, keeping an eye on every character, just to see if they'd do or say anything suspicious.

I loved the characters in Carrington's Saving Sophie. Karen was such an interesting woman with a past I had no idea was hiding beneath the surface. The author hints towards something having happened in Karen's history numerous times and I was interested to see what exactly that was, because clearly it had had lasting effects on her in the present day. I was eager to learn more of the family history, and found myself watching the family dynamic keenly, questioning whether there was something more there. Carrington's writing style was so easy to follow and enjoy, so much so that I finished this book quicker than I have with any others in a while. The tension was high and my reading speed only increased the closer I got to the end, desperate to see how it would all play out.

A brilliant debut from Sam Carrington here, folks. Full of suspense and emotion, revenge and obsession, and a race against time to catch an unknown killer, it was packed with guessing and guessing again. With suspects aplenty and a truly riveting history behind the characters, I couldn't put this one down.

Becca's Books is awarding Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington with four of my bookish cupcakes. I'll be waiting eagerly for Carrington's next release! I can't wait to see what she has in store for her readers next.

About the author
I am a writer from Devon, but in a previous life I was a nurse in the NHS. After working hard to gain my Psychology degree (whilst attempting to bring up three children and work full-time) I left to work as an Offending Behaviour Programme Facilitator in a male prison. 

It is my experiences within this field and my interaction with prisoners which inspired my psychological suspense/crime fiction. 

Having come to a crossroads in my life, I decided to be brave and take a road which was risky, yet more desirable. With lots of support and back-up, I left work and concentrated on my writing. I began with short stories. Some of those stories, aimed for the womag market, have been published in women’s magazines, some in anthologies and some I self published in two collections.

But, novels were always what I really wanted to write. And so, with the advice 'write what you know', firmly in my mind - I began my journey writing psychological suspense novels based around crime. I finished my 'first' novel during 2014 and then immediately began the second. It is this novel that will actually be my first!

I titled it Portrayal, and when it was in its early stages I entered it into a competition - the 2015 CWA (Crime Writers' Association) Debut Dagger Award. 

I was shocked and extremely happy when it was longlisted (one of eleven). 

It's this novel, now with the title, SAVING SOPHIE which helped me gain my agent.

You can find Sam Carrington on Facebook | Twitter | samcarrington.blogspot.co.uk

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