Book Review: Saving Sophie, by Sam Carrington #SaveHer

Publication date:  12th August 2016

Publisher: Avon / Harper Collins

Saving Sophie - My Review

Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington - CoverAn agoraphobic mother, a rebellious teenager and a disinterested park ranger husband must brace themselves to play emotional Jenga in this exhilarating and intense thriller, as the nest of the Finch family is on the verge of crashing to the ground.

If your seventeen year old daughter staggered in one night, incoherent and in a complete and utter state, you’d certainly be angry and most definitely disturbed by her behaviour. But what if she was accompanied by a police escort? Those concerns would grow into blind panic as anything could have happened to her. Anything.

A drunken night out can be memorable for all the wrong reasons, sparking repercussions beyond anyone’s control. But chastising their daughter will pale into insignificance when they learn one of her friends did not return home. The situation looks decidedly grimmer as knowledge surfaces that a young girl’s body was discovered not far from where Sophie was found wandering around, semi-comatose.

And so the questions begin: was the inebriated teen simply in the wrong place, is she a potential witness or is something more sinister afoot? The frustration is agonising as Sophie can’t provide the answers demanded by her parents’ interrogation. She has no recollection of the evening’s proceedings and only knows that it will turn out to be the worst night out of her life. The missing pieces of a cruel riddle are spoon fed over the forthcoming days – a vague recollection, a snippet of conversation, and a nightmare that has only just begun.

How did another other girl end up dead and why does Sophie feel uncharacteristically nervous when she ventures out of the house? Despite her fears she has no intention of becoming her mother who hasn’t left the house for over two years, much to the disgust of her husband and select friends, who are clearly getting a little brassed off with her ‘lack of improvement’.

The alternating chapters of Sophie, Karen (Sophie’s mum), and DI Lyndsey Wade build a picture of a family that is unravelling. Karen’s debilitating condition lends itself perfectly to an electrifying suspense throughout – the world beyond the front door might be outside her reach but a door can’t shut out the entire world, not even what’s happening to her daughter. Similarly, Sophie is unable to seek her mother’s help and becomes increasingly isolated by a fear and guilt so overwhelming that it threatens to consume her too.

This is not your typical police procedural. Any ‘official’ lines of enquiry are provided in the background while the main activity revolves around the escalating domestic situation of the family and their regular haunts. Karen must find the courage to help those close to her and this certainly leads to a dramatic crescendo, but not in the way I was expecting! There’s an odd little clutch of suspects too, all irritatingly unhelpful and utterly selfish.

Saving Sophie is doused with so much drama that it would take just one spark to raze this family to the ground. As someone has unwittingly struck the match their decision may come back to haunt them all, and it’s pretty tense stuff.

Rating:  4/5

(I received a digital copy of this title via NetGalley by invitation of the publishers and Helena Sheffield, with my thanks.)

Saving Sophie - Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

‘I DEVOURED THIS STORY IN ONE SITTING’ Louise Jensen, author of The Sister

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.

A taut psychological thriller, perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and I Let You Go.


Saving Sophie - Author Profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Sam Carrington lives in Devon with her husband and three children. She worked for the NHS for 15 years, during which time she qualified as a nurse. Following the completion of a Psychology degree she went to work 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. SAVING SOPHIE is her debut psychological thriller novel.



6 thoughts on “Book Review: Saving Sophie, by Sam Carrington #SaveHer

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