“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.”
I am absolutely delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Saving Sophie blog tour. You may be feeling a strange sense of deja vu about now, but don’t worry, this is Saving Sophie’s second time on the blog tour circuit and today we celebrate the release of this fabulous book in paperback format! I was thrilled to be asked to join this tour by Kaisha at The Writing Garnet as I have been rather desperate to read Saving Sophie for some time now.
First up today I have treat for you; an extract from the book for you to read and enjoy. So without further ado…
Extract from SAVING SOPHIE
The picture was of her. Her, wearing the clothes she’d worn last night. And it was no selfie. Sophie threw the phone on her bed, as if it had sent an electric shock through her fingertips. She stared at it, then shook her head a few times, screwing up her eyes, trying to remember. But there was nothing. Who had taken this, and where? What were they intending to do with it, and what ones were to follow?
Standing, feet planted, paralysed in the centre of her messy room, Sophie clenched and unclenched her fists, then clicked her knuckles: pulling down one finger at a time with the thumb of each hand until they cracked.
What should she do? Forcing herself to move forwards, she reached to pick up the phone. Her hands trembled. The picture was still visible. She had to face this, figure it out. Zooming in, she navigated the background in an attempt to see if anything was familiar. It seemed she was in a chair of some sort, legs splayed, slouched back. She guessed from the angle of her body that her head was thrown back; her hair was out of sight. Sophie turned the phone sideways to see it from a different perspective. Apart from the black dress and the blurry dark image on the ankle, which she’d assumed to be her snake tattoo, this photo could be of anyone.
A warm sensation flushed through her. Perhaps it wasn’t her. Any amount of girls had tattoos these days, you couldn’t even see if it was a snake or not. And black dresses weren’t exactly rare. This was someone’s idea of a sick joke. Probably one of the boys taking the piss; could’ve even been Photoshopped. With new-found optimism that it was a prank, Sophie sat down on her rumpled bed and searched the original email for clues as to which of her so-called friends she could thank for frightening her half to death.
It didn’t take long to realise she couldn’t identify the sender. The email address wasn’t a standard one. It looked ridiculously made up, certainly not one she recognised. It’d soon become obvious which of the boys had done it, though, they were incapable of keeping their mouths shut; they must be itching to send a text, Facebook message or tweet so everyone knew about their clever stunt. Oh, how funny they thought they were. Immature arseholes. It wasn’t funny at all, given the fact that Amy still hadn’t rocked up. It was getting worrying now; five thirty and still no sign. Even Amy would’ve slept off a hangover by now.
Sophie reluctantly accessed her Facebook page. Streams of status updates, but none from Amy; none from her friends saying ‘Amy’s back’. For Christ’s sake, Amy, where the hell are you? Sophie got up, her legs leaden with fatigue, and ventured slowly downstairs. Perhaps her mother knew something by now.
‘Have you heard?’ Her mum’s head snapped up the second she entered the room. Sophie’s mouth dried in an instant.
‘No, what?’ Her voice cracked. Something bad has happened. ‘I meant, have you heard anything from Amy yet?’
‘Crikey, Mum.’ Sophie’s hand pressed into her chest as she let out a sharp hiss of air. ‘I thought you meant . . .’
‘Oh, no. Sorry. I spoke to Rachel just now, and she said Erin had been staying at her dad’s a lot at weekends – you didn’t tell me about Erin’s dad moving in with that woman by the way – how come?’
‘Mum. Get to the point.’ Sophie transferred her weight on to one leg and crossed her arms.
‘Right, well, I’m assuming they’re probably together – Erin and Amy – because Rachel said she hadn’t heard from Erin.’
‘Actually, that does make sense. Dan said everyone got to the club except Erin and Amy. Good. That will be it then.’ But saying the words didn’t reassure her. There seemed no logical reason why Amy would bother to walk to Erin’s dad’s when her own house was nearer to town. She wasn’t even convinced they would go home together. They weren’t the best of friends – Amy, being older, had come on to the scene later, after school, and had kind of replaced Erin; becoming Sophie’s new best friend. That had never sat well with Erin. But for now, it was a theory which Sophie was willing to believe.
‘That’s what I’m hoping, Sophie, yes. Although it doesn’t let you off the hook.’
No. She guessed as much. Her mother would be at her every day now, trying to get to the bottom of why she had no memory of the night, why she had ended up wandering the streets alone, what the taxi driver had done to her. It was going to be a nightmare. But, as long as they were all safe – her girls – she could take whatever hassle was headed her way. It could’ve been worse.
Bailey’s deep growl at the window diverted their attention. His ear-grating bark filled the room. Sophie followed her mum to see what had upset him. For the second time in as many nights, there was a police car parked outside the house.
Good, huh? I really hope that’s piqued your interest as it’s a cracking book and definitely worth a read.
I’ve been wanting to read Saving Sophie for some time now. Well, since it appeared on NetGalley earlier this year. But you know how life goes; sometimes things just don’t happen for one reason or another. So imagine my joy when I was asked to feature on the blog tour in celebration of the paperback release with Avon Books. Well, I couldn’t say no! And I’m very glad I did because this is such an enjoyable read and exactly the book I needed to reignite my dwindling reading mojo.
The Finch family are slowly falling apart. The relationship between parents Karen and Mike is becoming more strained by the day and 17 year old Sophie would rather keep herself to herself. But after a night out with friends, Sophie is brought home by the police. She’s dazed, confused and acting drunk. But it’s only a couple of hours later, how has Sophie managed to consume that much alcohol in such a short space of time?! Her parents are unable to make sense out of what she’s saying so she’s bundled off to bed, with her concerned parents planning a confrontation for the following morning. Sophie wakes feeling worse for wear but is immediately distracted by a news that her friend, Amy is missing. Then the body of a young woman matching Amy’s description is found. What really happened on their night out? And will the inappropriate photographs Sophie receives of herself help her remember? Exactly what secrets have the Finch family been keeping…?
When I select a book to read, I want to feel ‘something’ and if that feeling is frustration or exasperation, then that’s as good as liking a character in my opinion. I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to like characters to enjoy a book. Heck, I read crime and psychological thrillers. Sometimes I don’t want that warm fuzzy glow! With that in mind, I instantly disliked husband Mike who came across as a bully and at times, a uninterested negligent father. Mum Karen was a little whiney and played the part of the victim to perfection. You find out more about Karen’s back story as you move through the book and I have to say, by the end of the novel, I had really warmed to her. And as for Sophie, well…she’s 17, more interested in her friends than her family and suffering the hangover from hell. There’s not a lot to like!
But somehow, somewhere along the line…I started to really like both Sophie and Karen (no change on the Mike front I’m afraid, still don’t like him!). Karen suffers from agoraphobia which plays a huge part in the storyline. When her condition was first revealed I thought, ‘how is Sam Carrington going to write this and make it interesting?’. I’ll tell you, she writes it incredibly well. At first I was dubious, but the whole story revolves around Karen. Her dealings with her condition make for interesting reading. There is a point when Karen’s best friend, Rachel really needs her. I was in turmoil myself as on one hand I was thinking ‘go to your best friend, she needs you’ but on the other, I was fully understanding of how she was feeling. Now, if that’s not good writing, I don’t know what is!
There are some rather large twists and turns thrown in to keep you on your toes. The final showdown was an ‘edge of your seat’ moment for me. I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading! And that epilogue, oh it broke my heart. I sort of saw it coming but that certainly didn’t lessen the impact.
Would I recommend this book? I most certainly would. I loved the twists and turns, the way the characters morph from being really quite irritating to becoming firm favourites of mine and I absolutely loved that this book made me feel something.
Four out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an ARC of Saving Sophie.
Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington was published in the UK by Avon Books on 15th December 2016 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads | Avon Books |
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, HarperCollins as an ebook in August. The paperback and audio editions are publishing on 15th December.