I had two books I was saving for my holiday – Cut to the Bone by Alex Caan and Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington. There had been a lot of buzz on Twitter about these debuts novels and the buzz wasn’t wrong.
Cut to the Bone
Vlogger Ruby Day has gone missing. DS Zain Harris isn’t overly concerned – just a young woman late home. But when a video is posted online of Ruby captured and pleading for her life, Harris and his boss, DCI Kate Riley, suddenly realise that they have a very serious case on their hands.
My kids love to watch YouTube, especially my youngest. This morning he was watching a young guy who normally commentates on Minecraft videos. He was doing a Q&A this time with his fans and one of them asked about his favourite car. I thought the question was just about cars in general but no, it was about his own cars – 4 in total including a Mercedes. How does a young man in his early 20s afford 4 cars?! Cut To The Bone blows apart the world of fame and fortune for online vloggers and I have to say that I was left reeling by what was revealed. I’m not sure I will ever look at YouTube in quite the same way again.
This isn’t your normal police procedural. Investigating officers, DCI Kate Riley and DS Zain Harris have their own past secrets that refuse to stay in the past and threaten to cloud their judgment, particularly Zain. Short, snappy chapters kept me reading late into the night, as the plot (at times worthy of Bond) twisted and turned. In short, Cut To The Bone is an impressive debut thriller and I hope there is more to come with DCI Riley and DS Harris.
There is always something a bit nerve wracking when the police knock on your door. Karen, seeing her 17 year old daughter, Sophie, completely drunk and held up by 2 officers, is furious and is even more infuriated when Sophie claims she can’t remember anything. Because Karen knows that the outside world is dangerous. She was attacked two years before and now is unable to leave her own home. Even when Karen’s best friend’s daughter is murdered, she can’t leave the house to go and comfort her friend. But it appears that her own daughter is now in danger – will Karen leave the house to save Sophie?
This is an excellent psychological thriller. Told from three viewpoints – Karen, Sophie and DI Lindsay Wade – the story is revealed in layers. Just like you might find yourself screaming at the TV when a person obviously puts themself in danger, I kept shouting in my head, “Go to the police!” The portrayal of Karen as an agoraphobic was very realistic. In fact, it had the opposite effect on me and made me feel claustrophobic as she confined herself to the house. I would have liked to have heard more from DI Wade but I know she will feature in Sam Carrington’s second novel so hopefully we’ll get to know her better – it feels like we’ve only scratched the surface with her.
The tension builds well and I think I’m still in shock with a most unexpected ending! But you’ll have to read it to find out!
I was so impressed by these debuts and they both get a massive five stars from me. I can also see that my list of top ten books of the year is beginning to shape up nicely!
If you want to find out more about Alex and Sam (and maybe buy their books) then
Twitter – @alexcaanwriter
Twitter – @sam_carrington1