Friday 22 March 2024

Finding Sophie by Imran Mahmood BLOG TOUR #FindingSophie @imranmahmood777 @BloomsburyRaven @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview


Sophie King is missing.

Her parents, Harry and Zara, are distraught; for the last seventeen years, they've done everything for their beloved only daughter and now she's gone.

The police have no leads, and Harry and Zara are growing increasingly frantic, although they are both dealing with it in very different ways. Increasingly obsessed with their highly suspicious neighbour who won't open the door or answer any questions, they are both coming to the same conclusion. If they want answers, they're going to have to take the matter into their own hands.

But just how far are they both prepared to go for the love of their daughter?

Finding Sophie by Imran Mahmood was published on 14 March 2024 by Raven Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Compulsive Readers Blog Tour 

I have read and enjoyed Imran Mahmood's previous novels, he writes intelligent crime fiction with an emphasis on the legal side of cases, there's no gore and violence, but Finding Sophie is filled with insidious, stealthy tension. The reader never really knows if the truth is being told. 

The author begins his story in courtroom three of the Old Bailey. The short narrative is told in the first person, a person who is on trial for murder .... we do not know who that person is. 

We are then told the story that leads up to the trial through the voices of Harry and Zara; the parents of seventeen-year-old Sophie King. Sophie is missing, she is an only child and her parents adore her, it's clear that there's been some tension in the house recently, after all, she's seventeen with raging hormones and what on earth could her parents possibly understand about her life? Despite this, Sophie's disappearance is a shock, it's not her style and Harry and Zara know that she didn't run away. They are convinced that she's been taken. 

Whilst the police are on the case, and the Kings have an affable detective to liaise with, it's not enough for them. Harry spends his days tracking the local area. He has a map with red lines leading to each house. He has spoken to everyone in every house in the neighbourhood. Except for the bloke who lives at number 210, he will not answer the door, preferring to stay behind his closed doors.
The Kings become obsessed with number 210, and are positive that their neighbour knows where Sophie is. Despite warnings from the police, Harry takes matters into his own hands, breaking laws and crossing borders to find out more. 

Zara is also investigating, but she's doing it quietly. Speaking with Sophie's friends, trying to link things together. It's clear that Zara's mental health is suffering, she insists on throwing a party for Sophie, and she's becoming more dependant on medication to help her sleep. As this couple carry on searching, they are losing their marriage, the cracks that were probably there before are widening, until eventually they become totally separate. 

The structure of this novel is excellent. The alternating narratives from Harry and Zara are a joy to read, the same story, but through different eyes, with different perceptions -giving the reader a wider vision of the whole thing. Every now and then, we go back to courtroom three where the murder trial continues and these two threads eventually tie up together in an explosive and totally unexpected ending. 

Imran Mahmood has such a talent, this novel is fresh and exciting. Filled with tension and suspicion and totally unrelenting in pace. I was gripped from page one. Highly recommended. 

Imran Mahmood is a practicing barrister with thirty years' experience fighting cases in courtrooms across the country.

His previous novels have been highly critically acclaimed: You Don't Know Me was a BBC Radio 2 Book Club choice, Goldsboro Book of the Month and was shortlisted for the Glass Bell Award; both this and I Know What I Saw were longlisted for Theakston Crime Novel of the Year and the CWA Gold Dagger. You Don't Know Me was also made into a hugely successful BBC1 adaptation in association with Netflix.

When not in court or writing novels or screenplays he can sometimes be found on the Red Hot Chilli Writers' podcast as one of their regular contributors. He hails from Liverpool but now lives in London with his wife and daughters.


No comments:

Post a Comment