Happy New Year one and all!
It was a very quiet December on the blog, as real life took over for a while but, I’m happy to say, that I read loads of great stuff which I can’t wait to tell you about.
The first of these is The Missing Pieces of Sophie McCarthy by B. M Carroll which is one of a collection of interesting and gripping thrillers that seem to be currently coming out of Australia. The best part? This collection is being produced by some really talented Australian Women!
She’s the victim. But is she innocent?
Sophie McCarthy is known for her determination, ambition and brilliance at work. She’s tough, but only because she wants to get the best out of people.
Aidan Ryan is strong, honourable, and a family man. He’s tough too; the army requires it.
When these two strangers are brought together in a devastating incident, Sophie’s life is left in ruins. Her family wants to see Aidan pay for what he did.
Aidan’s prepared to sacrifice everything – including his marriage and his child – to fix the mess he’s made.
But some things can’t be fixed, and Sophie is not at all what she first appeared…
What I Thought:
My initial thoughts on starting this book ran along the lines of wondering how a book could be based on such an unlikeable woman. Sophie McCarthy clearly showed that, tragic as it is for anyone to be involved in a disabling accident, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are or were a nice person.
Moving past this, though and cleverly using multiple narrators to show different facets of Sophie’s character, B. M. Carroll subtly argues that a woman who was initially independent and capable had been shaped into something toxic by her early life and those around her. Sophie’s relationship with her dad is particularly interesting and, given what happens in the later stages of the book, you can see why this is unhealthy for the whole McCarthy family.
It’s a major feat to make a character like Sophie even the least sympathetic but it’s not hard to feel a lot of sympathy for Chloe and Jasmin, the family that Aiden Ryan has rejected in his efforts to pay penance to Sophie for the accident. The way he goes about proving how sorry he is, is warped at best and it’s a unique take on a strong man following his convictions down the wrong path.
In the age of instant gratification, this book is a good, old-fashioned, slow burn – you need to gather all the facts from each narrator before the fast-paced and dramatic final twist so I do recommend that you stick with it.
This post is part of a blog tour to celebrate the paperback release of The Missing Pieces of Sophie McCarthy – why not keep an eye on the Michael Joseph Twitter feed for more great reviews of this book?
Please Note: I was sent a review copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are, as ever, my own.