Today I have the great pleasure of bringing you an excerpt and review of Sam Carrington’s second novel, Bad Sister.
‘Keeps you guessing right to the end’ Sue Fortin, author of Sister Sister
The gripping new thriller from the bestselling author of Saving Sophie.
When flames rip through their family home, only teenager Stephanie and her younger brother escape unhurt. Brett always liked to play with fire, but now their dad is dead and someone has to pay the price.
Psychologist Connie Summers wants to help Stephanie rebuild her life. She has a new name, a young son and everything to live for. But when Stephanie receives a letter from someone she’d hoped would never find her, Connie is forced to question what really happened that night. But some truths are better left alone . . .
Gripping, tense and impossible to put down, Bad Sister will have fans of Sue Fortin, B.A. Paris and Linda Green hooked until the final page.
Gripping, tense and impossible to put down, Bad Sister will have fans of Sue Fortin, B A Paris and Linda Green hooked till the final page.
‘The pattern of mutilation is interesting.’ The slides moved across the huge white screen projected on to the back wall of the incident room, gruesome shots like those in the god-awful Saw movie that Lindsay had never been able to sit through. She was surprised that any of the prison staff had even recognised this guy when he landed on their doorstep. She pointed to the next slide. The most horrific. She cast her eyes around the room. Some of the team had turned away. ‘Yeah, not good, is it?’
‘T’was some angry crackpot who did that,’ a voice from the back declared.
‘Actually, I’m not so sure.’ Lindsay took the pointer stick and placed it over the enlarged picture of Eric Hargreaves’ torso. ‘I know it looks a total mess at first glance. But look at the way the body has been quartered. It’s precise. I don’t think someone with anger issues did this. It’s too controlled. They had planned how they were going to do it. This was carried out carefully.’
‘So, they had time then, no rush,’ Mack said.
‘Precisely. Must’ve had Hargreaves somewhere they considered safe, somewhere they wouldn’t be disturbed for quite some time.’
‘What about the writing on his hand – “Connie Moore”? What’s that about?’ DC Sewell asked.
Mack turned in his chair to direct his response to her. ‘Well, there are various possibilities, but at this early stage we really can’t be sure about any of them.’
‘Like what, sir?’
‘Depends on who wrote it. If Hargreaves did, then we are never going to really know, but we could assume he had an obsession with her, perhaps. People don’t generally write names on themselves, more likely you write something you don’t want to forget – a number, an item you want from the shop.’
‘Or a name you didn’t already know, so that you remember it’s someone you need to speak to, or something?’ DC Sewell said matter-of-factly. ‘And if it was written by the killer?’
‘That’s where it becomes tricky,’ Lindsay said. ‘If the killer wrote it, do we assume it was for us? The body was deliberately left outside the prison, a place where it’d be found and police called quickly. So, was the killer leaving it as a clue – ensuring we follow up the lead and interview Connie Summers?’
‘Or,’ Mack added, ‘was it to make sure she knew? Knew that Hargreaves had been murdered, that he could no longer do harm to others.’
‘Like some kind of gift to her? The guy that ruined her career, served up cold on a platter?’
‘It’s a possibility.’
‘So our killer potentially knows her, wants to do this for her – a revenge killing, but for someone else’s benefit? Weird,’ Sewell summarised.
‘Well, they can’t know her that well. They used Moore, not Summers. They don’t know she changed her name.’
‘That’s a possibility, Clarke,’ Mack said, ‘unless they used Moore because that would make us believe it was something to do with her past – her role in the prison.’
‘Going back to revenge,’ Anika, the team’s new DC interjected, ‘Hargreaves raped a woman when he was released. It could be that his victim, or her family, decided to hand out their own justice.’
‘That’s a line of investigation we’ll be following up, Anika,’ Lindsay said.
‘Could he be in love with Summers?’
‘Careful, Lloyd. “He”’? We don’t know it’s a he.’
‘Must be, Guv. Surely. To overpower him, he’s not small. Then inflict that much damage and then move the body. And dump it quick as lightning at the prison gates before anyone can stop him?’
‘Could be more than one person involved,’ a voice piped up.
‘Could it also be a warning – that Connie Summers is going to be next?’ another DC asked from the back – the whole room was beginning to buzz with questions; possibilities.
Sometimes when an author writes their debut book and it has been received really well we wonder just what is going to happen with the next book, the apprehension is that the second book will be a flop and this is not the case! Here we have a very relatable story that is stunningly written.
We have a story that shifts in time ‘Now’ and ‘Then’ that is easy to keep up with. There are times when authors try shifts in time frames and it makes the story exceptionally confusing but this was not the case.
This is one of those short reviews that I pull out when I am afraid that I will give it all away, the passion is there but the barrier with my mind and fingers are causing me to hold back.
I want you to pay attention to this part though – BUY THE BOOK! READ THE BOOK! BAD SISTER DESERVES YOUR ATTENTION…..SERIOUSLY!!
I want to thank the publisher for my copy of Bad Sister for review.
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 was her debut psychological thriller novel, her second, BAD SISTER is out now in ebook.