Saturday, February 24, 2024

Finding Sophie

Finding Sophie by Imran Mahmood
3/5/24; 352 pages
Random House

Finding Sophie by Imran Mahmood combines a domestic drama as parents desperately search for their missing daughter with a courtroom drama because someone is charged with murder. It is highly recommended.

Harry and Zara King’s seventeen-year-old daughter, Sophie, has been missing for six weeks and they feel the police have stopped investigating. The deeply grieving parents especially want them to question the man living in number 210 on their street. They went door to door, talking to everyone in the area to see if they saw or know something about Sophie. Every one talked to them or answered a questionnaire they left except the man in 210. Now Harry is obsessed with the man in 210 and why he refuses to talk to them or answer the questionnaire. The standoff is about to escalate. From the opening we know one of the parents will be charged with murder.

The narrative unfolds between the alternating perspectives of Harry and Zara. It also covering events in a dual timeline, the weeks after Sophie's disappearance and a year in the future during a murder trial. The slow start kept my interest low, but once Harry's obsession took hold the pace becomes steady, with some small jumps in action along the way. There are pieces of information and clues provided during this section that don't pay off until much later. The slow start is redeemed by the ending when the pace and action pick up.

Where Mahmood excels is in his depiction of desperate, grieving parents, Harry and Zara. Both are handling their frustration and grief very differently, but their actions reflect their personalities. Their grief also begins to put a strain on their relationship.

The action in the court case also increases the tension. Keep in mind this novel is set in the U.K., so the court action is different from that in U.S. courtrooms. The dual timelines also begin to merge here to explain more of what happened. The ending is worth the journey. Thanks to Random House for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

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