I am delighted to share my review today for The Source by Sarah Sultoon. I have had a copy of this book for quite a while now and I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner. The Source is the debut book for this author and my goodness she doesn’t mess about.
I originally won this book in a giveaway that was run last year.
A young TV journalist is forced to revisit her harrowing past when she’s thrust into a sex-trafficking investigation in her hometown.
One last chance to reveal the truth…
1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge. When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…
2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier…
As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth … and justice.
A riveting, searing and devastatingly dark thriller, The Source is also a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience … an immense, tense and thought-provoking debut that you will never, ever forget.
This is a book that I have had on my shelf for far too long and I am annoyed that I didn’t pick it up sooner. This is a fantastic read although it is sometimes hard due to the subject matter.
This is told over two timelines, one from a young girl called Carly and the other is in the present-day from Marie. The synopsis tells well of the two women and of the way they are living at the time. But, what the synopsis doesn’t mention is the way they have been treated over the years.
This is a story that is a tough read as it does deal with sex trafficking and abuse. While the author doesn’t go into any details she definitely gives the impression of how it makes Carly feel.
As a journalist, Marie is looking into stories regarding the sex trade, and she goes undercover to find those responsible. What she and the rest of the newsroom do not expect is an announcement regarding an older story. Operation Andromeda is reopened and declarations are made announcing that mistakes were made. How opportune is this announcement though, the timing feels rushed and it could derail the investigation that Carly is looking into.
Carly is only 14 and has already had a troubled and awful life. A missing father and a drunk mother are not the best way for a young woman to grow up. She also looks after her young sister and does have an older brother.
Marie is a woman who suffers with demons from her past, she has ways of dealing with these but they are getting increasingly more difficult to quiet.
The author has taken the horrendous theme of sex trafficking, abuse, systematic abuse and corruption to the limits. It is one of those stories where you want to say is all fiction, but if you read the papers then you will be aware that this is just not the case. Covering up past allegations, not reporting crimes and trying to hide events is just the tip of a very complex iceberg that the author has built. The trail of corruption rises into some very high echelons of society and government. This makes this very much a political thriller as well as a journalistic thriller that shows systemic corruption at work.
This is a story that feels very wrong when I say it is a brilliant one, but it really is. The story is one that flows and gradually lets out the secrets of the past. While it is laden with awful events it does have a message of hope of things being finally revealed. It is a story of strength and discovering the truth. If you like a more serious and eye-opening story then this is one you should definitely read. It is one I would definitely recommend.
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