Hello and welcome to my stop of the The Source Random Things Tours blog tour! A huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. There was just something about the blurb that caught my attention straight away and made me want to read this debut… And it was without doubt a very powerful story! Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts…

Title: The Source
Author: Sarah Sultoon
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: February 15th 2021
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: April 13th 2021
Pages: 263

“Just like that, here we are again, suspended in the same spot on the same film, in the same endless looping nightmare; nothing to do and nowhere to be except wait for him to come back, or someone to change the tape. And in this town, it’s only war that ever really does that.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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There was just something about the blurb of The Source that caught my attention straight away and made me want to read this debut… And after reading some early reviews (Kelly and Eva, this is on you!) I simply couldn’t resist joining the blog tour. I already knew this book was probably going to make me feel very uncomfortable even before I started reading it. I mean, a story about child abuse and sex traficking is never easy on the stomach, isn’t it? It’s without doubt a heavy topic and a jump right in the deep end for a debut story… But I can’t deny that it was a successful jump and The Source turned out to be a very powerful and heartrending story.

The main focus of this story is on both child abuse and sex traficking, so make sure that you are ready for that before you pick up The Source. Thankfully, we are spared any explicit abuse scene or explicit details of the sex traficking scene… Things are hinted at and this story isn’t for those with a weak stomach or those who are easily upset, and I’m personally glad the details were left to the imagination. It actually more powerful considering, as it manages to have a very big impact despite only tipping its toes in the sordid details.

The story is told switching between the past (1996 onwards) and the present timeline set in 2006. The flashbacks mainly focus on the child abuse, grooming and a complicated family situation, while the present timeline focuses more on the journalism angle with both the investigation and the inner workings of this industry in general. I personally struggled a bit connecting to the present timeline, and things could get a little confusing (enough to have me rereading certain parts), but I also can’t deny that the story seems to be told in a realistic way and it shows that the author knows the inner workings of the industry personally. The flashbacks, while more harrowing in content, were easier to connect to and felt more powerful as a whole.

Apart from the two different timelines, we also have two voices in The Source. The past events are told and experiences by the young Carly, and it was so heartbreaking (and also infuriating) to see her story develop over time… In the present we have Marie’s voice, a young journalist with a lot of secrets that finds herself involved in more than one explosive investigation. Like I said before, I much preferred the flashback chapters and the present chapters were never able to fully grow on me, but that doesn’t mean that the present chapters didn’t feel authentic or that they were badly written. It’s simply a personal reaction to (and most likely my lack of knowledge of) the journalism industry and the way this timeline was told that resulted in a certain amount of confusion and lack of connection. Most people don’t seem to have this problem though!

In short, The Source turned out to be a very harrowing, heartrending, and powerful debut that focuses on both child abuse and sex traficking. If you aren’t afraid of dark read and like an original angle in your thrillers, The Source is a great choice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Sultoon is a journalist and writer whose work as an international news
executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in
both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. She
has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for
her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of
Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs.
As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters
of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an
undergraduate language degree in French and Spanish, and Masters of Philosophy
in History, Film and Television. When not reading or writing she can usually be
found somewhere outside, either running, swimming or throwing a ball for her
three children and dog while she imagines what might happen if…


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