Dark and gritty.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
A nebulous memory. Caught in a dangerous trap. A life-changing discovery.
When Yalina wakes in hospital following surgery, she doesn’t recognise her own parents.
Following her release, she makes the decision to meet her estranged brother, Ali, in Sheffield, but the man who picks her up is not her brother. He takes Yalina to a house where girls are held against their will and forced into sex slavery. Too late, she realises she has fallen into a trap.
Over time, Yalina discovers a love of playing the old piano that lives in the house. It keeps her sane. As friendships blossom between the women, Yalina finds herself taking a young girl, Rebecca, under her wing, which makes it harder for her to try to escape.
Using a stolen laptop, Yalina searches for her brother online, but soon discovers that all is not as it seems.
As the women are threatened with violence, Yalina reluctantly accepts help from a stranger she met in the house. But he carries a secret that could impact on her whole life.
But will it be enough for Yalina to escape her captors? And how will she cope with the unexpected revelation?
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
After a major surgery, Yalina has vague memories of her family, but she feels a connection to her brother, Ali. Ali does not stay with them, so, Yalina decides to run away and meet him. However, another man picks her up instead of Ali.
This is where I found the premise of Travel by Night to be weak. Yalina just gets into the cab with the other man even when she has suspicions about his identity. However, once I suspended my disbelief, I could get into the flow of the story. But many of these gaps are explained at the conclusion so, ultimately the plot made sense.
Travel by Night by Sophie Morton-Thomas is a dark story. The darkness is compounded by the author’s honest and no-holds-barred sketches of these poor girls’ lives who are tricked or forced into sex slavery. Yalina and other girls keep on hurtling from one horror show to another. They get no respite from their captors. Morton-Thomas deftly creates a sense of claustrophobia on being trapped with scores of other girls in a house with bare minimum facilities. There are mentions of rape and descriptions of the abysmal working conditions to which these girls are subjected to. So, proceed with caution.
There are two parallel perspectives here – one of Richard, another of Yalina. Reading Richard’s point of view was confusing at first, however, in the end, the pieces all fit together.
Moreover, the female protagonist, Yalina, is resilient. She strives to keep her sanity and does not let her captors destroy her spirit.
The book deals with some important, yet dark topics. However, I like to read dark fiction with faster pacing. The descriptions of the abysmal conditions of the girls slowed down the pace and proved to be tough reading for me.
Someone who likes her fiction dark and gritty will like this Travel by Night by Sophie Morton-Thomas.
Genre: Thriller || Pages: 219 || Published on 15 Jan. 2021 by Darkstroke / Crooked Cat
Many thanks to Emma @ damppebbles blog tours for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
Sophie Morton-Thomas is a British writer based in West Sussex where she lives with her husband and children. She’s an English teacher by day and a Creative Writing Master’s degree student and writer in her spare time. Travel by night is her first novel, and is based in Sheffield, where she lived for a number of years.