Reading challenge book 8 – A book written by an author with your same initials
Stalking Sapphire, by Mia Thompson
Amazon link here
Despite having taken my husband’s name and being pretty happy about it, I still automatically write my initials as MCS. For this challenge I had the great idea of cheating and reading a book by Alexander McCall Smith, but hubby was unimpressed. Hence I went for MT.
There are a number of famous people with the initials ‘MT’: Mike Tyson; Margaret Thatcher; Mary Tudor. Famous authors with the initials MT, however? The only one I could find was Mark Twain, and sadly, I’m not a Mark Twain fan. I have bad memories of written-out accents, which is really not my thing. So, I took to Amazon. There may not be very many famous authors with the initials of MT, but there are lots of authors of diet books, erotica, shifter-erotica (yes, that is a big thing). Despairing, I weighed up a book that looked promising but was expensive against the cheaper, silly, Stalking Sapphire, and decided to save my pennies. I probably just about got what I paid for, maybe; this book was bad! Although it has a 4-star rating on Amazon, which just shows that Amazon ratings aren’t that helpful.
A review on Amazon describes Stalking Sapphire as a ‘Dexter of the debutante set’, which to be fair, is probably where Mia Thompson got her idea. To fill in the detail, Sapphire Dubois is a poor little rich girl who hates her meaningless, frivolous OC-style life. So she lives a shallow lie, while giving her life meaning by hunting down serial killers in secret.
Possibly I wasn’t concentrating when I read this book, which is totally my bad. However, I never really understood why she couldn’t walk away from the life she didn’t like. There was a thing about her disappointing her wealthy family, but she’s portrayed as intelligent so presumably she could build a new life that matters, even if starting with nothing? Sorry Mia if I’ve missed something obvious.
I said that she’s portrayed as intelligent. Maybe that’s not fair. Early on she captures a serial killer by luring him into the woods into a pit trap, where the trap is marked by a ‘big X spray-painted in bright red’. She then uses her bright pink iPhone to call the police, but disguises her voice with a modulator. The iPhone is her personal cell phone, which is one of the props of her fake life.
Would you use your own cell phone to make a ‘secret call’ to the police? I admit that I’m not current on the technology needed to trace mobile phones, but my guess is no, that would be a bad idea.
What else? Aston, a hardcore detective from the rough streets of LA, has been transferred to Beverley Hills, which he hates as there’s no real crime and therefore he perceives his job as meaningless. He and Sapphire meet and have a one night stand, where she loses her virginity (yes really. There’s this whole thing where she has a fake boyfriend as another prop for her fake life; she doesn’t sleep with him, because she doesn’t like him, but he cheats on her lots so that’s okay.) Aston is intrigued by her and begins to suspect that she is hiding something.
In a deeply unexpected plot twist, Sapphire is being stalked by another serial killer, who sends her threatening mail and parcels. This serial killer knows his stuff. He’s seen through her disguise of high heels and party dresses and knows what
she did last summer does in secret. Aston is therefore assigned to provide police protection to Sapphire. Despite being sent amputated fingers in a gift box, she still doesn’t tell him or anyone about her secret life, because she can hunt down the new serial killer and fix things herself. Never mind about the poor lady who’s having her fingers cut off – Sapphire can handle it! Yada yada yada, I can’t be bothered to keep outlining the plot. It’s silly.
So, a debutante Dexter? I think Dexter is great – dark, gritty, compelling. In comparison, Stalking Sapphire is pink Lego – i.e. Mia Thompson has taken something that was pretty awesome and accessible to both genders, and tried to make a girls-only version. Except Stalking Sapphire is lamer, because pink Lego is still Lego and therefore kinda cool. However, to give the book credit, I think it could be made into an entertaining made-for-TV movie for watching with your friends, a lot of booze, and mocking.
So no, I won’t be buying the sequels. And yes, I got what I deserved for being cheap and only spending 49p on a book. Mea culpa.