Sugar & Spice

Rated 4.67/5 based on 12 reviews
When you've got two young children, and you think the unthinkable, where do you turn?

Sugar & Spice is the ground-breaking best-selling crime-thriller set against the background of Britain’s fragmented criminal justice system, with the key protagonists the mother and partner of a murdered child.

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: A child fails to return home. Sometimes, they never come back. More

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About Saffina Desforges

SAFFINA is the lead name behind the UK award-winning, best-selling writing partnership, SAFFINA DESFORGES.

Their controversial debut novel 'Sugar & Spice' has now sold over 200,000 copies digitally world wide and is published in Europe. It is available in paperback from Amazon.

When you think the unthinkable, where do you turn?

Sugar & Spice is the UK #1 best-selling, controversial psycho-sexual crime thriller the agents called "the last taboo". THE 11th best-selling ebook in the UK of 2011. (ref: future

Based on research and details from the case of child killer, Robert Black and his capture, Sugar & Spice was deemed "Too controversial for the British market."

Close to a quarter of a million readers thought otherwise.

'Sugar & Spice' is now published in Europe and voted as a 'Red Adept Reviews' 2011 award winner for mystery!

If you like cosy crime, this is NOT for you.

Sibel Hodge (author) called it "Patricia Cornwell meets Silence of the Lambs."

The author draws heavily on the classic of the thriller genre, from Cornwell's Scarpetta and Thomas Harris through James Patterson, John Grisham and Stieg Larsson, to produce a truly unique and ground-breaking debut novel.

Would you trust a convicted sex offender to help you find your daughter's killer? Claire did...

Inspired by a news story of a man who begged a Judge to give him a longer sentence, because he knew he would harm another child if released without treatment, Sugar & Spice is meticulously researched, asking the questions society prefers not to have answered. At once disquieting and challenging, Sugar & Spice is car-crash reading. ~ It's every parent's worst nightmare: A child fails to return home. As hours turn to days, all they can do is hope. Some children never come back... Driven by the need to know why, a mother confronts the man accused of her daughter's murder, he presents a compelling defence, convincing Claire not only that he is innocent of harming her daughter, but that his previous convictions were not what they seemed. Teaming up with a second-year psychology student and a fourteen year-old truant schoolboy, Sugar & Spice is the story of a mother's fight to bring one man's reign of terror to an end.


Be warned: In Sugar & Spice not all things are nice...

Praise for Sugar & Spice:

"Outstanding - compares well to any P.D. James novel." An American Editor

"An unsettling read with echoes of Mo Hayder."


More books by Saffina Desforges:

Rose Red crime thriller series

Book one: 'Snow White' is out now.

Book two: 'Rapunzel' is out now.

Book three: 'Beauty & the beast' is coming early 2013

Check out Rose Red Rhymes too - a collection of series related thriller short stories!

'Ring-a-ring o'roses' is out now.

'The Night before Christmas' is out now.


Anca's Story

Three children. Auschwitz. The Holocaust. Dare you read Anca's Story?

St. Mallory's Forever!

Boarding schools still exist? Believe it! Fans of St. Clares, the Chalet School and Malory Towers will love this new YA series.

Coming early 2013

First Blood: Book 1 of the Dark Halo Trilogy

If you like vampires and angels, but reckon it's all been done before, think again. Everything you thought you knew about vampires and angels is about to be turned on its head. First Blood is coming to an ebook store near you in 2013. And the rest of the trilogy - Second Coming and Third Kind - will be close on its heels.

Saffina Desforges ~ Always entertaining. Never what you expect.

Also by This Author


Review by: Fiona Dyas on May 23, 2011 :
This is an outstanding book. I was hooked from the very beginning, and was enthralled, outraged and saddened in turn. It certainly deals with a contentious subject, but does so well, and is an incredible page turner.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Alberta Ross on May 14, 2011 :
amazing read - I couldn't help be fascinated even by the characters one shouldn't really give time of day too. The author leads us to consider the darker side with some understanding, and maybe a little sympathy. The subect is harrowing yet the reader is pulled in. I have great admiration for her, the research could not have been easy with a subject such as this and one gets the feeling it is research very well done. Look forward to more from the same source.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: GraceKrispy on April 02, 2011 :
This novel by Saffina Desforges is immediately gripping. The topic is a terrifying train wreck; I was appalled, yet unable to look away. The author does a fantastic job presenting this controversial topic in a way that forces the reader to confront her own feelings and understanding of what is appropriate when it comes to sexual urges. The general feel is almost sympathetic towards pedophiles at times, but not necessarily sympathetic towards those who act on those urges, and that's an important distinction. Getting into the mind of several different pedophiles is not comfortable or easy, but the author smoothly compels the reader to take another perspective, if only for a moment, and confront what is appalling. Initially a bit slow for me, the story really picked up, and the 546 pages (on my sony) went by quickly. I was unable and unwilling to put the book down in the last several hundred pages. The characterization is beautifully done, and even the most loathsome characters manage to be somewhat sympathetic, if only as you pity them. There are some compelling ideas presented, soundlessly intertwined with the storyline. There are several storylines presented throughout the story, coming together at various points in the book. In retrospect, it seemed a bit disjointed, but felt fitting while engaged in the book.

With such a fluid writing style and compelling plot, I wanted to be drawn in through to the end. The frequent chapter breaks were too distracting to allow that. I wondered at one point if the chapter breaks were put in at regular intervals to ensure the chapters were the same length. Many of the chapters almost seemed placed to purposefully break the flow, which was confusing and disconcerting. A conversation would end abruptly because of a chapter break, but then continue in the next chapter as if nothing had happened. It gave me a "wait, did anyone else see that break?" type of feeling. I'd rather have seen the chapter breaks when the setting or characters changed, or when a major plot event was revealed. Additionally, there were some typos in the form of missing punctuation and incorrect word substitutions (e.g., you for your). For the number of pages, the typos were not overly excessive, but they were noticeable and sometimes required a second read of a sentence or phrase. Finally, I'm still not sure what I think of the ending. I had made a guess halfway through the book that turned out to have some merit, but the actual conclusion was unexpected. I loved that I didn't figure it all out, but the ending almost seemed a bit of a mockery of the rest of the story. It didn't help that a character at the end shared an historical perspective of pedophilia that was eerily reminiscent to that shared by an earlier character. It seemed less a thought-provoking perspective and more like propaganda at that point.

Still, all in all, this was a riveting and thought-provoking book that made it difficult to turn away until the last page was turned.

@ MotherLode blog
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Richard Adin on March 02, 2011 :
Well-written mystery/thriller. Only complaint is that there were a lot of Britishisms that are not understandable to non-British English speakers.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Zoe Adams on Feb. 22, 2011 :
Very impressed and enjoyable reading from a local author!

I don't normally read this genre yet I found myself enthralled. At 18 yrs, it is hard hitting especially when you have nieces and nephews of your own...

Cannot wait for more!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Simon Sonko on Feb. 21, 2011 :
It normally takes me a week or more to read even a short book, but this story just grabs you from page one and doesn't let go!

I've never been to England, so do not know the places or the history of child killers referred to, but everything here was brought vividly to life, without too much unnecessary detail.

Very recommended!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jeana Carubba on Feb. 20, 2011 :
Very interesting and thought-provoking book. Great read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: helen young on Jan. 22, 2011 :
Possibly the best book I have read in a long time! The story line was gripping, I couldn't wait to turn the page to find out what was happening next. Written with such detail that you will find yourself totally immersed and engrossed. The subject matter of the book is a disturbing one but the way the story is written it is more about the killer and the race to capture him than the details of the kill, so read the book it will have you hooked. I know I was.

I look forward to the next book this amazing new author has to offer. So much so that I have since bought I kindle!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Erin Kern on Jan. 17, 2011 :
Sugar and Spice takes place in modern day England where a madman is abducting children and sending parents across the country into a frenzy and panic. Local detectives scramble to glue together the clues while a young mother of one of the victims takes matters into her own hands by launching her own investigation. The kidnapper's identity is kept a secret until the very end of the book, prompting readers to turn page after page. The author keeps up the suspense by shining a light on several potential suspects but without giving away too much information.

It's clear Ms. Desforges did her research of her local law enforcement and crime/punishment. The book comes across as well plotted and well thought out. It's written in the omniscient POV, taking the reader into the heads of several characters. The vibrantly descriptive scenes gives the reader a clear picture of each scene but without being too overwhelming.

If you're looking for a good mystery with plenty of twists and turns then Sugar and Spice is one you want to pick up.

Erin Kern
author of Looking For Trouble
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Amy Gilbert on Jan. 12, 2011 :
Brilliant, captivating, hard hitting, devastating. One of the most thought provoking books I have read in a long time.
This is the type of book you read and believe in, you get to know the characters as if they have lived next door to you all your life, you feel their pain and sorrow and their elation.
I read it in a day, couldnt put it down. Kept me guessing all the way to the end, brilliantly written, despite almost making you feel wary for reading about such a taboo subject.
I recommend this to anyone!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ellison James on Jan. 10, 2011 :
From the very beginning, I was appalled, disgusted, and hooked! And, it only got better from there. I read the whole thing as if on a rollercoaster of emotion. At times I found myself yelling out loud at the characters, other times hugging myself in sadness.

Great work, very well researched, and emotionally charged.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Andy Gilbert on Jan. 09, 2011 :
A very touchy subject but still compelling reading. I read this book in three consecutive evenings which is an indication of how good it was (I would normally have spread it over a few more). The main characters were well defined and very plausible. The tension built up well throughout the book to a very fast paced climax.
An awful lot of work has obviously gone in to researching the subject of child sex abuse and the in depth insights in to the seedy and depraved mind and world of the paedophile may not be to everyones taste but the book is well planned and thought out so the way the story unfolds and captivates the reader detracts from the heinous acts which are taking place.
The book was very well paced and kept me guessing to the very end.
I look forward to reading the next offering by this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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