Sophie Morton-Thomas writes psychological literary suspense thrillers , set in the dark corners of the United Kingdom.

Her first novel, Travel by Night, was published in 2020 and rapidly became an Amazon bestseller, with high praise for its brave and compelling depiction of modern-day sex-trafficking.

Her second book, Bird Spotting in a Small Town, will be published by Verve Books on 29 February 2024.

Bird Spotting in a Small Town: Winner, 2022 Page Turner Awards for Best Book Title.

Bird Spotting in a Small Town

In a tiny town on the North Norfolk coast, Fran’s life is unravelling.

As she fills her days cleaning the caravan park she owns, she is preoccupied by worry – the behaviour of her son, the growing absence of her husband and her strained relationship with her sister. Her one source of solace is slipping out early each morning to watch the birds.

Small-town tension simmers all around her when a new teacher starts at the local school and a Romany community settle in the field neighbouring her caravan park. From the distance of his caravan, seventy-year-old Tad quietly watches the townspeople - mainly, Fran's family.

When the new schoolteacher and Fran’s brother-in-law go missing on the same night, accusations fly. Yet all Fran can seem to care about is the birds.

An eerie and unsettling novel, Bird Spotting in a Small Town perfectly encapsulates the intensity of rural claustrophobia when you don't know who you can trust.

Bird Spotting in a Small Town


'A haunting, disquieting novel, exquisitely written. The detail throughout is like acupuncture and the whole thing is difficult to pull away from. I read it in short bursts because each sitting left me with something new to think about'

- Ian Moore, author of Death and Croissants

'The kind of book that gets under your skin, hugely atmospheric and dark in the best possible way'

- Jennie Godfrey, author of The List of Suspicious Things

'What an absolute beauty of a book... I honestly did not see any of the twists coming and that’s what kept me interested. Five stars all around'

Laura B, NetGalley

'There was quite a dark and sinister feel... strained relationships, crime, infidelity and childhood lies and secrets... a definite winner.'

Maureen E, NetGalley

'This is an unusual and original story very cleverly told'

Janice H, NetGalley



"A dark and deliciously tense modern fairy-tale, brutal and beautiful", Sophie Hannah, Bestselling Author

Verified Amazon Reviews

"Morton-Thomas has a brave, compelling and relevant story to tell; something which she does with compassion and honesty. A story about a sex-trafficking ring is always going to be a difficult read and the opening is brutal and frightening, but there is also a mystery, planted at the beginning, to unravel. Morton-Thomas is an author who makes you think." Charlie Tyler

"Travel by Night by Sophie Morton-Thomas is a horrific but compelling and emotional story of sex-trafficking. A story that doesn't sit easily in your mind but one that is definitely told with a honesty and compassion. The author grips you by the throat almost right from the word go." Beyond the Books

"In Travel by Night, a story of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, author Sophie Morton-Thomas addresses this important contemporary issue unflinchingly, with a clever twist at the end." HelenMK

"Really enjoyed this, and finished it off in one sitting, as my forgotten coffee went tepid then stone cold. Incredibly atmospheric writing that transforms you to another time and place, but somehow keeps the pace of the storyline at the right (fast) speed. A proper thriller, written beautifully." MJW


I live in West Sussex in the UK with my husband; I have three kids too and some cats.

I'm an English teacher during the day when I'm not writing. I also love to write short stories and flash fictions and have been shortlisted in international competitions for these, as well as for the beginning of my debut novel, Travel by Night (published by Darkstroke and available on Amazon).

I've recently submitted my dissertation, (the final piece of work) for the MSt in Crime & Thriller Writing at Cambridge University.

I'm repped by Bill Goodall and I can be found online here: