Post Script: Nowhere Girl – Ruth Dugdall

Cover- Nowhere Girl

Nowhere Girl

Ruth Dugdall

Legend Press

ISBN: 9781910394632

 

Description:

A psychological crime novel from an author with 10 years’ experience as a probation officer in high security prisons.

 

When Ellie goes missing on the first day of Schueberfouer, the police are dismissive, keen not to attract negative attention on one of Luxembourg’s most important events, its annual city fair. Probation officer Cate Austin has moved for a fresh start, along with her daughter Amelia, to live with her police detective boyfriend, Olivier Massard. But when she realizes just how casually he is taking the disappearance of Ellie, Cate decides to investigate matters for herself. She discovers Luxembourg has a dark heart. With its geographical position, could it be the center of a child trafficking ring? As Cate comes closer to discovering Ellie’s whereabouts she uncovers a hidden world, placing herself in danger, not just from traffickers, but from a source much closer to home.

 

My View:

An intriguing novel that has a more reflective tone than past works I have read by this author. Ruth Dugdall continues with her Cate Austin’s series but in this episode Cate and her daughter have followed Cate’s new partner detective Oliver Massard to Luxembourg where he lives and works. As Dugdall’s characters embark on a journey of change – a new lifestyle and culture, the emphasis of Dugdall’s writing is likewise extended to include a more global outlook; the crimes of child trafficking and prostitution, the effect of extremist religious beliefs and the subsequent displacement of people trying to escape persecution, PTSD…global issues are juxtaposed against the domestic crime of a local kidnapping. Another layer is added to the narrative when more of Cate’s personal life is revealed as she battles with issues of the past – some things you cannot whitewash over…the past and the present are irrevocably connected and until acknowledged Cate seems “stuck” in an existence that is not true to herself. So many levels of tension in this narrative.

 

This narrative has a familiar introduction – as you read you experience that feeling of dread, you know something abhorrent is about to happen and so you keep reading; Ellie is kidnapped at the fair. The other main characters are added to the mix and I was intrigued by Amina and Jodie’s voices – again that feeling of dread, the anticipation of all that could go wrong…and it does! What choices do these poor girls have? Continue reading and the web of intrigue and Cate’s internal conflicts grow- and then the biggest most surprising reveal of all! I could not believe this! Totally unexpected and…sad.

 

Ruth Dugdall can always be relied upon to give your social conscience a pinch! Wake up world – look around you.

 

 

Post Script: Humber Boy B – Ruth Dugdall

Hummer Boy B

Humber Boy B

Ruth Dugdall

Legend Press  

ISBN: 9781910394601

 

Description:

A child is killed after falling from the Humber Bridge. Despite fleeing the scene, two young brothers are found guilty and sent to prison. Upon their release they are granted one privilege only, their anonymity. Probation officer Cate Austin is responsible for Humber Boy B’s reintegration into society. But the general public’s anger is steadily growing, and those around her are wondering if the secret of his identity is one he actually deserves to keep. Cate’s loyalty is challenged when she begins to discover the truth of the crime. She must ask herself if a child is capable of premeditated murder. Or is there a greater evil at play?

 

My View:

Ruth Dugdall writes novels that captive, prick at your conscience and demand that you think hard and look deep at the issues. Ruth Dugdall reminds us that issues are not simple, clear cut, black or white. She allows us to walk in someone else’s shoes for a short while and discover lives where options are often limited and many circumstances conspire and lead to a dire situation or a bad judgement and so it is always with great trepidation, apprehension and anticipation that I start a Ruth Dugdall book. I know that I am going to feel uncomfortable at some point, I know my conscience will be pricked and poked and that I will be reconsidering some past notions or judgements and for that I thank you Ruth, you are our social conscience, you write with sensitivity and intelligence and authenticity that comes from your first hand experiences as a Probation Officer.

 

I can’t wait to read the next in the Cate Austin series – Nowhere Girl.