A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

TWO BOYS LOVED HER.
BUT WHICH ONE KILLED HER?

On a dark night two years ago, teenagers Rob and Paige broke into a house. They beat and traumatised the occupants, then left, taking only a bracelet. No one knows why, not even Luke, Rob’s younger brother and Paige’s confidant. Paige disappeared after that night. And having spent her life in children’s homes and the foster system, no one cared enough to look for her.

Now Rob is out of prison, and probation officer Wren Reynolds has been tasked with his rehabilitation. But Wren has her own reasons for taking on Rob as a client. Convinced that Rob knows what happened to Paige, and hiding a lifetime of secrets from her heavily pregnant wife, Wren’s obsession with finding a missing girl may tear her family apart…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I read many books, mostly crime fiction, but The Ruined Girl was the first that I have read that concerns a children’s home and the probation services. I was both fascinated and heartbroken. It was a crime novel that really pulled on the heartstrings.

There are two narrators, Wren in the ‘now’ and Luke in ‘before’. It switches back and forth repeatedly and each worked perfectly. But it was Luke who I wanted to read about more. His story portrayed the frustration and hurt he felt perfectly. the loyalty he felt towards his mother, brother and Paige had me reading in silence, unable to put the book down. It was the type of narrative that made me think about the type of society we live in during the times I couldn’t read. How many children are there in this country who experience what the ones in this novel did. And how do they cope with adult life when they are left on their own. 

There are plenty of twists, some I saw, many I didn’t but this novel wasn’t about the eventual outcome for me. Instead it was the determination of the younger characters to do the right thing, even if it wasn’t necessarily the better way. Rob wanting to protect Luke, Luke wanting to protect Paige.

It is a long time since I have felt touched by so many. Not just Luke, Rob and Paige. But also the minor characters, some who were determined to put their childhood behind them and those who couldn’t. 

A Ruined Girl was the perfect book for me, it made me thing about other events outside of strange world we currently live in.  

A Famished Heart by Nicola White – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

THEY DID IT TO THEMSELVES
BUT SOMEONE WAS WATCHING

The Macnamara sisters hadn’t been seen for months before anyone noticed. It was Father Timoney who finally broke down the door, who saw what had become of them. Berenice was sitting in her armchair, surrounded by religious tracts. Rosaleen had crawled under her own bed, her face frozen in terror. Both had starved themselves to death.

Francesca Macnamara returns to Dublin after decades in the US, to find her family in ruins. Meanwhile, Detectives Vincent Swan and Gina Considine are convinced that there is more to the deaths than suicide. Because what little evidence there is, shows that someone was watching the sisters die…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I loved this novel that was set in Dublin in the 1980s. It was quite refreshing to read a detective novel where the police had to rely on finding a pay phone to speak to colleagues rather than just use a mobile. Only a small thing but it is easy to forget how it used to be. 

The lack of technology was a recurring theme throughout the novel. Not just with the police, the distance between New York and Dublin seemed larger when you have to rely on the postal way of communicating. And when a tragedy such as the one that occurred in this novel it seemed to make it more devastating. The deaths of the two sisters are strange, even more so when you are aware that the author has based this on true events. I’m not sure how much is fact but it is a chilling and baffling case. Especially if you are like the two detectives ( and me) and don’t follow any religion.

Despite not knowing much about the faith it didn’t stop me thoroughly enjoying the story, I liked the lead characters a lot,  Considine , who refused  to accept the attitude to female police officers and Swan who was a bit of a loner, struggling to connect to his fellow officers and in some ways his wife. They communicated well, with neither overstepping boundaries and were able to see each other’s point of view without arguing. I think that both of these characters have huge potential and I am looking to getting to know them more.