by Ruth Dugdall Read profile


The hotly-anticipated new novel by psychological crime writer Ruth Dugdall, author of The Woman Before Me and The Sacrificial Man

A blur in the sky, a brick – no, a trainer, red – falls to the water… There seems to be a scuffle… a hand grabbing at the dangling child. Then, with the awfulness of inevitability, the hanging child drops, gravity takes him.

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?  

‘Twisty, profound and completely convincing, it grips the reader by the heart. Unputdownable.’ Erin Kelly

Praise for Ruth:

Winner of the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award
Winner of the 2009 Luke Bitmead Bursary
Shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize 2011
Longlisted for the New Angle Book Prize
Shortlisted for the Brit Writer’s Novel Award
Editor’s Choice at Play.com
Women’s Institute Summer Read 2011

‘Gripping, original, authentic and, in the final few pages, utterly heartbreaking’ Erin Kelly

'Ruth Dugdall's novels are intelligent and gripping, with a sophisticated psychological sensibility. She is a huge talent.' Sophie Hannah

'An absolute tour de force that left me thinking for days' Alex Marwood

‘a chilling psychological thriller with a shocking twist. I read it one day and couldn't put it down'. Louise Millar

‘sad, moving and beautiful’ Penny Hancock

‘Dark, disturbing and authentic’ CWA judging panel

'Impressive in its unflinching realism… a dark and haunting psychological thriller that possesses both depth and sensitivity.’ Crime Time

‘an extremely addictive debut… a real page-turner… As a debut novel, this is a remarkably assured and well-written book.’ Petrona

‘Authentic… diverting debut' The Daily Mail

‘a young British crime-writer who uses her career in the Probation Service to stunning effect… gripping & powerful.’ Mike Ripley, Shotsmag