by Ruth Dugdall Read profile


Hotly-anticipated crime novel from the author of THE WOMAN BEFORE ME (2010), THE SACRIFICIAL MAN (2012) and HUMBER BOY B (2015)

From the top of the Ferris wheel, Ellie can see everything. Her life, laid out beneath her. Ellie looks up. She wants freedom.

Down below, her little sister and mother wait, watching as people bundle off the wheel and disappear into the crowd. No Ellie. Must be the next box.

But the Ferris wheel continues to turn.

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.

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 realises 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 centre 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. 

‘A gripping read of every parent’s nightmare.’ Lisa Cutts

‘Doesn’t so much prod the seedy underbelly of Europe as rip it wide open.’ Mike Craven

‘Timely and beautifully-written… Highly recommended.’ Mark Edwards

Praise for Ruth:

Winner of the CWA 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

‘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