By: Ruth Dugdall
Publisher: Legend Press
My Rating: 3 Stars
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 special thank you to Legend Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.. Catching up with some long overdue reviews. British author Ruth Dugdall delivers an intriguing and disturbing psychological thriller, NOWHERE GIRL (Cate Austin #4), where dark secrets are uncovered and some things are not as they seem. It is Schueberfouer, August 2015. What could be more exciting than the annual fair in Luxembourg? An amusement park always offers fun, excitement, and sometimes mystery and danger. What is lurking in the shadows? Bridget was carefully watching her daughters, Ellie and Gaynor until she turns to the wine bar, deciding she needs to sit down. She has more than one glass. Soon they realize seventeen -year -old, Ellie is missing. Gaynor, wanted to talk to Amelia, the little blond girl who arrived from England half way through the summer term. Amelia’s mother, Cate Austin, was a probation officer. They have recently moved for a fresh start to live with her police detective boyfriend, Olivier Massard. Ellie had been kidnapped and Bridget’s husband Achim, a senior partner with his bank, thinks Ellie has run off, as she tends to get into trouble with typical teen issues and boy named Joe. She and mom have had some disagreements ending in fights. When Ellie comes to, she feels like she is hungover and has no clue where she is. She is locked in. Cate wonders where the girl is. Leaving the probation service was a relief, like finally putting down a heavy load she had been carrying for so long with cases, reports, and prison visits. Her last case, Humber Boy B, had made her decision to move abroad. Told more different POV, there is an underlying mystery. We hear from two other women, Jodie and Amina. They are not at home. Readers soon learn how all the pieces fit together. The case does not seem to be progressing and Cate seems to be concerned. Oliver is on the case, and Cate and Oliver have a difference of opinion. If you can read between the lines, I am being vague here-- More going on in this town than people know. Cate has enough issues without some of the new drama. Soon readers learn what has happened to Ellie and how the stories are connected. Ultimately a psychological suspense of human and sex trafficking. I have read several good books recently, revolving around this horrible crime. What they have in common is the creative ways they attract teens into this web, and unfortunately sometimes there is no escaping. Lots of twists and turns; however, unfortunately, this one did not capture me completely. With the different voices, I felt there was not a main character to bond or hold the book together. In addition, the changing of past and present tense with different characters.. Cate appeared rather weak and not in full control; overall felt a disconnect and not fully immersed. However, look forward to reading future books by the author.
About the Author
Ruth Dugdall was born in 1971. She holds a BA honours degree in English Literature (Warwick University) and an MA in Social Work (University of East Anglia). She qualified as a probation officer in 1996 and has worked in prison with offenders guilty of serious crimes, including stalking, rape and murder. This has informed her crime writing. Since she started writing, Ruth has won awards in several writing competitions, and has had short stories published in the Winchester Writers' Conference and the Eva Wiggins Award anthologies. Ruth is also the news presenter on Felixstowe tv: "probably the smallest tv station in the world". Website