Wednesday 17 August 2011

Book: The Sacrificial Man by Ruth Dugdall

Ruth Dugdall’s second novel to feature probation officer Cate Austin deals with the thorny issue of assisted suicide.

Alice Mariani has been convicted of helping her lover kill himself but the troubling facts are that he was not unwell and that Alice consumed part of his flesh.

The story is told from Alice’s perspective and seamlessly switches from present to past as we take a journey through her troubled childhood, exploring the events that moulded her into the strong, intelligent and confident woman she has become.

Cate’s role is to examine the case and recommend a sentence to the Judge and her investigations delve into the motives of both Alice and the mysterious “Smith”. These investigations unearth many, often unpredictable and sinister, factors, all of which contribute to the unsavoury event.

Dugdall’s intelligent and articulate prose immediately captivates and the murky past of Alice together with Smith’s hidden agenda make for an unpredictable read that will satisfy fans of crime fiction who don’t require their stories to be unnecessarily bloody or violent. The emphasis here is firmly on the characters, all of whom are multi-layered.

The Sacrificial Man is a thoroughly satisfying read and Ruth Dugdall proves to be a smart new voice in the crime fiction genre.

Ric’s Rating: 81%


  1. It's a welcome change to read one like this Alex.

  2. Sounds like it's an interesting book with a great twist to it.

  3. Not my usual kinda book Zena but a great read.

  4. Definitely a twist I've never thought of before.

  5. It's top quality stuff Mariah.


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