Book Review | A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants #ARuinedGirl #NetGalley

Title: A Ruined Girl

Author: Kate Simants

Publisher: Serpent’s Tail / Viper 

Release Date: 27th August 2020

Source: NetGalley 

Buy: Amazon UK

Two boys loved her. But which one buried her?

Two years ago, teenagers Rob and Paige broke into the house of Paige's school counsellor and stole only a necklace, but traumatised their victims in the process. No one knows why. And Paige hasn't been seen since that night. 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...

I really enjoyed this book however it is a right royal pain in the backside to review because of the dreaded spoilers, it would be impossible to fully review without spoiling the very well crafted plot so whilst I figure out how to do it justice, lets look at our setting and our main characters.

The books jumps between timelines, lets start with this part of the book.  It takes us back a couple of years to the English city of Bristol, two of our main characters, teens (they are around 15) Luke and Paige live in a care home, their parents unable or unwilling to look after them. They aren’t alone in their home, they share it with many other kids but for Luke he may as well be by himself as he only has eyes for Paige.  His unrequited love is plain to see but Paige thinks of him as a friend, a brother and nothing more. 

Joining Luke and Paige we have Rob, Luke’s older brother who at 18 is recognised as an adult and is living by himself, he wants to take care of his brother but to do that he also needs to stay on the straight and narrow.  But that is never going to happen as the three of them find themselves tangled up in a mess that ends up with one of them in prison and one of them missing.

Jumping forward in time the government have created a scheme to release offenders early back in to the community but to do it they have to visit all the people affected by the actions, Wren Reynolds is a probation officer who finds herself in a new role, she will be shepherding these offenders and her first case is Rob.

Wren is ready for a challenge, she is about to be come a mum for the first time, her heavily pregnant wife could go in to labour at any time.  She is going to help rehabilitate Rob and as she starts him on his path to a new life she becomes convinced that Rob knows more about the events that landed him in prison than he is letting on, what is he hiding and why?  Where is Paige and where is Luke?  

A great book, it has it all and I had no idea whatsoever where it was going, I thought I did for a while but then I fell foul of some crafty twists.  It is a dark book, any book that tackles children in a care home is not going to be sunshine and rainbows, A Ruined Girl doesn’t exploit these kids but it does show how vulnerable and impulsive children at this age can be.

A dark, well twisted web of a read.

Thanks to Net Galley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


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