NOWHERE GIRL – Ruth Dugdall

Nowhere Girl CovParents’ worst nightmare – now your daughter’s there, now she’s not.

Ruth DugdallScheuberfouer is a carnival of festivities in Luxembourg, the rides and stalls enjoyed each year by thousands of children. Of course kids go missing, but usually with tears, scolds and hugs are soon reunited with their upset parents.

Not Ellie. From the top of the Ferris wheel, the sky’s the limit and she wants freedom from a mother eternally trying to tether her teenage spirit. She disappears…

Leaving a rocky past and a complicated family situation behind her, Probation Officer Cate Austin follows her police detective boyfriend, Olivier Massard to Luxembourg. Her little daughter, Amelia, is friends with Ellie’s younger sister. Cate finds it frustrating that the police are taking Ellie’s disappearance so lightly, treating it as a teenage runaway. After all, she had been seen talking to a handsome boy not much older than herself…

Through her own occupation, Cate has been on the edge of the darker side of human nature. Uneasy with the circumstances, she begins her own investigation, which angers Olivier to a point where it seems that Cate will be sent packing, especially when it is apparent that Olivier suspects Ellie’s own mother of subterfuge.

Cate’s interference begins to stir other forces involved in people trafficking who will give her more than a slap on the wrist.

The poignant Points Of View slide back and forth between Cate, Ellie herself, Ellie’s mother and a young girl trafficked from North Africa, painting a vivid and heartwrenching picture of hope, disappointment, fear and terror.

Overall a gripping and very human thriller, I found a confusing slipping of third person past to first person present a detraction from what was otherwise an un-putdownable story. Assuming it to be something that the editor will pick up on before publication, I ploughed on.

The tension tightens satisfactorily until the last surprising twist. Ultimately an enjoyable read.

Thank you, Jessica Reid of Legend Press, for sending me the Proof Copy for review.

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About peterjearle

Writer of thriller novels. 4 Published: 'Purgatory Road', 'The Barros Pawns', and the Detective Dice Modise Series:'Hunter's Venom' and 'Medicinal Purposed Only', all from Southern Africa.
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