Tuesday 24 December 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Sacrificial Man - Ruth Dugdall

What I want to say is that suicide is my choice. No-one else is to blame. Man seeks beautiful woman for the journey of a lifetime: Will you help me to die? 

When Probation Officer Cate Austin is given her new assignment, she faces the highest-profile case of her career. Alice Mariani is charged with assisted suicide and Cate must recommend a sentence. 

Alice insists her story is one of misinterpreted love, forcing those around her to analyse their own lives. Who is to decide what is normal and when does loyalty turn to obsession? 

Investigating the loophole that lies between murder and euthanasia, Cate must now meet the woman who agreed to comply with her lover's final request. Shocking revelations expose bitter truths that can no longer be ignored.

What did I think?

Having been blown away by her debut, The Woman Before Me, it's about time I read another Ruth Dugdall book and what a brilliant one to choose.  The Sacrificial Man held me in its chilling grasp from the very start and refused to release the grip from its icy fingers until I had turned the final page.

I really have to applaud Ruth Dugdall for coming up with such an exceptional and thought-provoking plot.  When David decides to end his life, he posts an advert for a partner in crime; not for someone to actually do the deed but for someone to be there with him at the end.  Alice answers David's advert and the plans begin to form.  My head was like a whirligig with so many questions flying round my head.  Why does David want to die?  Why on earth has he chosen the stomach lurching method he has chosen? And what sort of person is Alice to be willing to take this journey with him?  So many questions which will all be answered as fast as I could possibly read.

It was great to catch up with Probation Officer Cate Austin again.  Cate has been called in to recommend a sentence when Alice is charged with helping David to die, despite him leaving a suicide note.  It's an odd one really as for all intents and purposes Alice was only present at David's death, she didn't help him make the decision or force him to go through with it.  On the surface, I wondered what exactly Alice had done wrong; but this is the whole debate regarding euthanasia which is illegal in the UK but we often hear about people fighting for their right to decide when and how they die.  Surely David was the one at fault but the police can't prosecute a dead man so Alice will have to do.

Of course there are always two sides to every story and Cate Austin tries to find out not only what exactly happened on the night that David died but the motivation behind both participants.  This makes for one hell of a story and I would have read the whole book in one sitting had I not started it at bedtime.

Chilling, gripping and stomach-lurchingly twisted, The Sacrificial Man is an outstanding thriller that I will be thinking about and debating for a long time to come.  If you're looking for something different to read over Christmas, you've just found it!

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Ruth worked as a Probation Officer for almost a decade, working in high security prisons with numerous high- risk criminals. Her writing is heavily influenced by her professional background, providing authenticity and credibility. She currently lives in San Francisco.

Follow Ruth:
Twitter @RuthDugdall
Instagram @Ruth_Dugdall

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