Rich benefactors have been contributing to the moral safety of single girls in post War New York by maintaining 'Hope House'. Self-effacing, teenage shop-girl Ruth Miller who thinks 'hot water a privilege' is overjoyed when she moves in to the seventy girl hostel so why does she end up like a 'Rag doll. Limp, flat, lying in the rain'?
This is a single-sitting, spooky, claustrophobic read. Mrs Lawrence wrote only four novels and she regularly features the debonair detective to the stars, Mark East, together with the dotty elderly spinsters, Miss Beulah and Miss Bessy.
The police are indifferent and all the Hope House inhabitants, including a slightly risque lesbian management team, want the matter undisturbed. This sense of indifference and intolerance pervades the novel as East tries to break the wall of silence and fear. Why should anyone care, because Ruth was anonymous, a nobody?
It has its flaws but I would suggest you may like to keep all the lights on when you read this.