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The Sacrificial Man: Shocking. Page-Turning. Intelligent. Psychological Thriller Series with Cate Austin Paperback – 25 Jun 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • The Sacrificial Man: Shocking. Page-Turning. Intelligent. Psychological Thriller Series with Cate Austin
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  • The Woman Before Me: International Bestseller. Shocking. Page-Turning. Intelligent. Psychological Thriller Series with Cate Austin (New Edition)
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  • Humber Boy B: Shocking. Page-Turning. Intelligent. Psychological Thriller Series with Cate Austin
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Product details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (25 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908248009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908248008
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review


"An enthralling psychological thriller--perfect for fans of Sophie Hannah."--bestselling author Sam Mills
"Dark, disturbing and authentic."--CWA Debut Dagger judging panel
"Impressive in its unflinching realism."--Crime Time


"An enthralling psychological thrillerperfect for fans of Sophie Hannah."bestselling author Sam Mills
"Dark, disturbing and authentic."CWA Debut Dagger judging panel
"Impressive in its unflinching realism."Crime Time" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Utterly chilling and enthralling from the first line to the last. (Karen Maitland)

An unflinching journey, chilling and insightful, into the darker reaches of the human mind. (Michelle Spring)

The final twist is stunning. (Online blogger Fleur Fisher)

This is not just a crime novel or a psychological thriller. I like that. Ian Rankin chose to be a crime novelist because he realised that a detective was the perfect tool to prise open the lid of society. He’s a serious novelist masquerading as a crime fiction writer and I believe the same is true of Ruth Dugdall. (Jim Murdoch, author and blogger)

Those who have read the debut novel and expect a sucker punch twist in the tale will not be disappointed, Dugdall bowls a googlie you surely cannot expect coming. (Shotsmag)

I had shivers at the end... it was refreshing to read a modern crime novel with a younger, female, detective, and the insight in the probation service was fascinating. (Forbookssake)

The book is not straightforward for as soon as the reader thinks that they know where it is leading, Ruth Dugdall throws a curve to keep you guessing. The characters are real and three dimensional - they walk among us...a must read novel. (BrokenTrails.blogspot)

The book is heartily recommended… and the author is one to watch. (TheBookbag.co.uk)

Dugdall challenges our preconceptions on just about every emotive topic out there. Bold and clever in her storytelling, she forces a spotlight into the darkest corners of humanity. (The Truth About Books)

I’d highly recommend “The Sacrificial Man”. It is one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. The plotting is excellent and the books easy to read nature while touching on so many dark subjects make it a “must-read”. (Books you Love)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ruth Dugdall has created a second book featuring Cate Austin, a Probation Officer. As in The Woman Before Me the reader enters the story after the crime and after the trial but Alice has not been imprisoned, instead the judge is waiting for Cate Austin to recommend a sentence. Alice answered an online advert 'Man seeks beautiful woman for the journey of a lifetime. I will lift mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help. Will you help me to die?' Smith is dead but should Alice be punished?

Once again as a Probation Officer Cate is writing a report on a woman carrying out a crime which we don't associate with women. Cate Austin teases out information from Alice and carries out her own investigations and the facts presented at the start of the book are not as clear as they first seem. A great second book and once again I can't wait to see what Ruth Dugdall will serve up next.
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The great thing about this authors books is that even though they all feature Cate Austin they can all be read as a stand alone. The Sacrificial Man is the second novel and the only one I hadn't read.

With another hard hitting story line, this novel had me gripped from start to finish.

Alice is a very complex character. She lost her mum at a young age and even though she was brought up in a fairly normal home with her adoptive parents she never really gave back the love they tried to show her. She has led a fairly lonely existence only ever having one friend who loves her.

Cate has great instincts and from the very start she knows there is more to Alice than meets the eye. I never really warmed to Alice's character even by the end. The relationship that she has with 'Smith' was extremely strange that got even more stranger the more we found out about it.

The Sacrificial Man is a dark and slightly disturbing read. It has a very thought provoking storyline that even after reading I am still un decided as to whether the outcome with Alice is one that is befitting of her or not. Can't wait to read more by this author.
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Wow, what a dark and disturbing read, a bit gruesome but a real page turner. This is the third book I have read by Ruth and not been disappointed, although if I am honest I think I preferred 'The Woman Before Me' and 'Humber Boy B' but I think she is a very clever writer. The only negative thing I can say is that I found the ending a bit abrupt, I would have liked to read a bit more about Alice's sentencing.

I enjoy reading about Cate Austin and how her character is developing and I can thoroughly recommend Ruth's books and I am looking forward to reading more.
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Another very intriguing and concisely written novel with psychological depth from Ruth Dugdall. I thoroughly enjoyed her first novel, 'The woman before me', however I didn't enjoy this one as much mainly because the dark and disturbing thoughts and actions of the main characters went too much over the line into bad taste for my liking. So maybe 3.5 stars from me. Nevertheless, I'm sure plenty of other people will like it, and I'm still looking forward to reading other novels by the same author if they are more like her first.
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Dark disturbing and brilliant. Highly recommend.
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Well worth the read! Hooks u from the start
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By Flutter Bye TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is another cracker from Dugdall. Make no mistake; it's not an easy read. Dugdall's themes include abuse, the morality of assisted suicide, the nature of obsessive love in a number of guises. And there's much, much more.

In parts, the plot development is directly through the eyes of two of the main characters. This narrative device works very well, revealing historic events which have shaped their deeply flawed psyches. The main character is clearly on the very strange side of normal right from the start. But she remains plausible and we are able to experience a taste of what it's like inside her weird world. These twisted individuals don't arouse any feelings of empathy. They each exist in their own disturbed world, tainting others as they go through life. I believe they are drawn from direct experience which makes them believable. As with Dugdall' previous book, I found this a compelling page turner. Iwas gripped from the outset and I was disappointed when I finished (no more to read from this author!).

There was mention of a central character from the previous book. I wonder if there's potential for her to return some time? Dugdall is certainly specialising in exploring the depths of the deviant personality and doing it very well. I could see these tales adapting well on TV.

I have one criticism; it would benefit from better copy editing and review of the formatting. In a couple of places the narrative jumped without apparent sense. In hard copy I believe there would be a clear space in the text and this is lost on Kindle. But those minor points don't detract enough to prevent an award of 5 stars, because it's a tight paced and well thought plot which I have no hesitation in recommending. More please!
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Format: Paperback
The expression unputdownable is probably over used but this book almost qualifies. The reason you have to put it down sometimes is to absorb what you’ve read. Ruth Dugdall’s novels are dark; they tap into some of our basest fears and as such they can repel us at times – for a little while, until we MUST continue reading.

It is hard to believe that this was only her third novel, as she has the ability to move you, make you feel uncomfortable and to provoke you to think about the incredible variety of human thought and behaviour, some of which is very scary and horrible, the more so because she is so adept at getting into the mind of the perpetrator that you can almost empathise with them – against your will. She has the ability to get under a character’s skin so thoroughly that they seem real, making them all the more scary.

The ‘crime’ has already been committed in Line 1 of Chapter 1, we know who did it and that she was caught and convicted. The story here is one of love, rejection, sacrifice and warped visions of the world, a world that the main protagonist, Parole Officer Cate Austin, has to pick apart in order to recommend a sentence for the judge to hand down; a sentence that will satisfy society’s need for justice to be seen to be done as well as one that is also just for the perpetrator – prison or a Community Order and psychological support?

The story is revealed in stages, sometimes by the perpetrator telling us her story directly, sometimes by Cate as she interacts with her. The author has built in some twists and turns that will keep you guessing. The clever part is that she really gets the psychology, as far as I can tell with my very limited knowledge, and that is what makes it all seem so realistic.
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