Two boys loved her. But which one killed 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…
Hi and welcome to my review of A Ruined Girl!
Trees. Night. Drizzle. A spade hitting the earth, again and again. A boy. A man. A girl. A pit.
Luke is a teenager living in a children’s home. His mum has been institutionalised and he and his older brother Rob are at a loss. Through Luke’s eyes we get a glimpse of the care system, the people who work tirelessly and the ones who take advantage. Luke broke my heart as he struggles to make his mum happy, to make something of himself, to protect the girl he loves, Paige, who lives in the same home. But Luke is just a teenager and he can only do so much. The night everything comes to a head, Rob and Paige break into the house of her school counsellor. Rob is arrested, Paige is never seen again.
Rob is out on probation and probation officer Wren Reynolds is in charge of Rob’s rehabilitation. Within the scope of the Community Atonement Programme, they visit victims and acquaintances, so Rob can atone for his past mistakes. But there is more to it than that. They both have an agenda. And they might not even be the only ones who have an agenda. As Wren becomes more and more obsessed with finding out what happened to Paige, she puts her own life on hold and in doing so, her own relationship in jeopardy.
Alternating between before and now, A Ruined Girl gripped me and didn’t let me go to the point where I was thinking about it when I wasn’t reading. Nothing seemed to make sense. Who were there on that fateful night in the prologue? What was the point of the burglary? Where is Luke now? What is Rob hiding? Why is Wren so obsessed? So many questions and Ms Simants made me wait an awfully long time for the answers! Some secrets I saw unravel and I realised before their reveal, others had me gasping when they came to light.
In the race to the finale, I fully grasped how much I cared about these characters, my heart was in my throat the entire time, and the highly satisfying conclusion had me in bits. All the suspense and all the feels, what a brilliant book, highly recommended!
A Ruined Girl is out in eBook and hardcover on 27 August. You can pre-order here.
Huge thanks to Viper Books and NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own.