Humber Boy B - Ruth Dugdall
Reading Challenge Category: Needed a book I knew would be good, and this author never lets me down, plus Kindle Unlimited
A blur in the sky, a brick no, a trainer, red falls to the water... There seems to be a scuffle... a hand grabbing at the dangling child. Then, with the awfulness of inevitability, the hanging child drops, gravity takes him. A child is killed after falling from the Humber Bridge. Despite fleeing the scene, two young brothers are found guilty and sent to prison. Upon their release they are granted one privilege only, their anonymity. Probation officer Cate Austin is responsible for Humber Boy B's reintegration into society. But the general public's anger is steadily growing, and those around her are wondering if the secret of his identity is one he actually deserves to keep. Cate's loyalty is challenged when she begins to discover the truth of the crime. She must ask herself if a child is capable of premeditated murder. Or is there a greater evil at play?
This book really makes you think as you really feel for Humber Boy B, but you have to keep reminding yourself that he is the villain. However, it is so grey as he was 10 when he committed the crime so was he truly evil, did he know what he was doing? The story switches between the ’day of’ and now so that the real picture starts to build of what truly happened. You also are made to feel for him as he doesn’t have any ‘life skills’ after being in prison from the age 10 - 18. It makes him still seem like a child. So you are a bit like aaah he’s never had a MacDonalds and aaah he doesn’t know which coins are which. However, again you have to remind yourself he wasn’t locked up in a cellar, he was locked up in a prison because he did a heinous thing. So from this aspect, the book was so well-written that it had you feeling sorry for the ‘bad guy’. However, there was an aspect of this book I wasn’t too keen on and that was Cate’s story. I understood that it was character building for her and we learn a little more on this in the book after this one (as I read them out of order) but I just didn’t think it fit in here. It felt a bit shoehorned in, and I wanted to rush over her chapters to get back to the ‘real’ story as that’s what was keeping my attention. That was what was keeping me up till the early hours of the morning reading to find out what actually happened on that bridge! So, the book could have been better, but it was still a gripping, page-turning read from Dugdall.