The Woman Before Me - Ruth Dugdall
Reading Challenge Category: Kindle Unlimited.
They came for me, just like I knew they would. Luke had been dead for just three days. Rose Wilks' life is shattered when her newborn baby Joel is admitted to intensive care. Emma Hatcher has all that Rose lacks. Beauty. A loving husband. A healthy son. Until tragedy strikes and Rose is the only suspect. Now, having spent nearly five years in prison in Ipswich, Rose is just weeks away from freedom. Her probation officer Cate must decide whether Rose is remorseful for her crime, or whether she remains a threat to society. As Cate is drawn in, she begins to doubt her own judgement. Where is the line between love and obsession, can justice be served and, if so... by what means?
Wow, this book had me hooked from the start as you knew it wasn’t going to be a plain and straightforward story. It was just so heartbreaking as Rose had such a turbulent and sorry life but had she done what she was accused of? Had she snapped and wanted to punish Emma? Was she merely deranged and depressed enough after losing her own son to have killed another little boy? Or did you believe her pleas of innocence? It was really hard, especially as the story unfolds and you learn more and more of the events leading up to the fateful night. The book is almost in three parts; it has the vein of life in the prison and the run-up to the parole hearing. Then there is what happened to Luke, but there is also Rose’s past which starts right back to her childhood but loops around to join the history of what happened to Luke. It’s very cleverly written as you wonder at first what the relevance her childhood has, but it’s all part of the storytelling. There is also the introduction to Cate Austin, although I have read two books where she has featured, so it was nice for me to get her ‘origin’ story if you like. It was strange to see her so unsure of herself as she is so much stronger in the later books! It true Dugdall style the book ends very abruptly once you know the ending, there is no rambling on, it just stops. So in this updated version, I really liked the afterward that told us, the readers how the story came to be and how she struggled to establish herself as an author. It made me feel even more connected to the book and even happier that I could be a part of her journey and more importantly, that I absolutely loved this book!