A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new thriller by Kate Simants, A Ruined Girl which was the winner of the 2019 Bath Novel Award.



On a dark night two years ago, teenagers Rob and Paige broke into a house. They beat and traumatised the occupants, then left, taking only a bracelet. No one knows why, not even Luke, Rob’s younger brother and Paige’s confidant. Paige disappeared after that night. And 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…


A Ruined Girl is a dark and gripping thriller by Kate Simants. Two years ago, a young woman, Paige, disappeared after she broke into the home of her school counsellor with her friend, Rob. But what happened to Paige after that incident? She went missing and has never been seen since. Rob was arrested for the crime and sent to prison. Now, he is out; he is about to start his rehabilitation process. Wren Reynolds is his probation officer. But it soon becomes clear that Wren has her own reasons for taking Rob on. The question that continues to haunt many people is this, what happened to Paige?

Kate Simants latest book is beautifully written. I loved her sense of place and her description in the opening paragraph, which drew me into the story. It was so chilling. I wanted to know what was going on and who the people in the scene were. It really does set the tone for the rest of the book.

Robert Ashworth is a complex character. I liked how Kate Simants delved into his psyche. As part of his rehabilitation programme, he has to meet the people affected by his crime. I can imagine this must be a very difficult thing for people to have to go through; to meet and talk to the person who inflicted this pain on them. I don’t think I would be very comfortable with doing this if I was in their position.

As we get to know Robert and Wren, it becomes clear that Wren has her own motive here for getting to know Robert. I wanted to find out more about this, and I wanted to know more about her character. She is also going through a lot in her personal life at the moment, which also makes her very interesting as well.

What I thought was fascinating and heartbreaking about this book as well is that Kate Simants looks at the dark reality of what it is like for some children growing up in the care system. She paints a vivid portrayal of what it is like for these young people who have no relatives who care and love them and how this impacts them as they grow up.

This is a very dark novel that examines how far we are prepared to go for our close friends and family. It is also very thought-provoking, and I thought that Kate Simants delivered a very satisfactory and shocking ending which I did not see coming. I love Kate Simants writing, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Publisher: Viper

Publication date: 27th August 2020

Print length: 384 pages

A Ruined Girl is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Lock Me In by Kate Simants #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Kate Simants, Lock Me In.

Lock Me In: An absolutely gripping new psychological crime thriller with an ending you won’t see coming! by [Kate Simants]


Whatever you do, don’t open the door…

By day, Ellie Power has a normal life. She has a stable home, a loving boyfriend, a future.

But at night, she suffers from a sleep disorder. She becomes angry, unpredictable, violent. Her mother locks Ellie in her bedroom every night, to keep them both safe.

Then one morning, Ellie wakes up, horrified to find the lock on her bedroom door smashed from the inside. She is covered in injuries, unable to remember anything about the night before.

And her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found…


Lock Me In is a tense and chilling debut by Kate Simants. I’ve had this on my shelf since last year, and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get round to reading it sooner. This book has one of the most intense openings I’ve read in a long while, and it drew me into our lead character, Ellie’s, world and what she was going through. I immediately wanted to find out more about Ellie. Ellie suffers from violent fugues, and it appears that she takes on an alternate personality. Often, for her own safety, her mother has to keep her locked up in her room so that she can’t harm anyone. When Ellie’s boyfriend, Matt disappears, Ellie can’t remember anything about the night of his disappearance. What is even more disturbing is that Ellie is covered in bruises. What has happened to her boyfriend? Is there any chance that she could be involved in his disappearance?

Ellie was the most intriguing character in this book. I found the idea of your personality changing really scary, and it made me wonder if such occurrences actually happen. I wanted to know what had happened in Ellie’s past; surely, something must have happened to make her like this. It made me start to question what really happened on the night her boyfriend disappeared. It made me wonder just how dangerous she was and if she was a threat to anyone else.

The other character who’s viewpoint the novel is told from is Detective Ben Mae. As the investigation into Matt’s disappearance got going, I was rooting for him. Ben is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, but Kate Simants also displays a soft, caring side to him. You can see how much he loves his daughter, and this comes through very strongly in Kate’s writing.

The plot is cleverly put together; it does get quite complex as the police begin to follow the trail Matt has left behind. It took a direction which I wasn’t expecting it to, and there were several moments when I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

The ending of this book left me reeling. Kate Simants delivers a tense and shocking conclusion, and I’m sure it will be sticking with me for a while to come. Kate Simants is a huge new talent, and I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Publisher: One More Chapter

Publication date: 3rd October 2019

Print length: 387 pages

Lock Me In is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones


WWW Wednesday – 15/07/2020

It’s been a while since I’ve taken part in a WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!


The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?


What am I currently reading

       Written in Blood by [Chris Carter]


What have you finished reading?



What will you read next?

Final Cut by [S J Watson]        The Silence: ‘A riveting mystery’ (Erin Kelly) by [Susan Allott]