Blog Tour- Life Ruins- Danuta Kot

July 31, 2019




A gritty, dark and fast paced trip around the North Yorkshire coast. 


4/5 stars 


The plot 

A body, briefly glimpsed at the bottom of an abandoned mineshaft, vanishes when the police investigate. Jared, recovering from an almost fatal injury and addicted to painkillers, knows he saw something terrible in that mine… but he has no evidence, and fears he’s losing his grip on reality.

 A girl is attacked so savagely she can’t be identified, and dumped late at night in an isolated campground. She’s alive, but only just. Becca, tossed out of university and just let go from her dead-end job, is certain she knows who the victim is. But no one will believe her, and she can hardly even trust herself.

Kay, recently widowed and coming to terms with life on her own, suddenly finds herself forced to get involved. For years she and her husband fostered difficult children – including Becca, whom trouble follows like a stray puppy. And now Becca seems to be in the worst trouble of her life. And then Jared and Becca meet. Becca, strong-minded and fiercely independent, is confident they can figure out what’s How can you save someone else... when you can’t even save yourself?

She pulls Kay into the mix, knowing they’ll need all the help they can get… because the police don’t believe them. And more girls are vanishing. Separately, Kay, Becca and Jared believe their lives have hit rock bottom. But drawn together under extraordinary circumstances, they’ll discover the strength to fight back… and ultimately rebuild their lives from the ruins.


My Review

The book begins with the introductions to the three main characters Kay, Becca and Jared.

All have had to deal with and are still dealing with trauma in their lives. Kay was Becca’s foster Mum and Becca has secrets of her own which are threatening to be uncovered.

Working at a hostel in Bridlington, a seaside town in North Yorkshire that I visited often a child and I know from family has changed significantly over the years, the author describes the bleak winter side of the seaside town to a tee.


Becca is concerned when she finds out that a girl has been found attacked as she believes it may be Paige, a girl from the hostel she was working at and that she was possibly the last person to see her getting into a car.

She goes to police and there she has a chance meeting with Jared and she ends up at the caravan site when Jared is living. The story has a real feel of darkness and claustrophobia and I had no trouble at all in imagining the grim GBH’s grubby campsite, not a place I would want to visit.

When Becca’s past catches up with her, she loses her job and receives a video from showing the inside of a cave and Jared realises that what he may have seen in the cave may have been real after all and they decide to investigate. Things take a sinister turn and Kay; Becca and Jared find themselves all in danger.

I really enjoyed the pace of the book; I particularly enjoyed the North Yorkshire setting and I liked the characters with all their flaws a really good read.

Thank you to Anne Cater for the invitation to the tour and to Simon & Schuster for the copy of the book in return for a fair and honest review.



About the Author


For many years, she worked with young people in Yorkshire who were growing up in the aftermath of sudden industrial decline. She uses this background in her books to explore some of the issues that confront modern, urban society: poverty, alienation and social breakdown, using the contexts of the modern crime novel.

She has previously written under the names, Danuta Reah and Carla Banks. Danuta was also a former chair of the Crime Writers’ Association.

 She now works as a senior education consultant, work that involves travel to establish education and training in other parts of the world. She is a regular academic speaker at conferences and literary festivals, and has appeared on radio and television.

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