Evening my lovelies.  A few days ago I posted a spotlight of  Life Ruins by Danuta Kot, and promised to return with a review….and here it is!


Title: Life Ruins
Author: Danuta Kot
Genre: Women’s Detective Fiction
Series/Standalone: First book in a series
Estimated page count: 480
Formats available: Paperback, Hardback, Audiobook and eBook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (7 Feb. 2019)
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Tour organised by: Zooloo’s Book Tours

In a small northern town, girls are disappearing.

You won’t see it in the papers and the police aren’t taking any notice, but the clues are there if you know where to look. 

Becca sees that something is wrong, but she’s been labelled ‘difficult’ thanks to her troubled past. So when a girl is so savagely beaten she can’t be identified, and Becca claims she knows who she is, no one will believe her.

With the police refusing to listen, Becca digs for evidence that will prove what she is saying. But her search for justice will put herself and those closest to her in danger – and once she finds the truth, will anyone even listen?

Purchase links: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

my thoughts

Becca hates her job at the drop-in; with a troubled beginning and recent issues she struggles to get anything else and should be grateful for the job her foster-mum Kay got her – but she’s not.  She likes that the kids that drop in will talk to her though and knows its because she’s been where they are.  When Paige chats to her and wants to walk home with her, she’s happy to oblige but then Paige goes missing and Becca is determined to find out what happened to her.  When she has a chance encounter with Jared, a guy with a troubled past, they end up unexpectedly working together to try and figure things out – after all the police aren’t listening.  But the more Becca delves, the more danger she puts them in and with the police not believing their stories, what can she do next? Girls are disappearing and no-one except them seems to care……

In terms of characters, Becca is a difficult one.  She does have a soft side but rarely shows it and has a particular dislike for authority because of the stuff that’s happened in her past.  She quite stroppy and grumpy because of this but it makes it quite hard to actually like her.  Jared on the other hand, lives with guilt but I actually really liked him as character.  The fact that these two troubled souls are bought together is wonderful, and they actually work quite well together.  Kay is a fantastic, strong woman though again comes across as fairly unhappy….

The story was gripping and pretty intriguing, keeping me reading to find out what was going on.  However, because the characters are all troubled/pretty miserable, it didn’t feel like there were particularly any happier moments in this book.  Which is fine, but it would have been nice to have something uplifting occasionally.  The investigation is fantastic though and it will keep you guessing as to who is involved.  I didn’t guess until quite near the end!

In terms of setting, Jared and Becca travel over a few places including Whitby, Kettleness, Scarborough and York.  The author does a fantastic job of bringing the more deprived areas to life and giving a glimpse into the lives of those who may be homeless or living in poverty/harder times.

So overall, a pretty dark intriguing mystery that will keep you turning the pages.  I’m looking forward to reading the next one to see what Becca gets up to next and to see if she’s cheered up a little!


Danuta Kot (who also writes as Danuta Reah and as Carla Banks) grew up with stories. Her Irish mother and her Polish father kept their own cultures alive with traditional tales they shared with their children. 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 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.

Where to find Danuta online: Facebook ~ Twitter | @Danitajr ~ Website


Make sure you come back on 9th to read my review of book 2, Someone Who Isn’t Me.

Enjoy the rest of your evening.

Chelle x

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