Cover Image: The Sacrificial Man

The Sacrificial Man

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Member Reviews

This was an easy to read thriller thaylt kept my attention all the way through! Lots of twists and surprises I didn't see coming. Very good, would recommend!
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3.5 stars. Well, this book was all kinds of crazy! I haven’t read the first in the series (and it wasn’t necessary to the storyline) so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was based near where I live. I visited Lavenham at the beginning of this year and it is now one of my favourite places, the people are lovely and it’s so beautiful. 
Although Cate is the constant in the series, this book focuses on Alice. A young woman who has a harrowing past.  She’s met a man online who wants to end his own life. This is told from a number of perspectives and also in the form of diary entries. It’s a complex and interesting read as we learn more about the circumstances surrounding Mr Smiths death. Cate is a probation officer who has to decide on Alice’ sentence. 
I’m not sure if it’s just the name but I got series Luther vibes between Alices’. High manipulation and mind games carried out by a seemingly strong, clever female. However, the Alice in our story (like Luther’s Alice really) has many demons and these are shown to us throughout the book, ending in a shocking finale. 
As some other readers have mentioned, this can be slow in parts but personally it did hold my interest. Some aspects were pretty hard to read and I did find myself squirming slightly, so this should be kept in mind. 
Cate has a character didn’t really impact me much, so I was surprised to find this was a series. I felt she was more used as a tool to tell a story, the main focus being on Alice. 
Overall I did feel it was a compelling read and the ending did come as a surprise to me, my only small negatives were the slow pace at times. I’d certainly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a dark, graphic thriller.
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Riveting, dark, twisty, and a book that I found difficult to put down.

The story itself was great.  I was apprehensive with the subject matter, and as I read it I felt it may be a little too dark and deep to really enjoy but I wanted to read on.

It was very much a roller coaster of emotions and I enjoyed reading the aspects of Alice's younger life.

It's certainly a book I wont forget in a hurry
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Disclaimer: I have been sent a copy of this book for review purposes. This has not influenced or affected my opinions in this review.

The Sacrificial Man is a thriller like no other. A fast-paced thriller which will keep you on edge the whole way through. The concept of the novel is entirely new when it comes to crime thrillers – at least for me. It is a dark, dark book but one which is thoroughly enjoyable. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good crime thriller, especially one which has such an interesting concept of a man seeking a woman online. Not for a relationship but to aid him in his death.

*4 stars*
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I'm still not sure how I feel about this book. The description and main topics of the book intrigued me so I was eager to read it and while there were parts that I enjoyed, other parts felt like they were dragging on. A lot of people seem to like this one though so I feel like other readers should read it and see for themselves what they think about it. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
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Thank you Netgalley for sending me this arc. I will be reviewing this book in the near future with an honest rating and review.
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First of all, this book is dark, dark, dark. But I was fascinated! It centers around a storyline I've never seen before: a young man seeks a woman not just to date but to assist in his death. Who would answer that kind of ad? Well, Alice does and we see that she is a broken woman herself although she's a highly respected English teacher. Cate is the woman assigned to her case who must get to know Alice and determine whether she is sane or whether prison is the answer as she is charged with his murder. We delve into her past and witness her burgeoning relationship with "Smith," (and there's more that may shock you as well). Not for the faint of heart, this novel quickly drew me in and kept me reading until the final twisted conclusion. Some of the ideas may keep me up at night but it was well worth the read!
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Rating: 4/5

Reading this book felt a bit like being strapped to a seat in a rollercoaster, where occasionally you would feel a bit nauseous but the thrill of it would be so enticing, that you would carry on coming back to it to go one more time. 

It is centred around Alice is an English lecturer, an egomaniac who is to be sentenced for assisted suicide. Cate, a probation officer given Alice’s case to recommend a sentence to the judge, tries to understand what compelled Alice to make that decision and whether she poses a risk to the society. Her probing questions trigger Alice to recount the events of the past few months as well as her childhood and what we learn is both disturbing and fascinating. 

The novel alternates the point of view between the two characters, with an occasional chapter thrown in from some minor character’s perspective. My only complaint is that the chapters from Cate’s point of view, where a tad too short and infrequent for my liking. 

It took me a few days to finish ‘The Sacrificial Man’ as occasionally the elements that made the book so great - the depiction and details surrounding the concept of death and all the gore, as already mentioned, could be a bit much. However, after taking a little break, I would have no problem getting right back to the twisted mind of Alice Mariani. If you’re after something different with a lot of twists and turns, this is the book for you.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an early copy of this book to review. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as I hoped. I read the first book in the series and found Cate very captivating and I also enjoyed the ending. With this book, I loved the beginning and the storyline had me hooked (who wouldn’t be intrigued by a story that has an assisted suicide right at the beginning)! And I found the defendant intriguing too, as well as Cate’s change in demeanour. But I feel like the story lost essence in the middle, and I wasn’t as gripped as I was at the beginning. However, I would still recommend it as a good thriller read, and it hasn’t put me off reading more from this author in the future.
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In general, I love this genre, but I struggled with this book. I couldn't get into it, and I found myself skipping around  to see if things picked up. Unfortunately, they didn't.  I just couldn't engage with the characters, and the story line didn't grab me as much as I'd expected.
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I tried so hard to like this book! I got about halfway through and just couldn’t stay interested . I was completely lost.
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This novel is multidimensional mind warping good! Everything is shocking, page after page, and it gets better with every minute as it envelopes you in it’s twisted darkness. Unable to put down I finished this in record time and then wanted to read it again. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this in exchange for my honest review!! Loved it!!
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The Sacrificial Man is a dark psychological thriller and the second book in the Cate Austin series by Ruth Dugdall. Originally published in 2011, this reformat and re-release from Legend Press is 288 pages and available in ebook format (other editions available in more formats).

This was a difficult book to read and I've been mulling my review for several days now (so in that sense, it did admittedly make me think about it more than the usual review, and that's interesting). The author is a technically adept writer. She has a sure voice and a deft touch with both descriptive prose and plotting, however... The emphasis in the storyline was way off-kilter to me. The plot revolves around an assisted suicide and nearly all of the scenes feature the woman who helped her lover to die. Cate, the returning character is an afterthought and bland and two-dimensional. I know that she's supposed to maintain her objectivity (her job is to help with sentencing by making recommendations to the court), but I didn't even realize she was supposed to be the main character; the book is told with most of the emphasis around the murderer/euthanist (in 1st person PoV) whilst Cate's interactions are told in third person.

The central themes are dark and make for quite difficult reading. The book contains graphic descriptions and themes of suicide, murder, cannibalism, psychological manipulation, dysfunction, child molestation, abuse, and more. The language is also R-rated.

This would be a good fit for fans of dark psychological thrillers/crime readers. It didn't make for enjoyable reading for me personally, though it's well written.

Three and a half stars.
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This is a tough book to read, so I had to have some space between some chapters.  I love psychological thrillers and this one is over the top with the creep factor and the heavy material.  Had no idea that this is a sequel but I know I can’t read the first one until summertime.  Reading on cold winter nights is a no-no as this authors work is as dark and chilling as can be.  Insane and sick just about covers it.
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Alice has been accused of assisting 'Smith's suicide. There is another rather disturbing element in his death, Probation officer Cate Austin has to submit a report suggesting how she ought to be judged. Is Alice of sound mind? Is prison the best place for her? A Community order? A psychiatric facility? Cate probes further into trying to discover why this successful lecturer would risk everything to help this man die & what did she gain from it?

The story is partly told by Alice, who hadn't had the greatest of childhoods, but I found it almost hard to sympathise with her- let alone like her!

This was a fast paced read. Although it is the second in the series it is a perfect stand alone- the fact that Cate Austin features so little in the book is why I couldn't give it five stars. Thanks to Netgalley & the publishers for letting me read & review this book.
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A great thriller. Disturbing at times but a great level of suspense - had me hooked! Would recommend.
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3 for neutral, will update at a later date if able to read the first book and get into this one.  I could not get into this book, I tried on multiple occasions, but never grabbed me.  Found out it was a sequel, which may be the issue or it could be my mood, but will update if able to read and finish at a later date!
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DNF @ 40%.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, so I was a bit disappointed to see that it wasn't actually a new release but! I started it anyway and honestly, it just wasn't grabbing me. The story was intriguing - not only did this woman assist in a suicide, but she then ate the guy - and I was interested to hear more of the reasoning behind her choices but it got weird quickly. Also, Cate was boring and didn't feel like she had any dimension.

Will be scrolling for spoilers, but I don't plan to come back to this one!
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Loved this. Not for the weak hearted and best read during the day. This is a sequel but I found it stood on its own. 
Highly recommend.
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This was a great psychological thriller. Some of it was disturbing as well which made it more enjoyable. It's definitely a book that is not for the faint of heart. Pretty amazing.

Thank you Netgalley, the author and publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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