It was in March 2017 that I first met Ruth Dugdall at an event you can read about here. Since then I have reviewed Ruth’s My Sister and Other Liars here, and have been privileged to interview Ruth here on Linda’s Book Bag.
Today I’m thrilled to be staying in with Ruth to hear about her latest book release and would like to thank Lucy at Legend Press for inviting me to be part of the launch celebrations for The Sacrificial Man as a member of Legend 100.
Staying in with Ruth Dugdall
Welcome back to Linda’s Book Bag Ruth and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Good evening Linda, and thank you for inviting me!
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve brought along The Sacrificial Man, which is actually a re-release. When it was first published, back in 2011, the appetite for books in the UK was tamer, and The Sacrificial Man – with its themes of assisted suicide and cannibalism – is a dark read. But things have changed since then, not just in terms of books but in the world in which we live, and readers are seeking books that reflect this. So my publisher, Legend Press, suggested that we re-launch.
The book has a new cover and feels very fresh – it may be that the time is right for Alice and her dark romance with the man she met on the internet.
Gosh. The Sacrificial Man sounds as if it is very much of today’s world. So, what can we expect from an evening in with The Sacrificial Man?
An evening with this book will hopefully be memorable, and there are a few special moments coming. I’m a vegetarian, and haven’t eaten meat since I was 12, so writing about the subject of cannibalism was an imaginative stretch. I got around this by making Alice also a vegetarian – so there is a section in the book when she feels she needs to practice eating meat.
I have a feeling that isn’t going to end well…
What else have you brought along and why?
As the sun fades and the evening begins, we’re going to be settling down in a timber-framed cottage with laburnum climbing the outside walls – it’s a beautiful plant, but the seeds are poisonous, so be careful. We’re in Lavenham, which is a beautiful Tudor village in rural Suffolk. It’s featured in some of the Harry Potter films, and is the last place on earth you’d imagine a crime of this nature to take place. Which is why I chose it. And Alice, of course, doesn’t believe she has committed any crime. After all, isn’t it our right to choose to die? Perhaps we can talk about this, and other questions, after we’ve finished reading.
Oh we can! I have very strong feelings about assisted death. I know Lavenham well too.
The inside of the cottage is immaculate – so don’t put your glass down without a coaster. Alice is very picky about things like that!
Good thing you said!
The Sacrificial Man is inspired by a real case, in Germany, so we’ll be drinking German Riesling to enjoy with the book. Prost!
But as I’ve transported the central theme to Suffolk so we’re going to be eating some Suffolk sausages from local pigs – you’ll see why when you’ve read the book! So, let me serve you a hearty dish, full of meat and spice, and a fine wine that may leave your head spinning. Looking forward to entertaining you!
Thank you. I think…
That sausage casserole sauce looks very red Ruth. I don’t have a good feeling about this…
Whilst I can (!) I’d like to thank you for staying in with me Ruth. Let’s find out a bit more about The Sacrificial Man:
The Sacrificial Man
What I want to say is that suicide is my choice. No-one else is to blame. Man seeks beautiful woman for the journey of a lifetime: Will you help me to die?
When Probation Officer Cate Austin is given her new assignment, she faces the highest-profile case of her career. Alice Mariani is charged with assisted suicide and Cate must recommend a sentence.
Alice insists her story is one of misinterpreted love, forcing those around her to analyse their own lives. Who is to decide what is normal and when does loyalty turn to obsession?
Investigating the loophole that lies between murder and euthanasia, Cate must now meet the woman who agreed to comply with her lover’s final request. Shocking revelations expose bitter truths that can no longer be ignored.
The Sacrificial Man is available for purchase through the links here.
About Ruth Dugdall
Ruth Dugdall is the author of The Woman Before Me (2010), The Sacrificial Man (2011), The James Version (2012), Humber Boy B (2015) and Nowhere Girl (2015)
Ruth studied a BA (Hons) degree in English and Theatre Studies at Warwick University, and then an MA is Social Work at UEA. She worked as a Probation Officer for almost a decade, working in prisons with numerous high-risk criminals. Ruth’s debut novel The Woman Before Me (Legend Press, 2010) was informed by her experiences. Ruth’s professional background gives her writing authenticity and credibility. Ruth’s second novel The Sacrificial Man was published in 2011.
Ruth is the winner of the CWA Debut Dagger and the Luke Bitmead Bursary and has been longlisted for the New Angle Book Prize and People’s Book Prize.
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