The Things You Didn’t See
For readers of Elizabeth Haynes, BA Paris, Erin Kelly and Louise Doughty.
A sleepwalker can’t be guilty of anything they do whilst they dream. Can they?
Early morning, in rural Suffolk, a single gunshot is heard at Innocence Farm. The farmer’s wife, Maya Hawke, is barely alive, found with her chin under the muzzle of a rifle. The police, the paramedics, all assume it is an attempted suicide.
Maya is in an induced coma, unable to say. Her daughter, Cassandra, knows her mother thought suicide was cowardly and won’t accept this explanation and sets out to discover the truth. Just when she believes she knows who is guilty her father makes a startling confession: he did it, but in his sleep. Hector Hawke has always been a sleepwalker, and he loves his wife. No-one doubts his tragic explanation; no-one except his daughter.
When Maya dies the stakes are raised, and the case is upgraded to a murder. Cassandra is plagued with anxiety: if he was asleep, how can any of them rest easy at night? And if he’s lying, she is harbouring her mother’s murderer. When her family, her marriage, and her mental health are put at risk she must ask herself what price she is willing to pay for the truth.
Student paramedic Holly Redwood, one of the first on the scene to attend to Maya, also thinks something strange is going on. But she has a secret; Innocence Farm was a place she played as a girl, until the play turned to pain, and someone got badly hurt. She has never been back, until now. Helping Cassandra uncover the truth also resurrects the ghosts of her past, and both women end up down a path of discovery from which neither can turn back.
THE THINGS YOU DIDN’T SEE is a novel about families and love. It is about the nature of guilt and innocence. It is about the secrets we keep, especially from our selves.
Ruth Dugdall studied English at university and then took an MA is Social Work. She worked in the Criminal Justice System as a social worker then as a probation officer. Her novels are informed by her experience, tackling human relationships at their most dysfunctional.
- Winner of the CWA Debut Dagger Award for The Woman Before Me
- Winner of the 2009 Luke Bitmead Bursary
- Shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize 2011
- Shortlisted for the Brit Writer’s Novel Award
- Editor’s Choice at Play.com