The Things You Didn’t See; an emotional psychological thriller

Watch out, The Things You Didn’t See is the new psychological thriller from award-winning crime novelist Ruth Dugdall; and it’s hitting book shops and Amazon very soon.

Out on 24 April 2018, The Things You Didn’t See tells the emotional story of Cassandra who is woken by a gunshot whilst staying at her parents’ farm. As her mother clings to life, Cassandra is told that it’s a suicide attempt. Yet she refuses to believe this; suicide is something her mum would never do.


Dugdall has told me that she is always interested in complex women; and Cassandra is no exception. Dugdall has created a very realistic character that is confused and vulnerable but is led by intuition. As a reader I felt real empathy towards Cassandra. She has a history mental illness, and as she continues to argue that her mother would never try to commit suicide, everyone around her tells her she is paranoid, even her husband and father.

As Cassandra feels isolated and struggles to be heard, she turns to Holly, a trainee paramedic for help. Holly has her own reasons why she wants to help Cassandra. Holly also has synesthesia. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of synesthesia – I had to google it. Dugdall wanted her ‘detective’ to have something different and she thought synesthesia would be quirky. She was right. As well as giving Holly a quirkiness, the synesthesia gives this character authentic depth and empathy.

The Things you Didn’t See is a psychological thriller, but it also a novel about friendship and the complexity of family relationships. Whilst reading it I did think I had worked the plot out; yet the brilliance in Dugdall’s writing is her subtilty which not only creates dramatic tension but is extremely thought-provoking. I finished the book a few days ago and believe me, I’m still giving the novel’s portrayal of family dynamics a lot of thought.

I don’t want to give too much away as it could be deemed a spoiler but The Things you Didn’t See also makes me want to go and watch Ingrid Bergman movies, especially one in particular. I’m saying nothing more; you’ll need to read the book to know what I’m on about.

Thank you to Ruth Dugdall and Netgalley for arranging for me to read and advanced copy of The Things you Didn’t See in return for an honest review. If you like psychological thrillers with depth and complex characters, then get on Amazon now and pre-order your copy of this raw and compelling novel. You won’t be disappointed.

Publication date of The Things You Didn’t See: 24 April 2018.


My rating: Four-stars



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