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Even in the heat of battle, Geoff Fulton would always carry with him the memory of the night he was on leave, when his timely intervention rescued fourteen year-old Lizzie Gillespie from the oldest of perils for a young girl. The year was 1937 and the place a rural enclave of County Durham. Seeing in Lizzie a girl of spirit, Geoff concluded that she might, with care and training, solve his problem and benefit herself. So, despite a token resistance from Lizzie's slatternly stepmother, it was agreed that the girl should become a companion/helper to his increasingly handicapped mother. But, in 1943, when Geoff returned wounded from the desert war, it was to find a Lizzie he hardly recognised--mature and highly attractive. For her part, she could see that he was embittered by his experiences at war, for he now displayed a ruthless streak far removed from the caring person she had previously known. A RUTHLESS NEED tells with power and perception the story of a girl who, given the chance of a new life, burgeons into a talented woman of ideals and expectations, and who comes to realise that she no longer needs the support of a man she once regarded as her saviour. It is a novel that will be hugely enjoyed by Catherine Cookson's millions of readers throughout the world. From the Paperback edition.