Dark and Twisty: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – Book Review

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What I Loved:

In a Dark, Dark Wood was a thriller with a ton of twists and turns! I loved a lot of them. This was so much going on in this story and it was so fun to try to figure it all out.

Continue reading “Dark and Twisty: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – Book Review”

Fabulous Suspense: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware – Book Review

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What I Loved:

The Turn of the Key is a re-imagining / re-telling of The Turn of the Screw. I haven’t read the Turn of the Screw, but I definitely want to now! I loved how Ruth Ware was able to take an existing story and make it her own. The book was filled with suspenseful moments and chilling thoughts. I loved her ability to creep me out in this story!

How I Felt:

The Turn of the Key is my FAVORITE Ruth Ware book so far. At this point, I have read four of her books and I can’t wait to grab the next one. This is Ruth Ware’s most recent release, published in August 2019. After reading all of these books by her, I really feel that she is developing as a writer and finding a way to make her books more and more suspenseful!

Quick overview of My Thoughts:

* Great overall plot and story
* Wonderfully suspenseful moments that make you want the light on

* I would have liked just one more chapter
* Some character decisions left me scratching my head

The Characters: The main character in this book is Rowan, and I felt that she had some really nice character development. I was fully connected with her, and really just kept thinking, “Get out of this house Rowan!”. So, I found that Ruth Ware managed to get me worried for the main character and I enjoyed that.

There are, of course, other characters in this story, but they are peripheral for a lot of the book. They come and go and I did not feel a need for the same amount of character information for them, so I didn’t mind that there was not as much time spent on them. Jack, one of the characters felt so mysterious and some of his secrets, I couldn’t quite understand why he was keeping them. I understand it made the story spookier, but I didn’t understand his motivation for doing it. I also just want to parent shame for a second. What parent hires a new nanny and just leaves her kids? There are a few things in the mother’s ENORMOUS book of how-to-care-for-my-kids that I felt should have been given verbally instead of just expecting Rowan to read it all. I don’t want any spoilers, so I won’t tell you what those were.

The Writing: Ruth Ware’s story-telling choice for The Turn of the Key was such a great idea. The entire story is told through a letter that Rowan is writing to a lawyer. She is explaining what happened and why she needs help. The letter-writing grabbed me right from the start! I loved how the story unfolded. We know right from the beginning that a child has died and that Rowan is in jail for the death. She then goes back and starts from the beginning in her letter and I loved it.

The suspense that Ruth Ware was able to bring to this book was wonderful. I could feel the goosebumps and fear that Rowan had as all these things keep happening. There is one scene where Rowan is sleeping on a couch instead of her room and I swear, I had to put the book down and check under my bed (HAHA!). You’ll totally understand why when you read that part of the book. Well done Ruth Ware!

The Plot: Rowan wants a new nanny position and how posted for one at Heatherbrae House. Her first visit for the interview goes well, but she finds a drawn picture with a weird message and before she leaves one of the children warns her that the “ghosts wouldn’t like it” if she came to stay. I think this would have been it for me, “no thanks”. Rowan perseveres though. She is offered and accepts the position.

As soon as she moves in, the mother and father are off to a conference leaving Rowan alone with the children. There are so many things that make the story suspenseful from here. The odd walking noises that are “upstairs” when there isn’t actually another floor above Rowan, the very “Smart” home that keeps functioning improperly, keys that go missing, etc. It’s filled with so many weird and creepy moments. It’s wonderful!

The Ending: The ending was fantastic. It was gripping and mysterious, and a bit heartbreaking. I would have loved just a little more information because there were a few loose strings. However, it’s always fun to not know and have those discussions with your bookish friends too, and the ending does make the book more mysterious.

Content Warnings: Child death.

Overall: I enjoyed this book for its suspenseful story. I could not put this book down and needed to know how it ended and just what was going on in this house!

To Read or Not To Read:

If you are a fan of Ruth Ware, you should ABSOLUTELY read The Turn of the Key. If you haven’t read Ruth Ware before, this was worth the read. If you enjoy the little (and big) creepy things that build a good suspenseful story, you’ll enjoy this book.

Where to Find This Book:

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Audible | Goodreads

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Just the Facts:

  • The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
  • Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller
  • Page Count: 352 pages
  • Publisher:  Gallery/Scout Press
  • Pub Date: August 6, 2019
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The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware – A Mysterious Book Review

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What I Loved:

The Death of Mrs. Westaway is a spooky mix of thriller and mystery. I loved the way the story unfolded, giving us bits of information, but leaving so many questions until the end.

How I Felt:

This is my second Ruth Ware book, and I really enjoyed it. I am totally on the Ruth Ware bandwagon now!

The Writing: Ruth Ware’s writing is engrossing! She tells this story with a first person perspective and I found that I was really connected to the main character, Hal. The way this book was written, I was so worried for Hal and what was going to happen.

The Characters: Hal, the main character was easy to like. I felt for her at the loss of her mother, even though it had not happened recently. I longed for her to find a way to set her life straight, and I really enjoyed her Tarot card reading. I found it to be an excellent addition to the story.

The Plot: I really didn’t figure out what was happening in this story until the end. I wasn’t sure where the book was going or why things were happening and I really enjoyed that.

Overall: i found The Death of Mrs. Westaway to be a great book. The story was captivating and had a multiple mysteries along the way that kept me guessing at each page turn.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend The Death of Mrs. Westaway for readers that enjoy thrillers mixed with mystery. The story had a lot of down time where you didn’t feel like a murderer was after the main character, but there were questions to answer. Then, there were other times where tensions were tight and my nerves were frayed. A great book for readers of this genre.

Where to Find This Book:

The Letters She Left Behind by Ruth Ware is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads

Hal is living paycheck to paycheck trying to pay off a loan shark. She lives alone after her mother was hit by a car outside of their home. She finds a letter at her home from an attorney letting her know that her grandmother Mrs. Westaway has passed and she needs to come for the reading of the will as there is a sizable amount being given to her.

Knowing the there must be a mistake because Hal knows Mrs. Westaway is NOT her grandmother, she finally decides to go and check it out. She really could use the money and if it’s an easy thing to do, she wants to get the money.

Once at Mrs. Westaway’s estate, however, she finds other family members that she begins to like, but also more questions than answers about why the attorney thought she was the granddaughter.

Just the Facts:

  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
  • Genre: Thriller / Mystery / Suspense
  • Page Count: 416 pages
  • Publisher:  Gallery/Scout Press
  • Pub Date: April 30, 2019

I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – A Review

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What I Loved: The mystery surrounding the woman was so very intriguing. I was really trying to guess what was going on, and I wasn’t able to do it.

How I Felt: Overall, this book was just ok for me. It was a good book, I would recommend thriller lovers reading it. It just didn’t have as much suspense as I would have liked. I didn’t really like the main character, Lo. She just didn’t do much for me. There wasn’t anything bad about her, she just didn’t have a stand-out personality.

The beginning of the book had Lo’s home being broken into while she was there. I was expecting that to be connected to something else in the book and it wasn’t, (or I didn’t catch that it was). I would have liked to see that tie into the overall story. That would have pushed this to a 4 star for me.

The plot overall was good. It was hard to guess what was happening and the story made sense. I didn’t find any plot holes and the ending was a good one.

To Read or Not To Read: If you are a Ruth Ware fan, you should definitely read this. It’s a good book for readers of suspense and mystery.

Lo Blacklock has just woken up and realized there is a man in her home. He’s dressed with a face mask and gloves and she’s terrified. He locks her in her bedroom where she sits unable to call for help, terrified. After he leaves, she goes to a neighbor and calls for help.

With this very recent burglary still on her mind, she must head to a boutique cruise liner for a week to cover the maiden voyage for her travel magazine. She’s not sleeping much and is awoken in the night by a scream and a splash. She gets to her balcony in time to see a white female hand floating down into the water. She knows she has just witnessed a murder, but no one believes her!

As she tries to get help, she finds that the room next to her, Cabin 10, never had a guest. She knows that someone had been there though, she met her. Now, with a murderer on her heels, can she prove the murder and stay safe until the book docks on dry land?

  • The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
  • Genre: Thriller / Mystery
  • Page Count: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
  • Pub Date: July 19, 2016

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

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