"A spine-tingling debut about the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse in reverse as a teen struggles to retain hope—and her sanity—while on the run from a cunning and determined killer.Let's talk about Ruthless. The book, of course. (I've been calling Ruth ruthless in my head, and it is becoming quite a bad habit of mine. Confusing names are really bad. Trust me on that.) It stars Ruth, who has been kidnapped by a disgruntled employee of her father. And disgruntled employee only begins to cover who the villain truly is, and I'll dive into that later.
Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless.
When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup truck, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.
At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.
The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decides just how far she’ll go in order to survive.
Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were."
As the victim, Ruth has to be tough and strong. She wants to live, and she wants to survive, and she refuses to be broken by a madman with sick thoughts. She refuses to die, and she know that this guy will kill her like he did to six girls before her. And that is downright horrifying, but she knows that she has to try. She proves herself to be resourceful, and she is pushed to the very brink. Every limit is tested in that dark forest, and she is being hunted after escaping her kidnapper. But most importantly, she doesn't give up. Amazingly, she has a lot of strength and sees through the crap her kidnapper keeps on saying.
The plot and conflict is definitely one that keeps your pulse racing. Ruth is trying to survive while keeping ahead of a crazy serial killer/rapist. She does things to try to even out the playing field or end it entirely, and Ruth is definitely amazing. (I would be panicking like crazy, if I'm being chased by a rifle-wielding killer.) She is smart, and from the very beginning, she knows what's going on. She uses every resource and uses her words as weapons.
The villain is a downright... Oh, I can't curse too much. But you get the picture. He is a human of a whole bunch of crap who deserves to be sent to jail, and I bet even criminals in prison have standards. And that is the very beginning of all of it. His POV chapters doesn't make it any easier to read, and I feel not a single gram of sympathy for him. The past doesn't excuse the future.
The ending feels too short, and I wish there is an additional chapter. What of Ruth's relationships? What of Ruth's future? More details would be very nice.
Overall, Ruthless is an excellent thriller about surviving and fighting. Though Ruth does get subtle character development, the action and the events are front and center. It is horrifying and terrifying in the right ways, and it definitely will keep some awake at night.
Rating: Three out of Five