3 out of 4 stars
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“Ruby was a strange girl from the very beginning. She didn’t seem to have any real attachment to anyone, not even her parents.” This is how Cathy Coburn describes Ruby Parker. Ruby is a fictional tale about a young girl who seemed to have few emotions. Ruby did not have friends, and most people seemed to be leery of her. Even animals avoided her. Her mother knew there was something different about Ruby, but she ignored it and defended her behaviors. Eventually Ruby’s behavior escalated and the eight-year-old became a hunted orphan.
Patricia and Thomas Cummings lived next door to the Parker’s. They became the hub where everyone gathered whose lives had been turned upside down by Ruby. Patricia had found Ruby crying, covered in blood in the Parker’s yard. She found Bobby, Ruby’s older brother, in a catatonic state. She found Ruby’s mother, taking her last breaths inside the house. Patricia realized who the murderer was and set out to prove to the police and others the killer’s identity. Patricia was a strong character throughout the book, and she quickly became one of my favorite characters. She had a sense of humor and showed compassion to those around her. She took in Bobby and Roberta (Ruby and Bobby’s grandmother) even though she did not know them and had many reasons to turn her back on them. She seemed to be a very likeable, wholesome, down-to-earth person who provided strength and stability to those who needed a friend and some moral support. I also like Roberta, the grandmother. She knew that Ruby was not normal. She saw through Ruby’s charm and tried to protect others from Ruby.
My least favorite character in the book is Ruby. Ruby is cute and a very intelligent young lady. Unfortunately, she is very manipulative and uses her few redeeming qualities to get what she wants. She is often sarcastic and devious. She likes to taunt people by saying, “Please don’t kill me.” She acts much older than her age (8-years-old). Her intelligence allows her to handle situations that many adults would not be able to handle. In the book, she becomes orphaned, alone, and hunted. I found myself wanting her to be caught, even though her ability to survive was admirable, because she was an awful person. I could feel the anger and hatred that many of the characters harbored for her.
I read this book in its entirety in one sitting. I kept turning the pages, anxiously awaiting the next twist and turn. The story held my attention, and the ending provided a good lead-in to a sequel. I had previously reviewed this book, and upon request reviewed it again. Although many of the errors were fixed, there are still multiple word usage and capitalization errors. Because of the remaining errors, I regretfully give the book 3 out of 4 stars instead of the four stars the book deserved.
I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a mystery thriller. The book contains some language that may be deemed inappropriate for some readers; however, it seemed appropriate for this book. There are no sexual scenes in this book. I do not believe that any religion would find this book offensive. There are some descriptive murder scenes that may be inappropriate for young readers. I think the book is appropriate for young adults and older. The book kept my attention, and I look forward to reading more mystery thrillers from this author.
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