Tag: Ruth Ware

Zero Days Book Review

Another Winner from Ruth Ware

Book Cover of Zero Days white background with large print for title and author nameRuth Ware highlights the dangers of software hacking in her latest suspense novel Zero Days. The term represents the release of hidden malware or spyware in seemingly innocent apps or programs. But the heart of the story is the anguished resilience of the protagonist and her quest to find her husband’s attacker.

Jacintha “Jack” Cross is testing the onsite security of a company by breaking into headquarters, penetrating through physical barriers. Each step of the way, husband Gabe guides her via earpiece as he tries breaking into the security systems network from the safety of their home. In reality, Jack is in the safer spot.

Things go wrong for the “pen” testers. Horribly wrong.

Compelling Heroine

Jack comes to life through Ware’s writing. Her backstory is divulged through action and dialogue. She has misgivings about the police from past experience. So, Jack becomes a fugitive. On the run she is mistrustful of strangers and cut-off from family. But turning to a friend of Gabe’s helps her in her push to find information before Zero Days commences. Helps and hurts. In the end she must rely on her instincts.

Zero Days as Backdrop

The author uses the dark web and the threat of hidden code in software to move the plot forward. Jack does not have the same computer hacking skills as her husband. So, she unravels the mystery on her terms; breaking and entering along with some misdirection.

However, Jack is also battling both emotional distress and a physical injury. So, her race against time brings a sense of heightened tension to the reader. And creates empathy for the character.

Supporting Characters

Most of the book focuses on Jack and her relationship with Gabe. But minor characters pop up to aid or hinder Jack as she counts down each day to the arrival of Zero Days. As time passes, the secondary characters actions and dialogue make it clear to the reader that Jack is living on borrowed time. Will she succeed before her body gives out?

Recommendation for Zero Days

Ruth Ware is an excellent writer. Zero Days is quite different from The Woman in Cabin 10, but every bit as compelling. Readers looking for suspense novels featuring strong female leads can’t go wrong with this 2023 release from Ware. Find a copy and enjoy!


The Woman in Cabin 10

Book Review
As I stated in my original post, my favorite genre is the murder mystery. I loved Agatha Christie books as a teenager. So, the last time I was in a Barnes and Noble perusing the inside jacket covers, I naturally kept Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10 in the buy pile. The claim of being in Christie’s style was not hyperbole. This book is gripping.

The Woman in Cabin 10 sets the suspense beautifully. However, this is not a book where the murder occurs page two. In fact, I think the splash comes about chapter 10. The delay allows for character development. Ware sets the stage well.

Lo Blackwood is a journalist who has not made it very far up the ladder. She is unsure about where her life is taking her. Blackwood has a long term boyfriend who wants to take things a step further and she is dragging her feet. Additionally, she has a few problems. She takes a prescription for anxiety and has started to drink a bit too much.

Ruth Ware opens The Woman in Cabin 10 on dry land. Her protagonist, Blackwood is drunk, at home alone, during a break-in. Even though this is an indirect tie-in to the main plot, it is important for giving the reader a glimpse of Blackwood’s background. Therefore, the scenario creates questions of the character’s stability.

The plot thickens when Blackwood boards a small cruise liner for an assignment. She only has the opportunity due to a pregnancy complication of her boss. Blackwood does not want to blow her chance to advance career wise. Ware uses this added stress factor to plant questions about the mental health of Blackwood.

Mental stability is truly the key to the story. Blackwood thinks she hears someone going overboard. However, no one is missing. She not only fails at convincing anyone on board of a problem, she starts doubting herself.

I don’t want to spoil the ending. Ruth Ware does a wonderful job. The complexity of the plot is aided by small sections showing individuals on land losing contact with the main character shortly after the ship sails. The Woman in Cabin 10 is suspenseful, makes a great read, and could be a great movie. If you have someone in the family who likes mysteries, this story fits the bill.