Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams
Published by Simon Pulse on July 14th 2015
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.
Ruthless is a contemporary thriller that reads fast and packs one hell of a punch. It’s definitely not a book for younger children because of the violent and dark nature of Ruth’s abduction.
Ruth, a.k.a. “Ruthless,” is a complicated character. Her family’s ranch has been in danger of running aground for as long as Ruth can remember. The constant financial woes have strained Ruth’s parents’ marriage. When Ruth was 12 she won her first horse show, which came with a whopping $40,000 cash prize. After that moment, Ruth changed. She gave away what she deemed toys, determined to be the one who could keep the farm and family in working order. Ruth grew up way too fast.
Then you have Jerry, an ex-farmhand who’s addicted to kidnapping and “teaching” what he believes are insolent young girls. Jerry is extremely volatile and twisted, yet I still felt a sliver of pity for him at points. This book gives us snapshots into Jerry’s childhood, which unsurprisingly included an abusive parent.
Like the description says, at one point in story, Ruth turns the table on Jerry. She begins calling the shots. However, even though the roles change, Ruth endures a lot before, and definitely after, she gets her chance at making Jerry suffer. Ruth is a force to be reckoned with, but Jerry is larger, stronger, and has been doing this for a lot longer…
Throughout this book, as Ruth experiences hellish experience after hellish experience, she comes to terms with how she’s been living her life. Ruth realizes the mistakes she’s made as well as, if given a future, the changes she wants to make. Her self-evaluation throughout the story is incredible and captivating.
Ruthless isn’t just a dark thriller. It’s also a story about discovering who you are, what in life means the most to you, and how far you’re willing to go for the ones you care about.