"My name is Ruby. I've been framed for murder by The New Rulebook. Though I've never heard of or seen it, its masterminds hotly pursue me...."
Ruby Masters just saw a woman die. And discovered The New Rulebook - something she knows nothing about. But it knows everything about her - enough to frame her for murder. Ruby calls on the one person she trusts, her best friend, Robert Towers. Robert will find a way out. He always has. But she didn't count on him falling in love with her - and turning Christian.
His unrelenting grip on a newfound faith irritates Ruby - until she finds herself captured behind enemy lines, helpless, alone, and with no way out.
When all human effort fails, what she gets at the end, is the one thing she didn't see coming, completely changing her life and Robert's.
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"Like vanilla fighting for chocolate ..."
Ruby, the Red of the title, had built a successful one person delivery business, starting with a simple shopping service for pensioners then growing it to includes carrying packages for firms. So she wasn't suspicious when asked to take a package to a preordained place to give to someone. She was surprised when that person was shot in front of her leaving her as the only witness. Instead of seeking out the authorities to report the crime, she runs home, calls her best friend, stages a broken pipe scenario to cover their conversation and goes on the run with him: If ever someone wanted to be a prime suspect, this was certainly a good way of ensuring it!
Her friend of 18 years, Robert, is a cop and, in the midst of murder and mayhem, confesses to Ruby his two great revelations - that he loved her and that he had found God. Yet she seems to totally overlook the former and what was the problem with the latter when it is she who is always peppering conversation with, "Thank you, Jesus," comments?
Most of the book is written in the first person, from Ruby,s perspective although a brief section sees things from Robert's point of view, so the reader gets to know both characters quite well. Whilst Robert seems to be a good, solid person, patient, dependable and truly in love with his long time friend, she comes over as a needy, self obsessed, superficial and manipulative woman (at least to this reader), who's religious belief is more for show, or to calm nerves in times of stress. Yes, you're right - I really didn't have time for her. Why was she set up for the murder in the first place? No idea. Why was she pursued so avidly by the baddies? Again, no idea. Surely a 10,000 dollar fee from an unknown firm to give an unknown woman a package would seem suspicious to most one person delivery acts? Mmmm. There was great potential in the story but it wasn't properly developed, sadly. Perhaps all is somewhere revealed in a throwaway sentence or two, but I found it often difficult to concentrate on the narration. Ms.Tuszyski's voice was pleasant, if rather little girlish, but well suited to the title character, and, again like Ruby, seemed to have little emotional quality in the reading. She also sped along at times and it was in these periods, especially in the latter half of the book, that I found my concentration wavering. Overall, not a bad narration, just not spectacular.
Each chapter was preceded by a line from the bible, which was nice and, if the frequent 'Jesus' comments by Ruby are overlooked, the actual religious message was tastefully woven throughout. Included at the end is the first chapter of the next book in the series. This is attached with no prior explanation other than the bland 'The end', followed by Chapter One, which could have been a clever postscript, but wasn't.
My thanks to the rights holder for gifting me a copy of Red. Nicely written for the most part with a lot of potential. Just not quite there yet.
- Norma Miles
I liked the book. It had suspense and a little romance. However, I don't believe it when Ruby/Red believe in God quite so quickly. I know that when your in danger or believe you are going to die that you would do something that you wouldn't do like praying. I had no problem with that but I found her to have too much faith for someone who didn't really have one to begin with.
Also when she thought someone she knew die, I felt that she did not mourn them enough. This is a person who she liked a lot. I expected her to think about this person a bit more longer. I had someone close to me die and they would come to mind when I wasn't thinking about them, at the beginning, nearly all the time. It took along time for me to think about them in happier moments.
The other thing which I found too much was the faith Ruby had. She seems to except things to quickly. As humans we have habits or the way we think that take a while to change/break. There are some things that we might be able to change quickly but not everything. I believe she needed more time to be that religious.
As for the romance I felt Ruby didn't really love Robert. She said that life is to short and she knows that he loves her and yet she waited ages before she told him. She was willing for him to find someone else. If she truly loved him she would have been jealous even if she was in denial about her feelings or was willing to let him go. After all we are humans with human emotions not saints.
Andrea's performance was OK. I believe she can put more emotions in the character so we can hear when they are upset/angry, etc. I didn't hear her voice change when the characters emotions changed. She was still OK and she suited Ruby's character really well.