The British author Ruth Ware has only been writing since 2015, but what a quick ride to fame that has become! Her current standalone bestseller thrillers, starting with In A Dark and Dark Wood, have captured the attention of many readers and critics of this genre.
In addition, 3 books have been optioned for the big screen.
Here are the Ruth Ware books in order for her so-far standalone novel. The order of reading is based on the year of publication.
New Ruth Ware Book
- In a Dark, Dark Wood, 2015
- The Woman in Cabin 10, 2016
- The Lying Game, 2017
- The Death of Mrs. Westaway, 2018
- The Turn of the Key, 2019
- Snowflakes, 2020 (short story contributed to the Hush series)
- One by One, 2020
Writing as Ruth Warburton
Winter Trilogy Series
- A Witch in Winter (Winter Trilogy #1), 2013
- A Witch in Love (Winter Trilogy #2), 2013
- A Witch Alone (Winter Trilogy #3), 2013
- Witch Finder (Witch Finder #1), 2014
- Witch Hunt (Witch Finder #2), 2014
Ruth Ware Biography
Ruth Ware was born in 1977 in West Sussex, UK. She grew up in Lewes, Sussex, on the south coast of England. She went to Manchester University, following which he moved to Paris.
Later, going back home, she moved to North London, where she began working as a waitress, then a bookseller, an English teacher, as well as a foreign language and a press officer.
Ruth wrote stories her whole life, including during her teen years, however, most of those works are in her cupboard never to see the light of day. She did write a fantasy series for young adults under the name Ruth Warburton. Those books were released by Hodder’s Children Books.
She wrote her debut novel after a discussion with a friend, where her friend mentioned that she’d never read a psychological thriller set on a hen night (bachelorette party). This gave Ruth an idea for a book, and she went with it.
The story, indeed, starts with a hen party, where Leonora (Nora), a reclusive crime book author is invited to a party during a weekend. The venue is a glass house in the woods.
The whole setting is in the glass house, in a locked-room style of situation that strongly reminds me of Agatha Christie’s work. In fact, the author was often compared to Agatha Christie (whom she looks up to a lot) by many readers. The people are put in a confined space where they have to deal with each other whether they like it or not. The location is usually one from where the main characters can’t easily escape, and, of course, they will invariably end up rubbing each other the (very) wrong way.
The first Ruth Ware book does have a few hints of horror, however, if you do not like horror novels, the book is safe to read. There are only glimpses, and the actual horror never materializes. However, there is a lot of claustrophobia in the Ruth Ware books, especially when someone is thrown together in a relatively confined space with a bunch of relatively unknown and very different characters.
So far, except for the latest popular novel, in all her previous books, Ruth Ware has created heroines that are thrown into situations that are out of their control. Basically, they stumble into situations while being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Still, the author makes even the worst character somewhat likable. In an interview, she mentioned that she couldn’t write about a character she didn’t like at all. So there are, at least in part, some positive bits and pieces to each protagonist.
The author’s probably most popular novel is The Woman in Cabin 10, a book which has strong Agatha Christie vibes. Lo Blacklock is a travel-magazine writer, who decides to go on a luxury cruise to change the scenery of her life for a bit. But when she sees a woman’s body being thrown into the water, she knows things are more complicated than a simple vacation.
In The Death of Mrs. Westaway, the writer changed the main idea in that now, the main character walks into a dangerous situation while fully aware, and who has intentions of committing a crime. Hal, the main character, is a tarot reader who doesn’t believe in tarot cards. She is just like the psychics who fake-pretend to be psychics and don’t actually believe in all the supernatural behind it.
All Hal does is cold reading her clients through psychology in order to make money (having practiced tarot reading several years ago, sadly in our circles we had several persons who were in it just for the money, without actually taking tarot seriously.)
The Turn of the Key, published in 2019, Rowan Caine is searching for a job. What she finds, instead, is much better: a live-in nanny at the luxurious at Heatherbrae House in the Scottish Highlands. Little does she know that she sets foot on a path that will not only lead to a dead child but also to her imprisonment for murder.
The author has a book club on her website where readers can get the The Tale of Mrs Westaway short story for free when they sign up for the recommendations. This story is the prequel to The Death of Mrs Westaway.
Most of the Ruth Ware novels have been either nominated for or won one or more awards. They have been sold in numerous countries, including the US, Thailand, Estonia, Germany, and have been translated in several languages.
The company The Gotham Group has picked up Ruth Ware’s novel The Lying Game for production. The Gotham Group is known for producing The Maze Runner series, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. They will also produce two additional Ruth Ware stories, The Woman in Cabin 10, and In a Dark, Dark Wood, which are coincidentally the first two books written by the author so far.
Praise for Ruth Ware
“gripping enough to be devoured in a single sitting (The Independent)
I raced through this, totally unable to put it down…Dark, smart and compulsive (Nicci Cloke)
The next Girl on the Train…Ware hews [close] to the new genre of twisty-mystery women’s books. (Vulture)
Likely to be the next Gone Girl. (Elisabeth Willse)
Ruth Ware’s thrilling suspense novel captivates. (US Weekly)
With a churning plot worthy of Agatha Christie, and fresh on the heels of her bestselling thriller In a Dark, Dark Wood, Ruth Ware twists the wire on readers’ nerves once again. “Cabin 10” just may do to cruise vacations what “Jaws” did to ocean swimming. You’ll be afraid to go out on the water. (Star Tribune)
Ruth Ware is a magician. Her novels—suspenseful, sophisticated, relentlessly compelling—blow the dust off half a dozen crime genres, from Golden Age whodunits to psychological suspense. And The Death of Mrs. Westaway, her latest, is also her best: a dark and dramatic thriller, part murder mystery, part family drama, altogether riveting. More, please, and soon. (A.J. Finn)
- Ruth Ware official author website
- Ruth Ware interview on Agatha Christie
- The Gotham Group picks up Ruth Ware novels for production
- The author’s book club page