Reviews of To Inherit a Murderer

Professional Review of ARC eBook by Clayton Bye, June 20th, 2009

To Inherit a Murderer (Book 1, The Ward)

by E. J. Ruek
Thriller; 302 pages; eBook (Also available in print)

The Author

E. J. Ruek writes  “contemporary mainstream novels with just a nod of nerve-tingling what-if possibility.”

“In life,” the author says “things are not always as they seem — not on the surface and not underneath. I like that. I like to write about that. Your auntie might not be that nice lady you always thought she was. In fact, she might be nicer. If fact, she might have hidden knowledge that you never dreamed someone like her could harbor, much less use. She has secrets, and those secrets drive the neighbors crazy, because they just “know” that something isn’t quite as “normal” as it should be. …And it isn’t.”

“You just never know. You can never assume. Because, when you do, things happen.”


The Book

Both parents dead, William is to be raised by his mother’s friend Deborah Rheinhart–even though she suspects the twelve-year-old is a murderer.

Injured by the rage-driven boy on his first day at her home, Deborah’s reclusive and very private life is turned upside down. Her hired “chaperones” are forced to turn her beautiful ranch into a prison. Even Deborah’s activities become restricted.

A portrait of high-end ranch life and the “prestigious world” of Grand Prix show jumping, The Ward by E. J. Ruek is also the story of a woman dedicated to understanding and teaching her inherited child, despite how evil he seems to be.  Determined to make William earn companionship and privileges by actions, Deborah puts herself directly in the path of a force so destructive she may very well be the next victim on a growing list of strange deaths and injuries.


The Review

To Inherit a Murderer (Book 1, The Ward) is my first time reading the fiction of E. J. Ruek. I am, however, familiar with the author’s blogging, book reviews and editorials, and I’ve come to expect quality in all. Ruek’s fiction does not disappoint.

Ruek is up there with the best. Crisp, balanced prose. A unique, well-told story. And a protagonist and antagonist the reader won’t be able to get enough of. I’m thrilled The Ward is just the first book in a series.

Will appeal to: thriller buffs, horror fans, those who lean toward the paranormal.

What I didn’t like: the story bogged down a bit during a rather lengthy visit to the world of horse jumping.

Final comment? The Ward is the reason I keep sifting through the galaxy of small and independent publishers; the novel is unique, and it’s very good.

Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye 2009

Review by: Marva Dasef on Aug. 09, 2009 : FIVE STARS
A woman reluctantly takes on the creepy son of her dead friend. Why would Deborah not just turn the kid over to the state to deal with? First, she has promised her friend to take care of him. Second, she sees in the boy something of herself, a part of her that she has learned to control. Nobody else can help this child, but will everyone around him come out unscathed? I don’t want to give any more details because the answers will surprise you and make your skin crawl at the same time.

Excellent book by Ms. Ruek. I look forward to seeing more of her work.

Marva Dasef
Author of Quest for the Simurgh and many other titles

(This review was originally found on the bottom of this page on the Internet at Smashwords, before the eBook was moved exclusively to Amazon:

Review by: Elizabeth Brenaman on Sep. 02, 2009 : FIVE STARS
Thriller, mystery, paranormal, this excellent read covers all the bases! A chilling account of a woman who, against her better judgment, reaches out to a boy everyone has pegged as evil. Deborah, despite many setbacks with the boy, begins to trust. The story of what that trust costs her is positively breathtaking. I couldn’t put it down!

Fantastic read. I also look forward to more of her work.


(This review was originally posted the bottom of this page on the Internet at Samshwords until the eBook was moved exclusively to Amazon: