• The Half-Life of Ruby Fielding

  • A Novel
  • By: Lydia Kang
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (124 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the bestselling author of A Beautiful Poison comes a spellbinding historical mystery about hidden identities, wartime paranoia, and the tantalizing power of deceit.

Brooklyn, 1942. War rages overseas as brother and sister Will and Maggie Scripps contribute to the war effort stateside. Ambitious Will secretly scouts for the Manhattan Project while grief-stricken Maggie works at the Navy Yard, writing letters to her dead mother between shifts.

But the siblings’ quiet lives change when they discover a beautiful woman hiding under their back stairs. This stranger harbors an obsession with poisons, an affection for fine things, and a singular talent for killing small creatures. As she draws Will and Maggie deeper into her mysterious past, they both begin to suspect she’s quite dangerous—all while falling helplessly under her spell.

With whispers of spies in dark corners and the world’s first atomic bomb in the works, the visitor’s sudden presence in Maggie’s and Will’s lives raises questions about who she is and what she wants. Is this mysterious woman someone they can trust—or a threat to everything they hold dear?

©2022 Lydia Kang (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Saskia Maarleveld's narration is the best part of this historical mystery, set in Brooklyn in October 1942.… The story is told from multiple perspectives, and Maarleveld does a great job creating believable character distinctions and capturing the tension as the story builds to a final twist.”AudioFile Magazine

“A complex, intertwined narrative.”Historical Novel Review 

“Lydia Kang does it again. The Half-Life of Ruby Fielding is riveting. Set in Brooklyn and New York City at the height of World War II, we are dropped into a world where no one can be trusted. The Manhattan Project is in its early stages and the key to winning the war. But who works for who? Not only are loyalties to country challenged, but family loyalties as well. Characters’ motives and desires shift and twist. No one is who they claim to be. And in the middle of it all is the strange, alluring, and enigmatic Ruby Fielding, who may undo them all. A marvelous, complex, and thrilling read.”—Kim Taylor Blakemore, bestselling author of After Alice Fell 

What listeners say about The Half-Life of Ruby Fielding

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lurid details

Stopped reading when the sexual details became th free essence of the story. Disappointed as it had the potential for a lot of political intrigue.

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Put me to sleep

I've no issues regards Ruby's Bisexuality. This factor failed to make the book interesting.

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WWII Story for Millennial Generation

Lydia Kang has grown more interesting as a writer with every book. Her unique ability to blend vivid imagination with the rigor of science is enchanting. A delicious book with a clear eyed yet gentle exposure of deep moral questions. And always the romance! A great read.

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just FYI its a lesbian story

Just FYI it turns into a lesbian story. If you like that you might like the book, but that's not what I'm looking for and stopped reading when it got into that.

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Odd story - SPOILER ALERT

Just an overall strange story I couldn’t stick with. Lesbian encounter with a stranger found under the porch, then the stranger decides she wants the brother instead. Story line holds about as much water as a colander. Narrator is the only good thing this book has going for it.

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So disappointed

Started out interesting, but the lesbian love story ruined it for me. The narrator was very good.

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don't bother

too long and very boring. the writing was nothing special. I would not recommend thus book.

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Profile Image for Agniete Kampaite
  • Agniete Kampaite
  • 05-06-22

Another twisted story from Lydia Kang

Original complex characters and their relationships, although the love triangle was a bit too unorthodox for my taste. As the story developed, I questioned each character's actions, sometimes feeling sorry for them, sometimes getting annoyed for their lack of judgement. It's a great spy story, where you don't know who to trust up until the end. Loved the 1940s references peppered accross the book, too. The narrator did a good job bringing thr story to life.

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