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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘One Dark, Two Light’
by Ruth Mancini
Blog Tour Guest Post
“Where do I get my ideas from?”

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Okay! So today I am pleased to be sharing opening spot on this Blog Tour, together with the lovely Lesley @ The Bookwormery.

All the usual words of thanks go to Vicky, this time with her Head of Zeus hat on, for the excellent tour organisation and of course to the brilliant team at NetGalley for the super smooth download.

Featured image for the book cover reveal of 'One Dark, Two Light' by Ruth Mancini


Cover image of the book 'One dark, Two Light' by author Ruth ManciniNew Year’s Eve, London.

Outside the Hope & Glory pub, a man has been left to die. A victim of extraordinary violence, he will never walk or speak again. He remains in hospital for months, until criminal defence lawyer Sarah Kellerman walks onto his ward.

Sarah barely recognises the man she once worked with – he was honourable and kind – what was he involved in? Who wanted him dead?

But in her race to uncover the truth, Sarah comes to realise there are two men in her life that she never really knew at all…

From one of crime fiction’s most compelling voices, One Dark, Two Light is where the personal and criminal collide, as Sarah reaches into the darkest corners to bring dark secrets into the light.


Image of author Ruth ManciniRuth Mancini was born in South-West London and started her career as a marketing executive for a publisher before undertaking a post-graduate diploma in law and retraining as a solicitor.

She has spent the past twenty years in and out of courts and police stations, representing those accused of crimes and still practises as a lawyer for a large criminal law firm with offices in London, conducting advocacy in the courts and defending people arrested at the police station.

She also reviews the trial files across the firm and juggles her legal work with writing crime and psychological fiction.

Ruth has lived in London, Hertfordshire and Essex and also on the beautiful Gower in South Wales. She now lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and two children.

Connect with Ruth on Facebook

Follow Ruth on Twitter

Image of author Ruth Mancini


“Where do I get my ideas from?”

People often ask me where I get my ideas from. The answer is that I’m a criminal defence lawyer as well as a writer and so there is a wealth of material at my fingertips. As I head off to court or the police station, I know that whatever the offence or the facts of the case I’m about to deal with there will be something that makes it different from the last. No two days are the same, that’s for sure.

That said, the main inspiration for One Dark, Two Light was much more personal. It came – sadly – from what happened to my father when I was 15. He disappeared one New Year’s Eve and was found in a London hospital three months later by a work colleague. He’d suffered a massive brain trauma and couldn’t speak and as he’d had no ID with him when he arrived in hospital, the nurses didn’t know who he was. It wasn’t until my dad’s friend arrived in the ICU to visit someone else and spotted my dad lying unconscious in another bed that we were able to find and visit him. These were the days before the internet and so finding him wasn’t as easy as you’d think.

Bizarrely, the exact same thing then happened to my brother just over twenty years later in almost the exact same area of London. He was mugged on his way home one night, sustained a severe head injury and fell into the road, where he was then run over. The injuries he suffered were catastrophic. Fortunately, although he couldn’t move or talk, he was able to spell out his wife’s name and phone number by eye-pointing to the letters and numbers on a communication board. So, all in all a pretty dark inspiration to draw on, but it was a story waiting to be written.

I started writing when I left my job in publishing in the 1990s. I then became interested in a career in law. I wanted to do both and I wrote two psychological dramas, but given my background, writing a legal drama or crime story seemed the logical next step. One Dark, Two Light also features lawyer Sarah Kellerman, who, like me, has a severely autistic and learning disabled son. He – and my experiences as a working mother – have been another major source  of inspiration for me. So, as you can probably tell, I’m not in any danger of running out of ideas any time soon!

Image of the blog tour banner for the book 'One Dark, Two Light' by author Ruth Mancini


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • Oh, wow… this is a very poignant guest author post. I can’t help but think it will make this book all the better once you read it, Yvonne, knowing how real life played such a large part in its conception.

    Two excellent blog tour posts in as many days. Way to go, Yvonne!

    • Hi Kelly,

      As much as I enjoy featuring an author guest post, I almost felt as though I was prying, when I first read Ruth’s poignant article. Events such as she describes, which have shaped her life and made her the person she is, seem just too private and personal to share outside of her family and close friends.

      However, if translating her own personal experiences into a fictional storyline works for her, then all power to her, as she must truly feel that she ‘owns’ her books and characters.

      I am really looking forward to reading this one and am sorely tempted to bump it up my TBR list a little (long – given the length of my list!) way!!

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your constant support and encouragement and only wish that there were not so many miles between us, as I would love to meet you for real 🙂

  • Great post Yvonne, this sounds like good crime fiction and like the author has a good background on the topic with being a criminal defense lawyer.
    Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your weekend.

    • Hi Naida,

      I’m not sure that I have read a book with this exact premise before, so it will definitely be an intriguing read, especially as Ruth has based it so much on real events which have happened in her own life!

      I should think that working anywhere in the legal or justice system, must offer up some really good storylines for a crime/thriller, although I am not so certain that I could do Ruth’s job as a defence lawyer. In fact, I am very certain that I couldn’t do the job of defending a criminal, who I knew in my heart of hearts was guilty of the crime they were accused of. Ruth is definitely a very special kind of person!

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

  • A while since I read a good, gritty thriller, One Dark, Two Light sounds like it fits the bill.
    That such an event helped shape it is so poignant. Thank you both for this inspirational Guest Post.

    • Hi Felicity,

      ‘Inspirational’ is the exact word I was seeking to describe this poignant and highly personal guest post – thanks for being so observant 🙂

      Ruth has written four thrillers to date, with all of them probably fitting your ‘gritty’ reading requirements. Had I not been asked to participate in this Blog Tour, this is an author which might well have slipped under my radar, given the rise in popularity of the genre and I really don’t know which book would recommend you try first.


      However, ‘One Dark, Two Light’ is a stand alone novel, so that might be as good a place as anywhere.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you decide to add Ruth Mancini to your list of authors to read 🙂

Written by Yvonne