My initial feeling as I began reading this novel was that it was a light, fluffy, chic-lit and I asked myself on several occasions why I was continuing. But continue I did and I'm so glad. The story and the characters develop with each page until things come together in a stunning climax and then mellow out to a . . . well, I don't want to describe the end. You'll thank me for not spoiling it for you.
The Ninth Step is peopled with real, flawed, complex, and even quirky characters. By the end of the book I loved them all and felt great compassion for their problems. If you were to take a stop-action look at any one point you could quickly jump to rash judgments about anyone of them but as their inner cores are revealed I sympathized with each one. I'm in awe that the author was able to pull me into this story so smoothly and subtlety.
My recommendation: Definitely worth your time. I liked it a lot and highly recommend it. I love discovering a new-to-me author and it's a boon to learn this author has 2 other books. In fact, I just looked on amazon.com and one of her books, The Last Innocent Hour is free for Kindle. Yes, of course, I downloaded it. And The Ninth Step was only $2.99.
** I received a free copy of The Ninth Step from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.