Published by Simon and Schuster on August 4th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Literary, General
Also by this author: The Woman in Cabin 10
Hardcover provided by The Library
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, AND LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
An NPR Best Book of the Year, 2015
A ShelfAwareness Best Book of the Year, 2015
An Entertainment Weekly Summer Books Pick
A Buzzfeed “31 Books to Get Excited About this Summer” Pick
A Publishers Weekly “Top Ten Mysteries and Thrillers” Pick
A BookReporter Summer Reading Pick
A New York Post “Best Novels to Read this Summer” Pick
A Shelf Awareness “Book Expo America 2015 Buzz Book” Pick
What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.
Sometimes the only thing to fear…is yourself.
When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for a weekend away, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new, an unnerving memory shatters Leonora’s reserve, and a haunting realization creeps in: the party is not alone in the woods.
In a Dark, Dark Wood was a fun mystery. I have to admit that I read this book in one day as I couldn’t wait to find out who done-it!
Nora is a writer who lives alone. She is a solitary creature who likes to run. She gets an email one day asking her to come to a hen (bachelorette) weekend to help celebrate a long lost friend’s upcoming wedding. The bride-to-be is someone she hasn’t spoken to in over ten years. When she sees a mutual friend is invited, they make a pact to go together. When Nora wakes up in a hospital broken and bruised she knows something went horribly wrong. She just can’t remember what.
I have to admit I love an unreliable protagonist. A little bit of amnesia is a great way to keep me on my toes. Nora can’t remember how she got to the hospital or what she was running from. The story alternates between the hen weekend and Nora at the hospital trying to piece it together. We don’t get all the facts right away. The author gives us a little at a time and it kept me hooked throughout the story. The pacing was just right.
Although the setting was suppose to be very creepy, I found the characters were more creepy. The hen night takes place in a mostly glass house set deep in the woods. No curtains, at all. There is Clare, the bride-to-be, who invited Nora just to dump her past in her face. Also, there’s Flo, the maid of honor who is throwing the party. She seriously idolizes the bride-to-be and tries entirely too hard to make everything “perfect”. She even goes so far as to wear the same clothes as Clare. Creepy. Then they have all these strange activities planned, like clay pigeon shooting and ‘who knows more about the groom-to-be?’ The situation is more freaky then the location, and that was hard to beat.
There were some flaws with this story, admittedly. Like why hasn’t Nora spoken to Clare for ten years? Why would she go to this hen when they hadn’t spoken in so long? How did she still know how to contact Nora to invite her? I guess a little imagination clears those up, but….I found the who-done-it to be slightly lacking. I went back and forth on what happened and who did it. Most people, not me mind you, will probably guess at the ending. Unfortunately (or fortunatly, since I am a bit twisted), it wasn’t who I thought it was.
For a debut author, I think this was an excellent story. I would recommend this to mystery fans who like an unpredictable protagonist.