In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Published by Gallery/Scout Press on April 19, 2016 (originally published July 30, 2015)
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: paperback, 308
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In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room….
Some things can’t stay secret for ever.
Ruth Ware’s debut novel In a Dark, Dark Wood was an entertaining mystery thriller that kept me turning the pages quickly from page one right through to the end.
“There’s a disappointment in the banality of what makes people tick, but at the same time, there’s a kind of fascination at seeing the inner coils and cogs.”
This story follows Leonora, who hasn’t seen her friend Clare since ten years ago when she walked out of school one day and never went back. Out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s bachelorette arrives and Nora figures this may be the time to put the past behind them. The cast of characters in this book is small and they are well developed. Through them, Ware explores themes of identity and all its facets in a way that is both authentic and compelling.
Stylistically, this mystery is reminiscent of Agatha Christie. The setting is used to create an eerie atmosphere that enhances the tension increasing on every page. The plot is well thought out and executed, with crumbs planted along the way to help the reader to deduce the final reveal. And the writing is sharp and flows easily, making for a fast pace and an effortless reading experience.
In a Dark, Dark Wood is the second book I’ve read by Ruth Ware and I’m not stopping here! I can’t wait to pick up some of her other novels now. Recommended.