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August 28, 2017

In a Dark, Dark Wood

In a Dark, Dark Wood

By: Ruth Ware

Readers may know Ruth Ware from her 2016 hit, The Woman in Cabin 10.  Her debut novel In a Dark, Dark Wood deserves just as much attention and praise.  It’s a fast paced thriller with characters and plot twists that had me guessing until the last chapter.  In other words, it’s the perfect book for summer!

The story follows Leonora Shaw, a writer in her twenties living in London.  After leaving school she becomes a loner, staying as far away from her past as possible.  One day she gets an email inviting her to the bachelorette weekend of her old friend, Clare.  While Leonora is quiet and reserved, Clare is beautiful, outgoing, and the unofficial leader of their motley crew.

It’s been years since they’ve been together, but friends congregate to celebrate Clare.  The weekend takes place in the English countryside in a glass-walled, isolated home.  Cell reception is spotty, there’s footprints in the snow, and someone forgot to bring coffee.  It’s a recipe for disaster!  The weekend is thrown even more off kilter when Leonora learns her beloved ex is the groom-to-be.  Feelings of betrayal and rage bubble up to the surface after years of being dormant.

Told in alternating timelines, Ware keeps the reader on edge and confused as to what exactly happened over the weekend.  Each character is hiding secrets, and no one appears trustworthy.  All the reader knows for certain is that there was an accident – and someone is dead.

Ware’s writing is detailed – you can almost hear the rustling of the trees and the creaking of the stairs.  Her descriptions made me claustrophobic and chilled to the bone.  I recommend this for a lazy afternoon when you need a jolt – you won’t be able to put it down!

Looking for more psychological suspense?  Check out these read-a-likes:   And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, Before I go to Sleep by SJ Watson, It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell and Ruth Ware’s newest thriller, The Lying Game.

Review By:  Kirsten Edwards