Title: In a Dark, Dark Wood
Author: Ruth Ware
Genres: Contemporary | Mystery | Thriller
Length: 352 pages | 4016 Locations
Nora has not seen or spoken to Clare in 10 years and suddenly she receives an invitation to her hen-do.
Taken aback, she agrees to go, despite the nagging feeling that she shouldn’t. However, some secrets should stay in the past.
This book started out really nicely for me.
We get to know Nora, a writer in her mid 20s who has settled into her routine. She seemed very real.
When Nora gets Clare’s invitation to her hen-do via best friend/maid of honour Flo, she is shocked. Not only have they not spoken in a decade, something bad happened in their past that made this the least thing Nora expected.
The events that follow are suspenseful and you can tell from early on that the setting provides the right atmosphere for truly thrilling moments. The descriptions of the house and its surroundings were ominous.
The narrative is interspersed with Nora’s experiences at a different time. At first you don’t even know if it is before or after the events we are witnessing but then it becomes progressively clearer, growing to an exciting crescendo.
And that is when things went downhill for me. There was such a build-up that the revelation about Nora’s 10-year-old secret was almost disappointing. Also, some things were glazed over and the last third felt like it dragged so much. By that time I was craving resolution to what had happened and still had to go through all the main character’s extensive whodunnit. And the worst part is I had seen it coming ages ago.
Some things felt just plain ridiculous
(like seeing footprints from the garage to the main house not once but twice and no one even thinks of checking the garage for instance, or you’re sitting with a person who you are almost sure killed someone and you drink the tea they made even though it tastes tremendously bitter? And you keep taking another sip and complaining it’s bitter and another sip and another and another…?) and others seemed to have been put there for the sake of justifying the outcome ( like Nora’s amnesia lasting that long or Tom saying that Bruce had had an awful argument with James and then Bruce turns out to actually like James and it’s actually Clare he didn’t like).
So overall I truly enjoyed the characters (Nina was amazing) and the tension but the resolution definitely put me off.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read from Nov 17th to Nov 19th, 2016