Friday, July 26, 2019

Book Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Title: In a Dark, Dark Wood
Author: Ruth Ware
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Publication Date: August 4th 2015
Genre: Psychological Thriller
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.

I've been a fan of Ruth Ware since I read The Death of Mrs. Westaway. Actually, what really made me love Ruth Ware was her book The Lying Game. When I came across In a Dark, Dark Wood, I was intrigued to say the least. I'm glad I decided to read this book because I believe it's Ruth Ware's best novel out of the four I've read.

Leonora, or Nora as she likes to be called, receives an email inviting her to Clare's hen do (bachelorette party). Nora and Clare used to be the best of friends, but that was 10 years ago. Nora is a bit wary of the invite, but when her friend Nina is invited and says she'll go if Nora goes, Nora agrees. Nora finds out who Clare is marrying, and it seems like things go from bad to worse including Nora being injured and others being hurt. Nora must find piece together what happened at Clare's hen do in order to figure out the mystery behind everything. There's only one problem. She can't remember what actually happened that night.

The plot really sucked me in right from the beginning. I was wondering why Nora would be invited to someone's hen do that she hasn't seen or spoken with in over 10 years. I also had to understand why Nora would even be interested in going considering it had been so long. I don't think I would have went. However, the whole plot fascinated me. I had to know the motives of everyone. I felt like everyone was a suspect, and I was scrutinizing every little detail. There are some plot twists, and a few of them are predictable, but I still loved In a Dark, Dark Wood. I also loved the fact that there were no cliff hangers, and all of my questions were answered by the end of the book. One thing that did feel a bit improbable but not impossible was how Nora and her ex-boyfriend James ended things when they were teenagers. I have a hard time believing that not one of them would have reached out to the other in the whole ten years they had not seen each other especially right after their break up with what happened. Like I said, I guess it is possible to go without speaking to each other after that, but when something that major happens between a couple (I don't want to give the major thing away due to spoilers), I would have thought there would be more talking at some point.

I felt the characters were well written and had enough depth to the them to feel realistic. I enjoyed the character of Nora. All I can say is with what goes wrong for her makes me glad that I've never been in her position. I admired her desire to find out the truth even if it meant getting herself in trouble. However, sometimes I couldn't understand her reasoning behind some things such as wanting to go to someone's hen do that she hasn't seen or spoken to in ten years! Perhaps other people would go out of curiosity, but I would have just noped out of that. Also, what I mentioned in the previous paragraph about her not speaking to her ex even though there was something major that happened in their relationship. However, I really did like Nora. I had a love/hate relationship with Nina. Sometimes I liked her but other times she came across as too mean. I know that was just meant to be her personality, but I just had a hard time figuring her out. Flo was definitely a character. It was as if she was in love with Clare! She was obsessed with Clare and very high strung. I felt like Flo had some mental problems going on and needed help with them ASAP. I never knew if I should trust Flo or not. Clare seemed like she had changed from her school days when she was manipulative and selfish. I wish Clare would have been more of a forefront character throughout the book, but she felt like a minor character. Tom was definitely an interesting character to say the least. I did really like him, but I also questioned his motives.

I very much enjoyed the pacing for In a Dark, Dark Wood. The pacing flowed smoothly from the very first page. I never once felt like it slowed down at all. I was left hanging on every word.

Trigger warnings for In a Dark, Dark Wood include drinking, smoking, drug use, profanity, mentions of sex although not graphic, violence, gun violence, and death.

All in all, In a Dark, Dark Wood was a fantastic read! I enjoyed every second of the book, and I felt so empty after it ended because it was over. It had all the makings of a great book such as an interesting plot and fantastic characters. I would definitely recommend In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware to those aged 17+ that love psychological thrillers and those who want to be sucked into a book from the very first sentence.

1 comment:

  1. I do love psychological thrillers and that cover and this does sound like one i would like. i don't think i have read anything by ruth ware, but i will be checking her out. thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.
    sherry @ fundinmental