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

In a Dark, Dark Wood
by Ruth Ware

Publication date: February 23rd 2016
Publisher: Vintage
Pages: 338


Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

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?

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

Source: Goodreads


“In a Dark, Dark Wood” was addictive, secretive and far better than expected. I had to know what was going to happen and I loved it.

Crime writer Nora Shaw is invited to the hen do of estranged school friend, Clare, and after a couple of weeks of umming and ahhing at this puzzling invitation makes the decision to attend with her old friend Nina. She hasn’t been invited to the wedding and hasn’t spoken to the bride in 10 years. As the hen do goes on it becomes clear that she had made the wrong choice and the weekend gets progressively worse and worse. A shotgun mounted on the wall, rising tension between guests and chapters flashing forward to an accident in the woods, I was on the edge of my seat.

With murder, jealousy, bitchiness, elements of comedy and a whole lot of alcohol, this thriller kept me gripped from beginning to end. Author Ruth Ware wrote in a style I could connect with, I could see myself at the hen do, running through the trees, downing the shots, playing the games and feeling as annoyed and frustrated as Nora herself.

The characters were varied, each was realistic; a group of believable misfits with awful characteristics. Yet while most of them were thoroughly dislikable, the dysfunction between them made an interesting read which worked.

Well written, well paced and and of an ideal length, I enjoyed the authors style and would be interested to give Ware’s second novel “The Woman in Cabin 10” a read too.

Overall rating: A dark, riveting story of friendship and betrayal. “In a Dark, Dark Wood” is full of tension, twists and jealousy which had me quickly turning pages to see what happened next. I’ll give this one 5 stars.

See my other reviews of books by Ruth Ware here:


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