In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Genre: Adult Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 4/5 stars
Two old friends. A renewed connection. A cabin in the woods. Murder. What lies come out of the woodwork?
In a Dark, Dark Wood follows Nora, an author who unexpectedly gets invited to her estranged friend’s Clare hen weekend. Without speaking for over ten years, Nora cautiously accepts the invite to stay in the middle of the woods with a bunch of strangers for a couple of days. Things go sour when Nora realises that Clare is marrying her childhood sweetheart James, a romance she has never truly gotten over. Add mystery footprints in the snow, a secret message on a ouija board and a potentially loaded shotgun, and what was supposed to be a relaxing weekend turns into a nightmare. Sometimes old lies have a way of manifesting themselves, and the monsters aren’t always lurking in the trees…
This is my second novel by Ruth Ware, and I’ll straight up say I liked The Woman in Cabin 10 just that bit more. This book was her debut novel, and was good, but some minor issues in the ending left me disheartened. I still appreciated the story and suspense, and I’m starting to feel that the MC’s of Ruth’s stories are characters I really like.
What I liked:
– I’m not too good with horror or anything gory, and I’m lucky Ruth isn’t like that with her books. They’re more thriller than anything, and I appreciated the suspense.
– Nora was a likeable MC. I hear some people give flack to Ruth’s characters for being whiny or unlikeable in their opinion, but I’ve liked both that I’ve read so far. I find them relatable and just normal. Except for the occasional stupid choice they make, I like reading from their POV.
– The setting was eerie and added to the story. A glass cabin in the woods coated by snow raised the terror factor, and the constant feeling of being watched through the glass from outside was uneasy to read about. The characters were constantly conscious of it, causing underlying tension.
What I didn’t like:
– Clare annoyed me. She was meant to be this character that everyone loved and wanted to be like, but of course, she came across snobby and unlikeable. Why please someone like her? I understand that when you have history with someone, you turn a blind eye, but I always struggle to see past these things.
– The ending bugged me. The reveal of the murderer and their reasoning just felt odd. It was a shame after the lead up for the ending to be that way.
Overall, In a Dark, Dark Wood was a good read with great pacing and suspense all along. Despite the ending, I look forward to picking up more of Ruth Ware’s books.