IN A DARK, DARK WOODAuthor: Ruth Ware
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
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.
Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee?) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Nora (Lee?) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee?) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.
In the tradition of Paula Hawkins's instant New York Times bestseller The Girl On the Train and S. J. Watson’s riveting national sensation Before I Go To Sleep, this gripping literary debut from UK novelist Ruth Ware will leave you on the edge of your seat through the very last page.
Purchase:Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book and have provided below an honest review.
This book yanks you in from the beginning, slowly gives you clues along the way, and doesn't pull any punches. I was enthralled with the way the story was told and how the conclusion came about. But I did think there were some pacing issues and that took a bit away from the story for me. I do think this one has a rereadability factor and I have convinced my family members to read it, so that's a win.
I liked the way this novel was set up with the flashing between the present and the night in question. I especially liked the way that Nora felt as though maybe she was "editing" herself and how scared she became that she did the unthinkable. I was flip-flopping between who I thought set it up but I was right in the end. I thought the reveal was a little awkwardly done and I feel like the motives behind it came out of the blue, imo. We didn't really get to see this part of their personality and I feel like it was almost a cop-out to have the extra tidbit thrown in at the end about how they had done it before. I would have liked a bit more time spent at the end on how the ramp up occurred.
I really liked Nora and her whole dynamic with everyone at the hen party (which are called doe parties in Canada. British lingo!) I liked that Nora kinda "relapsed" into her 16 year old self here and acknowledges this but still is her present self. I thought she was a really strong character and I did like that she had emotions and feelings and wasn't portrayed as being weak for having them. I also liked that she mentioned how she had low self-esteem but was working on it because that made her character feel that much more real.
Overall I really liked this one. I thought it had a lot of good stuff and the plot arc made sense. It was a quick read for me because it was a real page turner. I recommend this one for fans of The Girl on the Train and Still Mine!