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

July 29, 2016 Book review 8 ★★★★★

Sinister title, sinister cover (NOOOO don’t go walking into those creepy woods on your own!) and sinister plot, can you tell there is a bit of a theme going on here in In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware!


Book Review : In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth WareIn a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Published by Harvill Secker on July 30th 2015
Genres: Psychological, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
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?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room....
Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

!@#$ CRIME suspense WTF!


My Thoughts on In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware:

I absolutely loved it!  I rarely read books in a few sittings but I read this one in just two sessions.  Two very satisfying sessions.  It was a book that lured me in on the first page and I wasn’t happy until I had it all concluded.

The setting is a hen night in an isolated house in dark, shadowy woods.  The house is one side glass and you have a fab view of the woods.  But anyone lurking in the woods has a fab view of you also.  And then just to complicate matters the bride-to-be Clare, fell out with the main character Nora, 10 years ago.

The Scene!

  • Spooky atmosphere – CHECK
  • Eclectic mix of attendees – CHECK
  • Tense friendships – CHECK
  • Lots of alcohol – CHECK

Sure what could go wrong?!

And all the Pros:

On top of a sharply plotted story, we also have great writing.  The book felt very atmospheric and I kept picturing the woods full of peeping Toms plotting evil deeds.  It’s one of those books where my imagination was running away with itself and frightening the life out of me.

I was also intrigued by a reference early on to Chekhov’s gun.  And I made a quick trip to Wiki as the reference meant nothing to me. And hello, how interesting and sinister is this…

From wiki “Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”

Eeekk!  Such scary foreshadowing.

Overall I flew through this and thoroughly enjoyed every page.  With writing and plotting like this, I’m an insta-fan of Ms Ware.  And what really got me, there was a clue right at the start of the book.  A big, fat, glaring clue and I missed it.  I’ll reading her next book a lot more forensically, with eyes peeled for clues.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: five-stars


Who should read In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware?

It’s a MUST READ if you love psychological thrillers that drip feed that story to you, drip by agonising drip.  I also found it a bit reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel so if you enjoy those, then you might also like this.  And I’d recommend it to fans of Girl on the Train and The Secret Place by Tana French.




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8 Responses to “Book Review : In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware”

  1. Rita

    Ooh wow, love your review– and I already read it, reviewed it and loved it, so you don’t have to convince me 🙂 I didn’t know that reference about the gun, how true! Her writing was so creepy, and she obviously has the talent for it. I look forward to Woman in Cabin 10, which I’m getting in August. I did mention in my review that I didn’t like a single character in the story, which usually makes me grumpy, but in this case it worked! I wasn’t supposed to have “warm-fuzzy” feelings about these dysfunctional friends, ha.

    Great post, Trish. Glad you’re back posting!
    Rita recently posted…Wolf Lake (and Dave Gurney series) Thoughts

    • trish

      I was intrigued by the gun reference and had to check out it! I love it! I have my eye on the Woman in Cabin 10 too and have high hopes for it. And I’m the same as you, I didn’t love the characters (as in want to be friends with them) but I always think unlikeable characters can be more interesting!
      I haven’t been posting much but I’ve been reading loads and have been keeping on top of my review writing so I have lots of posts lined up 🙂 I’m just trying to spread them out a bit.

    • trish

      It felt very much like a modern day AC book to me. Especially the way it was plotted out and a huge clue dropped near the beginning. Which I missed 😀

    • trish

      I like woods too but not in the dark and especially not on my own! Although I’m nearly more afraid of the bats than anything else 😀 I’ll be checking out The Woman in Cabin 10 very soon Christy.

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