In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

First of all; one of the reasons I wanted to read this book was the clever title. We’ve all heard the old rhyme “In a dark, dark wood, there was a dark, dark house, and in that dark, dark house, etc.” The title alone sets up a creepy atmosphere. At the beginning of the book, we meet the main character, Leonora, a mostly reclusive crime fiction writer who normally only leaves her flat to go for a daily run. Out of the blue, Nora, receives an email from a girl she has never met named Flo inviting her to a hen do (bachelorette party for those not familiar with British terms) for Clare Cavendish. Nora hasn’t seen or heard from Clare for 10 years (since high school), and is hesitant to attend the hen. Nora and Clare’s mutual friend Nina makes a pact with Nora that they will both go together and leave early if they do not want to stay. There are clues that something major happened which caused Nora (who was actually known as Lee 10 years prior) and Clare to stop speaking and not speak to each other for the past 10 years. When Nora and Nina arrive at the hen to spend the weekend with Clare and three other complete strangers (Clare’s friends), strange things begin to happen. Mix in alcohol and secrets from Clare and Nora’s past, and the plot thickens and twists even more. This book is written so that the pace is quick, switching back and forth between present date with Nora in the hospital suffering from amnesia after a car accident, and the past weekend of the hen do. The setting of the hen adds to the suspenseful nature of the book. The party takes place in what is known as the Glass House. It’s a newly built, modernly furnished home which has glass walls all the way around so that it seems like its occupants are on display for those on the outside. But, the Glass House is in the middle of a heavily wooded, secluded area and there really shouldn’t be any people on the outside in, as it is bitter cold and snowing. So why are there footprints to the garage? I would put this book in a category with other titles such as Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and Luckiest Girl Alive. Readers are in for a few surprises as Nora starts to remember the details of the final day at the Glass House which caused her to be in the hospital under watch by the police. Also, the ending stopped abruptly, and not the way I thought it would. I would recommend this book for any fans of suspense and thrillers; it’s a great read.

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