Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood – Ruth Ware

Today’s review is all about Ruth Ware’s suspense novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood.

Happy September folks!

With September comes kids going back to school (not this one, which is the first time since I was five), the weather getting cooler, and the reintroduction of everything pumpkin spice.

As I said in my last post, I take the build up to October 31 very seriously, and as such, I figured my next read should be a reflection of my anticipation for the spooky.

Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, with its black and white cover and thriller genre, seemed like the perfect choice.

Did In a Dark, Dark Wood deliver in the eerieness category? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.

The Book 

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.

Sometimes the only thing to fear…is yourself.

When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for a weekend away, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new, an unnerving memory shatters Leonora’s reserve, and a haunting realization creeps in: the party is not alone in the woods.

The Review

This book intrigued me from the get go, due to Ware’s use of the poem ‘In a Dark, Dark Wood.’ When I saw the title of Ware’s novel I vividly remembered being a child and reading the book In a Dark, Dark Wood and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz. As a kid, I remember reading that book and not being able to sleep for a week, so of course, I had to see what reaction Ware’s adult take would elicit.

The narration style was very similar to both Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins in that Ware’s main character, Leonora (Nora), was somewhat unreliable. There was a fleeting moment while reading In a Dark, Dark Wood that I legitimately thought Nora was gonna pull an Amazing Amy and end up being the antagonist, and while she didn’t help the situation, I must admit that the character who did turn out to be the killer was just as much a shock.

It was also very bold of Ware to not introduce who was murdered until more than half way through the novel. While reading I was sure I had figured out who was the murdered/murderer parties, but when the time came around for the reveal, I can tell you my jaw may or may not have hit the floor.

My only complaint about this novel, however, was how easy it was to assume who committed the murder after the reveal of the victim. In a way, it kind of diminished Ware’s build up of the crime, to the point where I struggled to read the last 50 pages or so, given that I had figured out both the culprit and the motive. Though I honestly chalk up my sleuthing to my love of the board game Clue, so I may have had an unfair advantage…

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

Purchase Links

Simon and Schuster CanadaAmazon | Barnes & Noble |Indigo

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