Rating: 3.5 / 5
Tis the season for the dark and thriller-ey, so it seemed a great time to go digging into my TBR for books that have been sitting on my bookshelf ignored for a while. IN A DARK, DARK WOOD by Ruth Ware definitely seemed to fit the bill, especially when read on a dark and finally somewhat cool night!
IN A DARK, DARK WOOD begins with Nora and a surprise email. Nora has been invited to the hen party for an old friend Claire that she hasn’t seen in ten years, though no one apart from Nora really knows why. Nora is shocked that she would be invited on this girls weekend in a cabin in a wood, but a message from the organizer encouraging her that Claire really wants her there convinces her to RSVP yes against her better judgement.
Things begin to go wrong from the start and things get more and more awkward. Apart from one mutual friend between Claire and Nora, the group is largely made up of strangers. In addition to the present drama playing out, Nora’s secrets from the past and what led up to the abrupt end of her relationship with Claire plays out in a series of flashbacks which play in to the present awkwardness.
The maid of honor in charge of organizing the weekend is a control freak and doesn’t handle things very well when things go off her perfectly planned track. When minor inconveniences like a lack of cell reception and less than ideal weather turn to something much more serious, this weekend will leave a lasting impact on all who attend!
I left this book with mixed feelings. First, I had to set aside the fact that I just couldn’t see someone signing on to spend a weekend in an isolated cabin in the middle of nowhere to join in on a bachelorette weekend for someone you completely cut ties with ten years earlier (that may just be the introvert in me talking?). That aside, the setting definitely provided the spooky, creepy atmosphere I wanted in a thriller.
There were some excellent moments when things begin to go bump in the night that kept me flipping the pages. That said, the pacing seemed a bit off for me in some portions of the book. There are some action packed sections, but a lot of the book was more slow burn.
Overall there were certainly some twists that I didn’t see coming, though I had a fairly confident guess pretty early on as to who was behind the drama that occurs. I didn’t, however, know all of the whys, so the book kept me guessing and engaged to keep reading! In the end it didn’t wow me, but it was a quick and entertaining read for a fall evening!