Thursday, October 26, 2017

[Book Review] In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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

In a Dark, Dark Wood is an awesome page-turning psychological suspense novel!

I almost didn't give this one a try. I had heard numerous people rave about it, but I was so hesitant because I didn't enjoy The Woman in Cabin 10 at all.

Thankfully, I was surprised by this book! While it still had some of the irritating elements of the first book from Ruth Ware that I had read, I really enjoyed this one!

Let's dive in!

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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.

My thoughts:
Per usual with suspense and thrillers, I can't dive too deep here because I don't want to give too much away!

The prologue certainly sets the scene well! I love when authors add this beginning splash of action, but then back up to show us how the characters wound up there.

This book is organized in a way that jumps between the past (leading up to, and at the Hen Party), and the present (after the Hen Party). What made this organization so strong for me, was that it wasn't a time jump in each chapter; rather, the time jumps occurred more at random.

In chapter one, I was immediately drawn to the main character, Nora. As the book progressed, I continued to like her, but also feel quite bad for her. Toward the end, I found myself so irritated by some of her decisions, but each one really helped to add to the suspense!

Another element of this book that made the suspense so strong was that the author leads you into thinking that you've got the mystery all figured out. But then she throws you a curveball, and you're suddenly going down another road. This continued to happen right up until the reveal!

My favorite passages:
“Hi!!!” she said, and somehow her tone gave the word three exclamation marks...

It was growing dark, and somehow the shadows made it feel as if all the trees had taken a collective step towards the house, edging in to shut out the sky.

You think people would be wary of spilling to a writer. You think they’d know that we’re essentially birds of carrion, picking over the corpses of dead affairs and forgotten arguments to recycle them in our work – zombie reincarnations of their former selves, stitched into a macabre new patchwork of our own devising.

The front door is not deadlocked, and I open the lock from the inside without difficulty. When I do, the force of the wind nearly bangs the steel door into my face, and the snow rushes inside like a living thing, trying to get in, trying to force what little warmth is left in the house back out.

My final thoughts:
I would definitely recommend this book to those that enjoy novels with a great mix of mystery and suspense with a splash of bad decision making and unlikable characters! I really enjoyed the read, but I highly doubt I would re-read it.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I was disappointed with this book. I enjoyed The Woman in Cabin 10 as it was suspenseful but this one wasn’t suspenseful for me and I had guessed too many things... Also the ending was weak.

    1. haha! We had the opposite reactions. That's so neat! I do agree that the ending was quite weak. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I own this book but again, haven't picked it up. #Ihavebookbuyingissues

  3. I was actually a backward from you on this one - I preferred The Woman in Cabin 10, but this one wasn't bad. :)

    1. That's so interesting!! Maybe I should give that one another read!

  4. Great review! This one was on my list for October but I have not been able to get to it.

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it once you get the chance to pick it up!

  5. I'm not sure this one is for me, from reviews I've read. It sounds good and decent, but not amazing. Good review!

    1. Yeah... I liked the idea behind the story, but it was a bit too ridiculous for me.