In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Published: 2015



In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware is a psychological thriller.

When 26-year old Leonora (Nora) Shaw wakes up in the hospital, one of her first questions is “What have I done?” Through flashbacks, and questioning from the police, she starts to remember the weekend. But there are still gaps.

She doesn’t even understand why she accepted the invitation to the shower (hen party) in which an old friend is celebrating her up-coming marriage.  Although best friends as children, Nora has not seen or talked to Clare in 10 years, since that day she left school, leaving everything behind her.  Clare is the only one who knew the reason.  But Nora can’t say no, can’t disappoint, can’t stand up for herself.  Besides, she’s curious.

In addition to Clare, attendees at “The Glass House”, a remote cottage in the woods, also include an old schoolmate and friend Nina, now studying to be a surgeon;  Melanie and Flo, both college room-mates of Clare, and Tom who is involved in the theater (as is Clare’s soon-to-be husband).  

From the moment Nora arrived, to her first conversation with Clare, to the footprints in the snow, to the catty conversations, she wanted nothing more than to leave.  She can’t believe Nora’s news.  She can’t believe everyone knew but her.  Why didn’t she ask?   Why did she come?   Yes, she wants to go home.  That feeling never leaves her.   But she feels trapped.   Flo, who is Clare’s best friend, (and a little bit scary), has arranged the entire weekend, and does not let anyone forget it.   Meek and mild Nora couldn’t disappoint her.  But she should have left.  Things are not as they seem.  Someone had an agenda.  And now the damage is done.  As a crime writer, Nora has learned a lot.  But she may have to use those skills to save herself, because someone is dead, and it looks like she is the prime suspect.

As a début novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood is amazing.  Ware nailed the characters, the suspense, the pace, the topic.  Although some things are predictable, others are not.  Great read!


Read: November 2016


Favorite Quotes from In a Dark, Dark Woods:

“In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house;
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room;
And in the dark, dark room there was a dark, dark cupboard;
And in the dark, dark cupboard there was … a skeleton.”

“I am a runner. This is what I do – I run. But sometimes you can’t run any more.”


About the Author:  Ruth Ware has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.  She lives in England.



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