In a dark dark wood by Ruth Ware is a compelling psychological thriller filled with nerve chilling moments and continuous suspense. The debut novel sets the background perfectly and engages the reader remarkably well.
A crime writer, Leonara Shaw is invited to attend her estranged friend’s hen party. Surprised at being invited and after a lot of contemplation, Nora decides to attend the party more out of curiosity. The gathering includes a gay and married playwright Tom, Nora’s close friend Nina, Melanie- a young and new mother, Flo- a strange and over sensitive organiser and Clare- the girl of the moment. Happening at a desolate and secluded house in the woods with no network whatsoever, what intends to be a fun-filled party ends in a murder. Who killed whom? Was murder the actual agenda behind the party? The book answers these questions and much more.
The book is full of surprises. First, the copy- it is a relatively huge book, not in terms of pages, but the dimensions. The font size is nice and big and makes reading really comfortable. There are loads of twists and turns scattered all over the tale. The narration also swings from the past to the present sensationally leaving the readers crave for the past when in the present and vice versa. The location of the party- the house and the woods are described picturesquely. I could see myself standing in the woods and witnessing all the events.
Whenever it’s a murder mystery, the reader is expected to journey together with the characters and find who has the right motive to kill. The same happens here which is a compliment. Though Nora is the narrator, she isn’t devoid of suspicion either. A successful thriller is one which keeps the reader guessing, forcing them to change their theories at the end of every chapter. In a dark dark wood strikes magnificently in this area. It arrests the readers with its gripping narrative.
I have to add, personally, I was not completely convinced with the ending, I mean the motive. I was expecting something more riveting, like a complete 360 degree twist, something out of the blue hitting squarely on the face, something completely unexpected. May be I was expecting too much. But that’s just me.
Final word- In a dark dark wood is a simple story with an exciting narration. It’s hard to keep the book down.