Friday 31 July 2015

In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Someone's getting married. Someone's getting murdered.
In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room....
Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware was published by Harvill Secker (Vintage) on 30 July 2015 and is the author's debut novel.

I am a bit of a 'blurb' lover, and I ADORE the blurb for In A Dark Dark Wood.  I don't know who wrote that blurb, but whoever it was, they are genius. Blurbs like that really suck me in, more than covers, more than recommendations .... a blurb sells a book to me.

Someone is getting married and Nora is really surprised to receive an invitation to the hen party. She's not seen her old friend Clare for over ten years and it comes as something of a shock to receive an email from Clare's new best friend Flo inviting her along to a house party.

Nora almost deletes the email, but doesn't, and before long she's travelling to Northumberland, in November, to a dark dark house in a dark dark wood to stay with a group of people who she either hasn't met before, or she hasn't seen for many years.

Ruth Ware skilfully creates an almost claustrophobic feeling of darkness and suspicion and anticipation, using some clever writing, drawing some fascinating characters, and most of all, building a sense of place that it totally overwhelming. That dark dark house is so damn creepy, there's not a chance in hell that I would have stayed there  .... not a chance.

The reader becomes a captive guest at the party, there is absolutely no way that you can walk away from this story because it's made clear from page one that something terrible with happen. We accompany the guests as they get to know one another, as they get drunk, as they experiment with an ouija board. There are also flashbacks, or flashforwards really, as Nora lays in her hospital bed, trying her best to remember what happened.  Why is she covered in bruises and scratches, and who is dead, and why are they dead, and who is the killer?

In a Dark Dark Wood is chilling and sinister and sent shivers down my spine on more than one occasion. It's not just a psychological thriller, although it is a very very good one, it's also a look at friendship and hurt and let downs. It is a study of how a jealous mind can work, it's a lesson in misunderstanding and regret.

I absolutely loved In A Dark Dark Wood, it thrilled me and chilled me and surprised me and shocked me.  A really excellent debut, I'd highly recommend it.

My thanks to Alison from Harvill Secker who sent my copy for review.

Ruth Ware grew up in Lewes, in East Sussex. 

After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in north London. 

She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. 

Married, with two small children, In a Dark, Dark Wood is her debut thriller.

Visit her website
Follow her on Twitter @RuthWareWriter


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