I’ve been reading a lot of books this summer, and I am happy to say Ruth Ware’s mystery novel, “In a Dark, Dark Wood,” has made it to the top of my “must read” list. Now I am a sucker for two things: a romantic love story and a killer mystery novel, so it isn’t too surprising that I fell in love with this book and couldn’t put it down. But what was shocking was the fact that I had never heard of Ware before reading her novel, and I was even more impressed with her writing and storytelling capabilities.
I know the title may come off as a little cliché, and some parts of the story line do, too, but the overall suspense and mystery Ware has managed to portray makes the time spent reading this book worth it, and the main character Nora Shaw (also known as Lenora, Lee and Leo) is the one who tells it all.
On the first page of the story, readers are introduced to a narrator (Nora) running through the woods with one thought racing through her head: “James. James. James.”
But at the beginning of chapter 1, readers learn, somehow, the narrator goes from running through a dark, dark wood to lying in a hospital bed, talking to a nurse, confused and scared.
“ ‘Nora,’ I whisper.
‘You want us to call Nora? Who’s Nora?’
‘All right, Nora. Just try to relax. This won’t hurt.’
But it does. Everything hurts. What has happened? What have I done?”
What happens? Well, Nora, who has been a loner for the past 10 years, gets invited to her old friend Clare’s hen party—the British equivalent of a bachelorette party. After careful consideration, she decides to go, even though the only person she really knows is her friend Nina, and the party takes place in a house in the middle of the woods in November. Everything seems fine at first, except for one thing: Nora has no idea why she was invited to the hen party when she wasn’t invited to the wedding. The reason? The groom is Nora’s ex-boyfriend and the reason she cut all ties to Clare and her past life, and Clare felt it would be better to tell Nora in person.
You are probably wondering where the real mystery is. Well, the party isn’t the exciting part. The real excitement involves a game with a Ouija board, a shot gun hanging above the fireplace, a mysterious intruder and the bachelorette herself.
Like any book I share with you, I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I want to let you know that this is a must-read, page-turner. I am always skeptical with any book in the beginning, but I would easily spend hours reading this one without looking at my phone or checking the time. There are so many clues I would love to tell you, but I think I have given you enough hints for now. The rest you can read for yourself. Happy reading, fellow book lovers!