“In a Dark, Dark Wood”, a British Psychological Crime Thriller set in England, is one of the most suspenseful novels I’ve read in a while. This book has been on my “To Be Read Shelf” for quite sometime. I am happy to finally get to it because it did not disappoint.
After a quiet breakup with a high school boyfriend, Nora, only sixteen, left Reading and never looked back. Now ten years later she is writing Crime Fiction, happily living in solitude in a small flat located in London. Then, out of the blue, she receives an email with an unexpected invitation to a hen (bachelorette party) from a friend she lost touch with so many years ago. This reconnection immediately brings back the feelings of hurt and betrayal she experienced over a decade before, the same feelings that led her to leave Reading . Against her better judgement she agrees to join the women for a weekend getaway in an eerily-constructed glass house surrounded by woods.
From the moment she steps out of the car Nora is understandably uncomfortable. She has not had any contact with these women in over ten years. Plus the house is just plain creepy – all of the walls are constructed from glass. She equates the house to being like a fishbowl, allowing the world to see all who is inside its walls. To add to the the discomfort of the house, it located in the middle of nowhere, smack dab in a middle of a cellphone dead zone. As the weekend unfolds, tensions (new and old) between these long-estranged friends mound, and so does the suspense for the reader.
Three days after her arrival at the glass house, we find Nora awakening in a hospital with a head wound and a police guard outside her door. She quickly learns there was an accident at the glass house, and a possible murder. What happened? Who died? Is she a suspect? As the details of the story unfold, the reader is taken through an emotional rollercoaster of love, friendship, betrayal, loss, envy, and survival.
My Overall Rating: I really enjoyed this book. The story was very well written and thoughtful. I found it to be well mapped out by the author, leaving no holes for the reader. I enjoyed the suspense and thrill ride the Ms. Ware took me on, it was quite a journey. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys suspenseful fiction. I conclude my rating for this debut novel by Ruth Ware as a solid “4”.
Side Note: I recently learned this book has been slated for a movie. The movie is being developed by Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. This amazing duo produced the movie adaptation of “Gone Girl”. Rumors circulating state to expect the movie’s release in 2018.