Book Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark WoodIn a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Vintage Digital
Summary: 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.

Three stars for this one. I liked the story even though I figured out major plot points. I wanted to see the things I suspected unfold so that kept me turning the pages. I'm a mystery fan so I definitely felt the Christie vibe here and there was also a bit of Gosford Park with the weekend hen party with the hunting angle and murder at the "country" house (and country is only applicable in the location of the house not the house itself which is described as a cubic, glass and metal monstrosity).

I thought Nora, as our main character, so deeply lacked imagination for the situation in which she found herself that I was hard pressed to believe that she was a writer of crime fiction. Nina easily turned out to be my favorite character. Melanie had the most sense and exercise of her own agency by bailing out when her instincts told her to. Tom was pretty bland but mostly unobjectionable. Flo was great as the unstable, unhinged one and hats off to her red herring, red shirt-ness. Well done. Clare was what I thought she was all along and James was so little rendered that I'm amazed at all the angst that surrounded him.

I have to admit that this didn't have to power of The Girl on the Train for me. Nora wasn't anything like Rachel (who had serious, self-destructive problems). Because of Nora's lack of real and urgent problems (until that whole confronting the murderer bit), I didn't root for her as much and while I felt her end was good enough, it didn't have to strength it could have if she had lost more or had more to lose. In the end, I would read another by this author and I would recommend this, but if you're looking for the next TGOTT, this is not that.

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