Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Book Summary:

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.

Book Review:

Psychological thriller, yet again. I love 'em. There's no denying it.

This one, however, is not as exciting as I thought it would be from the blurb. I have a weakness for blurbs. That is not to say I won't be reading more books by Ruth Ware, because I will. It's just that I expected a little more substance from this book than I actually got.

It was a fairly predictable and derivative storyline. I've seen her being compared to Agatha Christie, and I am disappointed with such comparisons. She is not Agatha Christie. Nobody can be. But with such a lofty comparison, I expected a bit more substance in this book. There has to be more of the psychological bit in it, and it wasn't there. It just was not. When you call it a psychological thriller, there has to be a modicum of mystery invloved in the whole story and process.

The ending felt contrived and predictable, and the second half of the book was a drag. The beginning draws you in, and raises expectations, but the rest of the book doesn't live up to it. There is a psychological aspect, but it felt forced and did not flow smoothly. The ensemble cast is well-sketched out, and the characters have believable personalities and reactions. But it just doesn't fit. Maybe my bar for psychological thrillers is too high, but here's the thing - I want to like these books. So if I do not, there's probably something missing from it in my opinion.

I see that it's been optioned for a film, which makes sense. It does have that quality that would make it look good on screen. And for film, it will have a tighter storyline too. That should help.

All in all, not a great book, but I'll be reading more stuff by Ruth Ware, in the hopes that I'll like it better.

View all reviews | Are you a writer?