Book Review: “In A Dark Dark Wood” by Ruth Ware

Book Review

“In A Dark Dark Wood” By Ruth Ware

Some things can’t stay secret forever

By Samantha Shrider / February 7th 2017

Title: In a Dark Dark Wood
Author: Ruth Ware
Series(?): n/a
Publisher: Harville Secker
Publication Date: July 30th 2015
Source & Format: Gift, Hardcover
Page Count: 352
Genre: Mystery, thriller, suspense, fiction
Rating: ★★★✰✰




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 forever.

Buy “In a Dark Dark Wood”


A quick read, but lacks substance.

I didn’t know much about this book going in other than it was a thriller and the back compared it to Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl.” I’m afraid that comparison fell really flat. The protagonist Nora is invited to her school mates “hen party” (or what we in the states call a bachelorette) which seemed normal, even when they haven’t spoken since Nora abruptly left school I didn’t question the invitation. Nora reluctantly agrees to go, while hedging the reason why she hasn’t spoken to this woman in years.

Having arrived to the party things start falling apart, and this is the only place where I’ll allow that it does have a “Gone Girl” quality: I did question Nora’s narrative. Her character seems more than a little unhinged, still being obsessed with her ex from her adolescence, and unable to participate in any social setting without coming of over emotional, paranoid or reclusive.

“If you write about this, I thought,
I will fucking kill you,”

Unfortunately by mid-book I was incredibly bored with the writing, the characters and the plot. It seemed obvious what was going on and who was controlling the board. The story is predictable, Norma becomes incredibly dense for a crime writer and there are moments where the story is unbelievable to the point where even my fantasy loving heart was like, “ehhhhh….”

Over all I gave the story three stars, since it was a quick read, and the beginning was enjoyable. I think I would have enjoyed it more if my expectations hadn’t been as high, and I believe the fact that it was her first novel is apparent in the writing style so I could actually read this author again to see if she had improved with her story telling.

Have you read this one or anything else by this author? Leave a comment letting me know what you think!

Ruth Ware
About the Author

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. 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. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.

3 Replies to “Book Review: “In A Dark Dark Wood” by Ruth Ware”

  1. I’ve stayed away from this one because of all the negative reviews. It’s a shame, the cover and premise are so cool

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