Ruth Ware expands on the spooky setting of her title in her first mystery thriller – In a Dark, Dark Wood. A glass house with no curtains or phone service; a group of six forced together for a “hen” party, the British term for bachelorette bash before the wedding; a Ouija board spelling out murderer, a gun over the mantle – mix these with a self-possessed bride and the groom’s ex girlfriend – and you get revenge, murder, suspicion, surprise.
The story flips back and forth from the main character, Nora, recovering in a hospital bed, with a police guard outside her door, and flashbacks to the “hen” party events leading up to her current distress. Her amnesia adds to the dilemma, and keeps the reader wondering who is telling the truth. Nora herself is not sure what she has done, and a secret from the past she holds with the bridegroom threatens her resolve.
Ware cleverly throws in plausible red herrings and scary scenarios to keep the pages turning quickly. If you enjoyed The Girl on the Train and Before I Go to Sleep, add In a Dark, Dark Wood to the books that will keep you awake at night.