In a Dark, Dark Wood

I thought this was a pretty good book. I was a little underwhelmed with certain things but this one isn’t a bad read at all. All of the characters were different and contributed to the story in their own ways, the plot had thrills, chills and twists. I haven’t read any of Ruth Wares books but I was told this is the one to start with. This was suppose to be my Halloween read but it wasn’t as scary as I was lead to think it was. The people who said it was terrifying must spook easy. 61Mk3Kkgf4L._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_

Nora, Nina and Clare were the best of friends in high school but like all friends do, they lose touch after graduation. It isn’t until Nina and Nora receive an invitation to Clare’s hen (bachelorette) party that they are all reunited. Nora wonders why she was invited to this party but not her wedding. It doesn’t take her long to find out and for the group to find out about each others deepest secrets; including one that will ultimately take someones life.

The factor that kept me reading this book was the little cliffhangers at the end of the chapters and randomly placed throughout the book. They were truly little, being statements or questions that made the wheels turn in my head. They were things like Nora saying “do you think she knew what I had done?” or “Who sent those texts from my phone?” This one comes up a lot making Nora seem paranoid but really it makes me ask what the heck did this chick do that she is so worried about the group finding out?

I really like that kind of stuff, the simple “pullers” as I will call them, pulling and holding your attention and creating yet another thing that the reader is curious about. One of the characters has a plan to bring down another character but you really don’t tie all the strings together until almost the very end. You create so many questions for yourself while reading, you start to second guess the characters and second guess who you think killed another character. I am not going to tell you too much about the big event aka the murder that happens because that is something that (if you read the book) I want you to experience yourself. It is kind of intense and it happens so fast that you focus on the events that follow rather than who was holding the gun and who ultimately pulled the trigger.

Each of the characters were polar opposites of each other. Nora was the successful writer, Clare was the perfect one with the blissful life, Tom (the only male in attendance) was the hipster theater buff, Flo was the obsessive one, Nina the potty mouth, no-filter doctor and Melanie the overly worried new mother away from her baby for the first time. I thought that the person who brought them all together wanted to create some chaos so that they could possibly pin the murder on someone else. There is a lot of chaos in that house and I think that it also created some distraction for the reader too.

It kind of makes you think “well this person could have been holding the gun or this person could have. But this person was alone for a little while so could they have switched the blank in the gun for a live shell?” As a reader, I put a lot of thought into trying to figure out who set everything up and fire the bullet. Just when I thought I narrowed it down to two people, I got new information that turned my view to someone else. I am not going to name drop who did it but I will say, I thought about them a few times and then dismissed my suspicion because I thought they were too innocent. That is what I liked best about this book and the author; Ware knew how to make the characters act and say the right things to make the reader never suspect them.

I said earlier that I was a little underwhelmed by the book. I say this because when I picked it up and read the reviews on the back, they made the book seem like it was going to be really scary. “Prepare to be scared…. Really scared.” “Read this book now. Read in bed at your own risk.” I thought oh sh*t…. this book is going to be scary. I will say now, it wasn’t scary at all. I think the spookiest parts was when the party found some strange footprints outside in the snow and they had no idea who they belonged to; they thought someone was sneaking around. I say that was scary because there was a house full of girls (and one gay man) out in the middle of the forest with no neighbors in sight and a sketchy history. The other part was when the group was using the Ouija board and a message came across saying “murderer.” I am not a fan of those boards or people using those boards to prank their friends; not my style! Anyway, it wasn’t “terrifying” at all and I read it in bed every single night with no problems. It was just a thrilling crime novel.

The Good:
An interesting, thought provoking crime story
A lot of different characters with different motives
You may think it could get predictable but there are twists and turns at the right moment

Not too bad:
Not as scary as the reviews on the back state it is.

Overall: If you like crime reads, this is a good one to pick up and read….Even at night. It keeps you guessing and second guessing the character suspicions and your own. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Up Next: Calendar Girl: Volume One by Audrey Carlan