In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Nora Shaw hasn’t seen Clare Cavendish in ten years. Best friends from their earliest school days, the two haven’t spoken since the day Nora walked out of school, out of her old life, and never looked back.

Then, out of the blue, Nora receives an invitation to Clare’s hen do. Instantly Nora’s head is full of questions, not least whether she really wants to see Clare again at the risk of dredging up the past, but, following a pact with mutual friend Nina, she agrees to go. A weekend away in a remote house in the middle of the woods in mid November; not the most traditional hen do perhaps, but Nora tries her best to be optimistic.

Almost as soon as she arrives, however, Nora begins to regret her decision. Away from home, and surrounded by strangers, the isolation begins to get to the group, and things start to creep from bad to worse. Just how long can you keep a skeleton in a closet?

Someones’s getting married. Someone’s getting murdered.

In a Dark,Dark Wood is an easy-to-read atmospheric thriller, and Ruth Ware does a great job of character building and drawing you in to the dynamics of the ‘hen do’ group. I read this book in two sittings, and by the second half I was destined to sit there and finish it, despite the ever decreasing warmth of my bubble bath.

Once invested, I simply had to know how the story ended. There are enough hints to the secrets lurking in the past that the ending doesn’t feel inauthentic, and while the resolution to the mystery didn’t leave me open-mouthed with shock, there is still a satisfying climax. I appreciated the increase in pace as you near the story’s conclusion, and overall enjoyed this entertaining, character driven read.

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