Review: In a Dark Dark wood by Ruth Ware

dark dark woodNora 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….

Something can’t stay secret forever.


I read The Woman in Cabin 10 awhile back and I remember hearing about this one even then. I think what caught my eye was the hen-do. I was imagining strippers, accidental deaths et al and it all sounded quite thrilling haha. Well, the bridal shower in this case didn’t have any strippers but it did have an ex, an obsessive friend, a huge house in the dark woods, games and even an Ouija board.

What I really liked about this book was the setting. The house was huge, secluded and surrounded by dark woods. If I remember correctly, there were no curtains. Characters even remarked that being in the house felt like being on stage performing to an audience in the woods. Creepy! In addition, there was no network and so phones were useless. I also liked the mix of friends. They were an odd group. A hen do should have close girlfriends but Clare’s had a guy and some friends she hadn’t spoken to in a decade. It was also some last minute thing so only 5-6 friends made it in the end.

There was something foreboding that kept me glued to the pages. At the same time, I can’t really explain it but I wasn’t really gripped by the narrative. I liked the story but didn’t love it. I think the twists and secrets were underwhelming. Probably because I spotted them a bit too early or I was expecting something bigger. Well I’m in the minority though, this is quite a popular title going by other reviews.

Have you read this book? Did you like it?

28 thoughts on “Review: In a Dark Dark wood by Ruth Ware

  1. Lovely review, Diana! I own this one, but I haven’t read it. I read the Woman in Cabin 10 first, and it was kind of like this for me- good, but not great. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

    1. Thanks Jennifer. My weekend was lovely. I hope yours was too. I enjoyed Woman in Cabin 10 a little more than this one. Maybe it will be the reverse for you 🙂

  2. Completely agree good but not great, there is just a little something missing? Wonderful review as always!

  3. I liked this too! I think it was entertaining, but i had the same feeling with the twists. Some even felt a bit too convenient.
    The group was defo odd and had a weird dynamic, which is really all i ask for in books like this 😀 Hehe.

    1. haha, that group was weird and some of the reasons why they were invited are even weirder. This provided a number of suspects though. Thanks Norrie.

  4. Haven’t read it but have heard about it. Wasn’t interested at first, but now I am because of creepy house, no curtains, and characters feeling as if they’re on stage. Dunno why all that appeals to me, but it does. I wonder how it all causes them to act.

    1. haha, that setting was super spooky but its the best part of the story and its what influences the events that occur. Thanks Zezee. I hope you will enjoy this one if you get the chance.

  5. I haven’t read this one. It definitely sounds creepy.
    Have you ever read a Tarryn Fisher book? For some reason, I feel like I need to recommend Mud Vein to you after reading this review.

    1. I have just read the blurb for Mud Vein on Goodreads and immediately added it. It sounds so good and is highly rated too. Thanks Deanna for the recommendations. Off to check out other books by Tarryn.

  6. I put this one on my TBR when it first came out, but haven’t read it yet. I read The Woman in Cabin 10 and it had been so hyped, that I was disappointed. I enjoyed your review and may move this one back up to see what I think. Great share Diana.

      1. To be able to create these stories is such a gift. I hope to read The Death of Mrs. Westaway in the next couple of weeks. Have you read that one?

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