In a Dark, Dark Wood

Author: Ruth Ware
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Read: June 2017


This was my second Ruth Ware book. There are definitely better mystery/thriller novels out there, but I did really enjoy both In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10. They both drew me in right from the start, were fairly fast paced, easy to read, and intriguing.

In a Dark, Dark Wood is set in, you guessed it, a cabin in the woods. Nora is really surprised when her childhood best friend Clare invites her to a weekend hen party at her cottage. Nora and Clare haven’t talked in years, but she reluctantly agrees to attend, curious about why Clare has decided to contact her after so many years. The party has an odd assortment of guests and as the night progresses, strange things start happening, leading Nora to suspect they may not be the only ones there.

In a Dark, Dark Wood is Ware’s first novel and I do think she honed her skill a bit better in The Woman in Cabin 10, which I preferred. In a Dark, Dark Wood did not really deliver what I thought I was getting from the synopsis. I was expecting a creepy thriller that was going to keep me up a night, a lighter version of Mark Edwards Follow You Home, which had the creepiest atmosphere. This might be an unfair comparison as Follow You Home falls in the Horror genre, but In a Dark, Dark Wood was neither creepy nor scary. I still enjoyed the story, but the book jacket and the name are both pretty misleading.

I found both Ware’s novels engaging and fast paced, but I did think the pacing was a little off for both plots. I thought that the climax of both novels came at about the 2/3 mark, which felt a bit early to me and make the last third feel like it was dragging. I found the plot of this book to be pretty predictable, but was improved in The Woman in Cabin 10.

So overall, not my favourite mystery/thriller, but I do enjoy Ware’s novels and plan to read her new novel, The Lying Game.