Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bookish Thoughts: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

I am running. ~ Opening of In a Dark, Dark, Wood

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, narrated by Imogen Church
Simon & Schuster, 2015
Crime Fiction; 9hrs 34 min
Source: I bought the audio version of this book for my own listening pleasure.

In the mood for something suspenseful, I decided to download In a Dark, Dark Wood to my phone and give it a try. Much praise has been given to Ruth Ware's novel and Imogen Church's narration of it, and it did not disappoint. I can see this novel being perfect on a particularly stormy night . . . 

Crime fiction writer Nora is startled when she receives an e-mail inviting her to a hen party (bachelorette party) for her former best friend, Clare. The two women have not spoken in many years and did not exactly leave on the best of terms. Although reluctant, Nora accompanies a friend to their weekend destination: a glass house in the woods in the English countryside. The home is owned by the aunt of Clare's current best friend, Flo, and seems an odd out of the way place for a Hen party, or so Nora thinks.

The novel alternates between the recent past and the present, as Nora slowly remembers what happened over that short weekend and why she is now in the hospital recovering from injuries--not to mention the prime person of interest in a murder investigation. Who died? What was the motive? What role in Nora play? All of these questions haunt Nora.

I was drawn into the novel immediately, Imogen Church's Nora expressing the tension and a subtle eeriness as the story unfolded.  I had no problem differentiating between the different characters and felt the narrator captured their personalities well. Imogen Church was a good choice as the narrator and one I will enjoy listening to in the future.

The reader gets to know each of the characters, particularly those at the weekend long hen party, as Nora recalls her time there. No one is without motive, although some have stronger motives than others. Nor are the characters particularly likable, but that in no way hurt my enjoyment of the novel. I wanted to know what happened, and found myself listening to the book whenever I could.

The twists were not entirely unexpected, although still exciting to see whether I was right or wrong. It was fun to go back and think on the clues dropped and see how they lined up once all was revealed. In a Dark, Dark Wood was an enjoyable thriller over all. 

To learn more about Ruth Ware and her work, please visit the author's website. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook

For more information and Imogen Church, please visit her website and Twitter.

© 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I'm glad to see you liked it. I really enjoyed The Woman in Cabin 10 and have high hopes for this one.

  2. I enjoyed this one for its eerie, suspenseful atmosphere. :)

  3. This sounds good so I went over to Audible to listen to a sample and discovered Church is British. I struggle with British narrators for some reason so I might look for this in print.

  4. I enjoyed this book but I enjoyed The Woman in Cabin 10 more. I can't wait for her next release!

  5. I've read some good reviews for this book and The Woman in Cabin 10 and look forward to reading them both - or listen.

  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed this! It was definitely one of my top books so far this year. I LOVED Imogen Church's narration and I was thrilled that she also narrates The Woman in Cabin 10 AND my library has it! It will be happening soon.

  7. Another great review Wendy!! I haven't listened to any audiobooks but I'm tempted to give them a try after this. I suppose it's up to the narrator, and I'm glad the one for this book, In a Dark, Dark Wood, did a great job!

  8. Ive been in the mood for darker reads lately too. Just finished The Couple Next Door and She's Not There. ..both good. I read both Rurh Ware books as well over last few months and liked them as well.

  9. Glad you liked it -- it definitely sounds like a page-turner! I've been meaning to read it since it came out, and now that Ware has a new book I should probably get on it!

  10. Debating over what I think about that cover. But not to judge a book and all of that ...

    A synopsis that doesn't so much draw me in as intrigue me. Do you know I don't even know if this is one I'd pick up if I were to see it in the library or not but it certainly not one I could envisage myself buying.

  11. I tried listening to this as well, but the narrator really didn't work for me. She bored me to tears and I had to put this aside. SIGHS.

  12. The synopsis and your review both intrigue me, although this is not the sort of mystery I normally gravitate toward. In fact, I usually avoid thrillers except of the romantic-suspense variety (where I can be at least somewhat confident that all will end "well.") But I admit to a fair bit of curiosity about this one, which may drive me to check it out at the library.

  13. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one! I liked it a lot and am looking forward to her new one that just came out. I wasn't quite as wowed by the ending but overall a good read.

  14. You know, I normally don't read this type of fiction, but your EXCELLENT review has made this book highly compelling! Now I want to get into it! It does sound like a very interesting read, or listen, in your case. Besides, anything to do with England will automatically attract me! I've always wanted to visit that country, as most of the world's great literature comes from there.

    I'm adding this book to my Goodreads shelves! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it!! <3 :)

  15. Thank you everyone for your comments. I can't believe I haven't replied! Please forgive the group response. It's been crazy busy and I'm playing catch up after being sick this past week and weekend.


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