Skip to main content

In a Dark, Dark Wood | Ruth Ware

I always thought that being self-sufficient was a strength, but now I realize it’s a kind of weakness, too.”

Genre: Thriller/Mystery.
Number of Pages: 352.
Perspective: First.
Location: England.

This book is about Nora, a solitary writer who gets invited to a long-lost friend’s bachelorette party in a remote cabin. She is forced to face the events of her past that she has run away from for the last ten years. For a complete summary, you can go here.

I was drawn to this book because it reminds me of my favorite story as a child:

In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house.
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room.
And in the dark, dark room there was a dark, dark chest.
And in the dark, dark chest there was a dark, dark shelf.
And on the dark, dark shelf there was a dark, dark box.
And in the dark, dark box there was… A GHOST!

The story does take place in a house in a dark wood, but it does not have to do with anything in a dark box, unless you are talking about metaphorical ghosts. I was intrigued by the story and it grasped me from the beginning. Similarly to Ware’s other book The Woman in Cabin 10, this book starts off with a good build-up, but the ending leaves something to be desired. It also seemed like an unnecessarily long time for the reveal due to [another] unreliable narrator. That trope is feeling overused in modern thrillers. However, I did like this one much better than The Woman in Cabin 10.

The book definitely was creepy, and worth reading. There are just some holes in the story--some actions and motives didn’t quite add up. When you are reading a mystery book, you expect to have either red herrings or clues, but not facts that don’t make sense. 

Overall, I recommend this book. It’ll make you not want to go to the woods for a while, so it is perfect for Halloween time. It would be a great book for a book club so you can discuss some of the plot points and figure out some of the author’s purposes. There is also a great list of questions at the end of the book that would be perfect for a discussion. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 

 



“There was something strangely naked about it, like we were on a stage set, playing our parts to an audience of eyes out there in the wood.”




4/5 Stars 

Popular posts from this blog

El Deafo | Cece Bell

And being different? That turned out to the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers.”
Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel/Memoir. Number of Pages: 233. Perspective: First. Location: Virginia.
This graphic novel follows the author throughout her time as a young girl in the 1970s and her experiences losing her hearing from meningitis at the age of four. She learns how to make friends and accept herself. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This was a beautiful story about someone who copes with becoming deaf. I took an American Sign Language course in college and we talked a lot about the deaf culture; it was interesting to learn about some of the daily challenges that someone who is deaf faces. This book explains those challenges in a way that children can understand and relate to. We have come a long way with accessibility since the 70s, but we all could use …

5 Reasons Why I Hate Book Series

Many of you know that I hate book series. If at all possible, I try to stick to stand-alone novels. A few rare trilogies land on my bookshelf and an even rarer few get a good review. Here are my reasons why I hate trilogies: 

1. The first book is perfected.

Authors have an unlimited amount of time to perfect the first book. They may have many rewrites and rejections before it is finally accepted by a publisher. By that point, the book should be pristine. The author may not have a deal with the publisher for a series yet, but once the first book proves its worth, the publisher will definitely ask for the rest of the series. Depending on the popularity, the author will be forced to get the next books out quickly—unless you are George R.R. Martin. There will be less time to perfect the story and it will be sent out without many rewrites, as to appease the fan-base. As a result, the rest of the series suffers in comparison to the debut. 
2. The waiting is torture. 

Part of the reason why the …

Hex | Thomas Olde Heuvelt

“Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves."
Genre: Horror. Number of Pages: 384. Perspective: Third. Location: New York.
Hex is the story of a town that is cursed by a witch with her eyes and mouth sewn shut. She shows up in houses and just stands and stares for days at a time. The people of the town can never leave and are plagued by the fear of what would happen if the witch’s eyes and mouth are ever opened. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This book started off kind of funny and light-hearted. The middle starts to get a little creepy and suspenseful, and the end is downright strange. It was an enjoyable book, but you’ll have to wait a long time for the climax. The bulk of the action happens in the last 50 pages. For me, that felt rushed and left me with more questions than answers. 
Hex was originally written in Dutch and translated to English. With that in mind, I am utterly impressed with the flow and readability of the story. Th…

Ten Things Writers Need to Know

This is a guest post by Heather Weidner. I was asked recently what advice I would give to someone who wants to write. Here’s my list…
1. Read. Read. Read. 

Read everything you can get your hands on. Learn about the genre. Learn about techniques and style. See what works and what doesn't.



2. Seek out writers like you. 

Find a writers' group. I write mysteries, so Sisters in Crime was a perfect fit. I am also in the online community, Guppies. They have tons of resources and advice. And they are so supportive and helpful. 
3. There are a lot of books out there on the craft of writing. 
My favorite is Stephen King's On Writing. Invest in books that help you. But use your library too. FREE is good.



4. If you are serious about writing, find a critique group. 
It's an investment in your time to read the submissions. Make sure that the feedback is helpful. Critiques need to be constructive and not personal. My critique group specializes in mysteries and crime fiction. And that works fo…

5 Things I Would Have Done Differently Before Self-Publishing

This is a guest post by Mark Benjamin. 
About three-quarters into 2015, I decided to self-publish. My novel was stuck in that phase of completed / nearly done, and I had been agent shopping for three years prior, and the brief thought (if at all) of self-publishing had been pushed out of my mind by the traditional method. That is, until my wife, Lucy, sent me the Amazon Kindle Publishing link. At the end of May 2016, my debut novel, A CHANGE OF HEART, Book One of The Royal Blood Chronicles, was released, an urban fantasy novel bringing back vampires from whence I first found them, cue in Lestat and Louis. There was a lot to learn throughout the entire self-publishing process; emotions ranging from doubt to hope, anxiety to determination, fear to belief. I would like to share my experiences, then and now, and how I would have done things differently.


1. Just Do It
Those three words are the beginning and end of it all. The story hit me and I ran with it. I could have waited until I thought …

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required