In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I've been eyeing this book for months at the bookstore. I was intrigued by the tagline…"who brings a gun to a bachelorette party?"
Goodreads description of the plot is this:
"What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.
Sometimes the only thing to fear…is yourself.
When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for a weekend away, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new, an unnerving memory shatters Leonora’s reserve, and a haunting realization creeps in: the party is not alone in the woods."
I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about the story. The beginning starts off well-enough, giving us a decent mystery as to why Lenora is invited to this weekend away in the first place. It's a "hen party" for a former friend who she hasn't spoken to in years and it ends with murder.
This book suffered in a couple of ways for me. The first is honestly, a personal irritation. The character's name is Lenora. She used to go by Lee but now she goes by Nora…oh but wait, she also had the pet name of Leo. It's simply too much. I completely understand the need to show character development by a name change from past to present, however, with the past and present people in the protagonist's life switching back and forth between all four names constantly it gets a little annoying.
Then there was the jumping to and from timelines in strange places. It was almost as though the author realized she was boring everyone and threw in a juicy bit just to keep us occupied and reading until the end.
The motive for murder was a little far-fetched and I didn't even have time to care about the person who died. The ancillary character development was shallow at best. I just felt as though it was half done. I didn't hate this one, but I didn't love it. It occupied my brain for a few hours, but I wouldn't really recommend it.
Oh! And the woods? The dark, dark ones that are in the title? Have less than zero to do with the plot. They are barely mentioned which is moderately disappointing.
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