This story line, book title, and setting had the potential to be a “keep the lights on all night because you’re scare” kind of book.
Recommended by theSkimm, selected as our next book club read, and with a summary that made the hairs on your arm stand up… In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware was set up to be a shining star. Sadly, it barely sparkled.
Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s bachelorette party 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…
Some things can’t stay secret for ever.
Sounds super suspenseful, scary, and thrilling, right? Well, here are some of my issues with the book:
- Nora was too scared to ask if she was a suspect in the murder investigation, but she had no concern about how it would look fleeing the hospital and police.
- I pretty much could guess what was going to happen, and who did what, by about halfway through. That’s not what you want in a book.
- Nora annoyingly spends pages and pages running through her head all of the least likely suspects until FINALLY she begins to question actual suspects who are her friends (gasp!)
- There were too many memories/ flashbacks and not enough actually occurring in the present moment to build the type of thriller I was looking for (and lead on to believe it was)
- Nora agreed to go to a hen weekend (aka bachelorette party) for her ex best friend who she has not talked to in 10 years without even finding out who she was marrying first.
Clearly I had some issues with Nora (the main character)… I didn’t hate her but I didn’t think she brought much (if anything) to the table. She had no personality, no life outside of writing, and was completely content being alone the rest of her life. When I read a book, I want a main character to draw me in instantly! I don’t have to love him or her, but I have to be interested enough to keep reading about their life.
Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Maybe I didn’t like it as much as I should because I had just finished reading this amazing jaw-dropper, or maybe because it just didn’t have as much action or suspense as it lead on to contain.
So yes, another Skimm novel I wasn’t a fan of, but at least it wasn’t as bad as their other recommendation they made a few months ago….
Help! I need some thriller book recommendations asap to counterbalance this dud!