From the moment that I got this book I've wanted to read it but I had to put it in the correct place in my to read list and so that means that I didn't quite get around to reading it until this week, which in turn meant I was itching to see if it played out as interestingly as it seemed that it would and so I read it in a single sitting pretty much, and I was anything but disappointed. In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware was pretty much a book that I picked on the cover alone (I know, I know, it's almost as though I didn't heed any of my mother's warnings) but, in honesty, I just couldn't have managed to pick a book more suitable for me if I'd looked up the plot before shelling out the £3 or whatever I paid in Asda.
The book opens in chaos, and if you've been around here for any amount of time and read any crime novel reviews I've written you'll know this is my favourite - I know some people like to build the suspense but I want the murder to happen now, I want all the facts so I can start to formulate a theory as I go through the book. This does indeed open in chaos, with us following Nora as she stumbles through the woods covered in blood, we follow her to the road and then as the memory ends, we start the story that preceded these events, we see her invited to a hen weekend of a girl that she hasn't seen for ten years.
The book is written in alternating chapters - one shows Nora coming to grips and trying to remember what happened at the hen weekend, interspersed with her past with Claire. The other set of chapters follow Nora and the hens at the weekend, it gives us odd clues that don't seem to quite fit together and it presents us with a mystery that even Nora, a crime writer, can't seem to quite fit together. The book is amazingly written, it carefully catches the feelings that you share when you meet new friends of your own friends, and it shows the hostility and competitiveness that leaving school can often bring. It's brutally honest in the attitudes and yet it's so carefully and cleverly written that even I didn't quite work out the twist and I'm renowned for ruining books for other people by shouting out my guesses as to the ending when I'm halfway through.
Ruth Ware has got the perfect mystery novel down - it's almost impossible to get the whole story straight in your head before it's revealed, it doesn't have a happy ending and yet you put the book down feeling satisfied. I love mystery novels and I can't wait to try new offerings from Ruth Ware because this is definitely one of the best books that I've read within the last few months and it's definitely one that I'll be recommending to all of my friends.
Have you read anything by Ruth Ware?
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