Tagged: ruth ware Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Tara Sonin 4:00 pm on 2018/02/12 Permalink
    Tags: a line in the dark, a separation, , , , , , bad love, , , caroline kepnes, celeste ng, , , , everything I never told you, , , graham green, greer hendricks, , , , , , , , jessica knoll, katie kitamura, , , , , malinda lo, my husband’s wife, , ruth ware, , , , the immortalizes, , , the wife between us, , tiffany jackson, , white oleander, , you   

    Bah, Humbug: 25 Unhappy Books for Valentine’s Day 

    Love is in the air…but that doesn’t mean you have to drink the Kool-Aid. If you’re not feeling all the lovey-dovey stuff this year, that’s cool. Sometimes other people being happy is the worst. So here’s a list of tragedies, thrillers, and romances that do not end well for you to relish instead. Misery does love company, after all.

    The End of the Affair, by Graham Green
    This novel begins after an affair has already ended, but of course the question is why? Taking the reader back in time, this historical epic romance follows a vengeful man determined to bring down the woman who broke his heart…but when we learn the reason why she did, it will break ours instead.

    Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey
    Not a tragedy per se, but since this fantasy romance involves a special woman who feels pain as pleasure, it felt appropriate to include. Phedre has spent her life in the service of pleasure, but when she has an opportunity to use her talents for political gain, her entire world collapses and she must fight to rebuild a broken kingdom she leaves behind.

    The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
    Clare and Henry are in love, but timing is not their strong suit. Henry is a time-traveller, cursed to travel to different times in his life without warning. That’s how he met Clare, when she was a little girl…and how when, she grew up, they found one another again. In this lyrical, beautiful novel, what was the unique beginning of a love story soon becomes the unraveling of one.

    A Separation, by Katie Kitamura
    A Firestarter of a novel in which a woman’s ex-husband goes missing and she goes to search for him. The story of a marriage is never understood by anyone but the two within it…but the story of a separation is even more mired in mystery.

    Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
    Gone Girl is where most people’s familiarity with Flynn begins and ends, but she wrote two earlier thrillers that are on the same level. Her debut, Sharp Objects, may in fact be her best, a taut psychological thriller about an unsteady reporter who returns to her hometown to write about a past tragedy there—and must face her own demons in the process.

    Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
    If you haven’t watched the TV series…I won’t blame you if you want to check that out first, it’s that good. But the book is just as intriguing; the story of a group of women in a community held atop pillars of class and status, and what happens when those pillars are shattered. What begins as a series of small untruths and deceptions grows beyond the scope of what they can handle, and someone ends up dead.

    Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll
    A piercing portrait of a woman determined to outrun the shadows of her past, but forced to confront them. Ani FaNelli suffered a mysterious trauma during high-school and has successfully managed to reinvent herself as someone who would never be humiliated like that again. But all that effort is about to become undone when the opportunity to get even with the people who harmed her becomes too tempting to ignore.

    The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn
    A twisty thriller about a woman with agoraphobia (and a drinking problem) sees something in a neighboring house. She sees something devastating, something she should never have seen—and suddenly, her life is upended.

    Atonement, by Ian McEwan
    One of the most tragic stories of sisterhood and first love involves a misunderstood moment which builds to a lie, and then a war comes along and lays waste to already ruined relationships. Briony is an observant child, always in the background—and when she sees what she thinks is a man assaulting her sister, she tells an adult. But is that what she saw? And is that why she told? The past and present intertwine in a moving portrait of what happens when jealousy gets in the way of love.

    We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
    A genre-defying story that is part thriller, part romance…and 100% captivating. A privileged family spends a summer on an exclusive island, uniting a group of friends. But secrets twist their friendships into something rotten, something dangerous…a lie that unless confronted, will leave them forever adrift.

    The Wife Between Us, by Greer Hendricks
    A co-written tragedy about a wife, her ex-husband, and the new woman he loves…in which nothing is real, or true, and each page keeps you guessing.

    White Oleander, by Janet Fitch
    A mother and daughter’s tumultuous relationship is explored in this haunting novel about a woman jailed for murder and her daughter passed between foster homes in search of the happiness she never had at home.

    The Magicians, by Lev Grossman
    All’s well that ends well where magic is concerned…perhaps in books like Harry Potter. But this is not that story. When Quentin is suddenly spirited into a world of magic, validating a lifetime of believing he was different and special, he also finds himself at the center of a terrible battle for power that will take everything from him—including the love of magic he once had.

    Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng
    A powerful novel about a Chinese family in the 1970’s, whose lives are ripped apart when their child is found dead. Each of them with their own perspectives, and their own secrets, the entire family is gripped by the need for the truth…and the desire to run from it.

    Call Me by Your Name, by Andre Aciman
    The Oscar-nominated movie should definitely be on your viewing list, but in the meantime, read the book it’s based on! This story of an unexpected romance between two young men during a hot Italian summer is as riveting as it is erotic.

    In a Dark, Dark, Wood, by Ruth Ware
    A night of revelry and excitement and old friends…that’s what was supposed to happen when Leonora shows up to celebrate an old—and estranged—friend’s impending marriage. But what happens is the exact opposite, and it leaves Leonora wondering what the truth is, and what she may have done to cover it up.

    In the Woods, by Tana French
    Mystery writer extraordinare French’s novel about a detective who returns to the town in which he himself was the survivor of a violent crime to investigate another. But the present is often a mirror of the past, and he finds himself growing unstable in the proximity of the case.

    Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
    A tragic origin story of one of the most captivating villains of all time: the Wicked Witch of the West. Meet Elphaba, who would grow up to face off with Dorothy…before the girl with the pigtails rode a tornado into Oz. An upbringing as an outsider, with magic she does not understand, Elphaba craves acceptance, and will eventually fight for it no matter the cost.

    You, by Caroline Kepnes
    A man becomes obsessed with a woman in New York City, following her on social media in order to orchestrate the perfect relationship…and if necessary, the perfect murder.

    The Lying Game, by Ruth Ware
    Here are the rules of the lying game: no lying to your friends and ditch the lie if you get caught. In this hypnotic and fascinating portrait of friendship, four girls used to play this game until they got the rulebook thrown at them and were expelled after the mysterious deaths of one of their fathers. Now, years later, that past is coming back to haunt them, but will they play the game again to survive?

    My Husband’s Wife, by Jane Corry
    Lily loves Ed, and wants nothing more than to be a wife and a lawyer.That is, until she meets Joe: a convicted murderer, and a man she finds herself drawn to. Carla is just a kid, but she knows a liar when she spots one. Years later, their paths collide, and nothing will be the same.

    Room, by Emma Donoghue
    The harrowing journey of a mother and son living in captivity thanks to a mysterious man who kidnapped her when she was a teenager. When she sees an opportunity to free them, she risks it all in order to give her son a chance in the real world beyond their room.

    The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin
    The decision to hear a psychic tell them when they will die changes the lives of a group of siblings, all of whom pursue different paths—and are haunted by lives they could have lived—in this stirring tale of family and fate.

    A Line in the Dark, by Malinda Lo
    This YA psychological thriller puts two friends to the test when a third comes between them. Jess and Angie have always been best friends, but Margot’s spell takes Angie away. In a striking structural shift, the novel switches from the perspectives of the girls to court records and transcripts…when someone in their circle ends up dead.

    Allegedly, by Tiffany Jackson
    She only allegedly killed the baby. But then why did she confess? In this book that will make you forever distrust…well, practically everyone you know—Mary has been in group homes and institutions since she was convicted of murdering the baby her mother was charged with caring for. But now she is pregnant herself, and has decided to tell the truth before her own child is taken away.

    What Anti-Valentine’s Day novels would you recommend?

    The post Bah, Humbug: 25 Unhappy Books for Valentine’s Day appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 8:30 pm on 2016/09/12 Permalink
    Tags: , locked-room mysteries, , ruth ware, , the woman in cabin 10,   

    6 Fiendish “Locked Room” Mysteries 

    Everyone loves a good mystery, but a with everything else in life, there’s a hierarchy to the genre, ranging from thrillers who make no effort to hide the identity of the killer, to the most hardcore of all mystery types: the locked-room whodunnit. What is a locked-room mystery? Exactly what it sounds like: a crime (usually a murder) is committed in a locked room or other inaccessible area, or  more abstractly, in another recognizably impossible way. After all, if the room was locked from the inside, how could the murderer have gotten out? Here are six unputdownable locked-room mysteries ever written.

    The Murders in the Rue Morgue, by Edgar Allen Poe
    Often recognized as the pioneering story in the sub-genre (which isn’t surprising, as Poe pioneered detective fiction in general, among a dozen other things), The Murders in the Rue Morgue sports the classic setup: two women are brutally murdered in a room locked from the inside. Witnesses report a plethora of odd clues, including someone talking in a language that everyone describes differently. Modern readers might find the ultimate solution a little odd, but Poe’s work to outline the detective’s investigative method is one of the most influential pieces of writing of all time.

    The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware
    Ware’s latest is a classic locked-room mystery with a Hitchkockian flare: Laura “Lo” Blacklock is a tightly-wound writer for a travel magazine, assigned to cover a luxury cruise while suffering from PTSD after a break-in at her apartment. She observes a woman in the cabin next to her and one night hears what sounds like a body splashing into the water. The next day, there is no record of the woman, Cabin 10 is locked up tight, and everyone thinks Lo is imagining things. That’s the sort of premise mystery writers have been working with for decades, and Ware manages a perfect balance between a classic and modern approach, resulting in a fantastic read.

    The Adventure of the Speckled Band, by Arthur Conan Doyle
    Doyle’s iconic Sherlock Holmes still defines much of the mystery genre today, especially when it comes to short fiction. Holmes investigated locked rooms four times in Doyle’s original stories, but The Adventure of the Speckled Band is probably the best known. Holmes is contacted by a woman living with her spiteful, unpleasant stepfather at their dilapidated estate. About to be married, the woman is haunted by the mysterious death of her sister, whose last words referred to “the speckled band;” now, she is being forced to sleep in her sister’s old room because of repairs to the house. Holmes does his thing, and the story resolves with a bit of the graceful action Doyle was so good at writing (but which often gets overlooked in favor of Holmes’ brainy deductions).

    The King is Dead, by Ellery Queen
    Ellery Queen was for a time the most famous fictional detective (and literary pseudonym) in the world, and this classic novel is a prime example of him at his best. A man makes a public threat that he will shoot his father at midnight; his father retreats to a secure room alone with his wife, while Queen, hired on, sits in another location with the son, who has an unloaded weapon. At midnight the son raises the empty gun and pulls the trigger—and the father is shot dead, seemingly impossibly. Queen eventually gets to the bottom of it, and the novels were always presented as a fair-play “challenge to the reader,” stating that all the clues necessary to solve the mystery were in the story, and if you paused before reading the explanation you would have a fair chance of figuring it out.

    The Mystery of the Yellow Room, by Gaston Leroux
    Another “fair-play” story, The Mystery of the Yellow Room is not only a cracking locked-room mystery, but also distinctive in its inclusion of detailed floor plans and other information for to the reader, inviting them to “play along” and try to solve the case before the fictional detective Joseph Rouletabille. A woman is found in her locked bedroom, severely beaten and confused. As the investigation proceeds, the perpetrator is spotted several times—but each time seems to vanish into thin air when pursued. As with any good mystery, the solution is more practical than sensational, but is still making people feel foolish to this day.

    Almost Every Book by John Dickson Carr
    Carr was more or less the King of Locked Rooms—his hard-to-find novel The Hollow Man was once selected as the best locked-room mystery of all time. Inspired by writers like Gaston Leroux and G.K. Chesterton, Carr plotted intricate puzzles for his readers, usually involving an “impossible” crime, and then followed the investigation to its inevitable conclusion. In fact, an entire chapter of The Hollow Man is dedicated to the detective Dr. Gideon Fell discussing locked-room mysteries in general, one of the greatest meta-moments in detective fiction of all time.


    The post 6 Fiendish “Locked Room” Mysteries appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Melissa Albert 3:43 pm on 2015/08/12 Permalink
    Tags: author picks, , , ruth ware, , Top 10s   

    In a Dark, Dark Wood Author Ruth Ware’s Top 10 Psychological Thrillers 

    In Ruth Ware’s twisty thriller In a Dark, Dark Wood, homebody mystery novelist Nora Shaw receives a fateful invitation: Clare, a high school friend she hasn’t seen in a decade, is having a bachelorette weekend at an isolated cabin in the woods. Two days after she arrives at the cabin, Nora awakens in a hospital room, with a policeman standing guard outside her door. What happened in the woods that she can’t seem to recall? Why did Clare want to rekindle their abruptly broken friendship after all those years? And is the police officer protecting her…or keeping her in?

    After you read Ware’s debut, the perfect page-turner for the waning days of summer, give these books a try, the author’s own top 10 in psychological thrill rides.

    Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
    I know, I know, I’m only the 1,034th person to recommend this book to you. But it’s just really really good. Toxic marriage, exuberantly nasty characters, twisty plot—what’s not to like?

    Endless Night, by Agatha Christie
    Christie is often (undeservedly, in my view) dismissed as a purveyor of cosy stories about twee detectives, but Endless Night is one of her genuinely creepy and disturbing standalone novels. With a truly shocking twist and a chilling ending, this story of two newlyweds building their dream home may surprise readers more familiar with Marple and Poirot.

    We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
    While it was published as young adult, readers of any age will be gripped by this slow, hypnotic tale of a monied, uptight New England family, and the weight of a secret that unfolds with shocking violence.

    Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
    I’m not 100% sure Rebecca qualifies as a thriller, given it’s three parts screwed-up love story and two parts ghost-story-without-a-ghost, but the mystery at the heart of the novel is what happened to Maxim’s first wife, the eponymous Rebecca, and it’s unravelled with the pacing and finesse of the finest psychological thrillers out there. Add to that a cast of unreliable characters and a distinctly uneasy ending—has our narrator experienced the ultimate gaslighting?—and you have a genuinely shivery story of a marriage so screwed up, it makes Flynn’s narrators look like honeymooners.

    Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey
    From Martin Guerre to Frederick Bourdin, tales of imposters have always chilled and intrigued. Josephine Tey imagines the story of a con man slipping into the shoes of a long-dead boy and laying claim to his share of their modest family inheritance. What makes it compelling is that the story is seen through the eyes of the trickster, and our sympathy for him, in spite of what he’s doing, grows in tandem with the realization that he’s not the only threat to the family’s safety.

    The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
    I’m not sure if there’s an agreed-upon “first” psychological thriller, but Collins surely has a claim with The Woman in White, a twisty, gothic tale of mistaken identity and deception that was so popular in Victorian England it inspired perfume and clothing lines in tribute.

    Before I Go to Sleep, by S.J. Watson
    Watson draws on the same nightmare as the film Memento—a protagonist trapped in the prison of their own memory—but with very different results and back story. Christine wakes up every morning with her memory wiped and has to relearn her face, her life, and her husband afresh each day. But as she struggles to piece together the jigsaw of her past, she starts to suspect that some fragments are missing…

    We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver
    Eva Khatchadourian is often criticized for being an unbearably unlikable narrator, and certainly at times, in spite of its page-turning urgency, the novel can be tough to read for that reason. But it’s the reader’s ambivalence to Eva that has made it such a hot potato for discussion of all kinds. Is Eva’s son, Kevin, innately evil? Or is Eva trying to exculpate her own guilt? This is in no way a whodunit, but the narrative twist in the final pages is carried off with great style.

    The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters
    Like Rebecca, this is a novel that isn’t always categorized in the psychological thriller section—it’s just as often called a ghost story, or a historical novel. However, it certainly fulfills the “psychological” part, as the once-wealthy inhabitants of Hundreds Hall, the Ayres, are slowly unravelled by the strange events taking over their lives. Like Henry James with The Turn of the Screw, Waters never comes down fully on one side or the other, leaving the reader to make up their own mind about the disintegration of the Ayres family. It’s a truly haunting story in whatever sense you choose to take it.

    The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
    Although we know from the first pages what crime has been committed, right down to the narrator’s own involvement, Tartt’s skill is to draw us inexorably into a world as tinged with nostalgic pain as Brideshead Revisited, and keep us there, desperate to understand the how, the why, and the consequences of what happens.

    Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood is out now.

  • Jeff Somers 4:38 pm on 2015/07/27 Permalink
    Tags: , , , jonathan freedland, otto de kat, ruth ware, the 3rd woman, thomas cobb,   

    August’s Top Picks in Thrillers 

    August may be the month we need thrillers the most: summer fun is winding down, in many parts of the world it’s too hot to do much more than read, and we’re stuck in the doldrums before the start of back-to-school season and the bracing air of autumn. Luckily, the thriller writers of the world have heard our subconscious pleas for excitement. Here are 10 must-read thrillers to stave off those end-of-summer blues.

    Alert, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
    If there’s a better pairing of writersin the thriller world than Patterson and Ledwidge, we’d like to hear about it. In Alert, a series of terrorist attacks on New York City that seem almost magical in their technological mastery have the city’s citizens near panic. Old friends Detective Michael Bennett and FBI Agent Emily Parker are on the case—but as the attacks scale up in terms of destruction, Bennett realizes there’s a method to the madness, and that he’s running out of time to avoid a horrific endgame. With typically tense Patterson pacing and a surfeit of surprising twists, this is the book that will make the familiar phrase “This is not a test” a terrifying one.

    Deadly Assets, by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV
    The newest book in the Badge of Honor series returns us to the gritty streets of Philadelphia in a story that feels ripped from the headlines. Set in Philadelphia—or “Killadelphia,” thanks to having one of the highest murder rates in the country—tension between the police and the citizens they’re sworn to protect reaches a boiling point after Homicide Sergeant Matt Payne, nicknamed “Wyatt Earp of the Main Line,” is targeted by the Citizens Oversight Committee…and the committee’s brash leader is shot dead on his front porch. Griffin and Butterworth spin a dense story involving drug gangs, violent protests, and the death of a famed reporter that feels current and unnervingly real.

    Last Words, by Michael Koryta
    Any time a writer of Koryta’s caliber launches a new character and series, it’s worth paying attention, and Last Words is a full-throated success from start to finish. Investigator Mark Novak is still reeling from the murder of his wife (and investigative partner) two years ago. In danger of losing his job working for a Florida law firm specializing in death row appeals, he’s called in to investigate a decades-old cold case involving a teenage girl who disappeared while exploring local caves in Indiana. Koryta paints Novak with a fine brush, letting the reader feel the anguish and anger that affects the character’s every move, resulting in a story that bruises even as it ratchets up the tension and mystery.

    Iron Wolf, by Dale Brown
    Brown demonstrates his formidable imagination in this fun, fast-paced near-future political thriller that imagines the first woman president dealing with an aggressive Russian state disguising aggression as revolution in a premise stolen right from today’s headlines. What isn’t from the headlines is the next step: Operation Iron Wolf, a secret partnership between the U.S. and Poland launching a counterattack using Cybernetic Infantry Devices (CID), essentially manned robots. With the balance of power in the region shifted forever, the U.S. must marshal all its political acumen and espionage muscle to stay one step ahead of the Russians. Fun and surprisingly grounded despite the high-concept premise, this is a solid thriller you’ll tear through.

    Protocol Zero, by James Abel
    Marine doctor Col. Joe Rush returns, drawn into the investigation of what appears, at first, to be a brutal murder-suicide of an entire family in an isolated cabin in the Alaskan wilderness. Rush, an expert in pathogens and disease, gleans clues from a phone call transcript and physical evidence at the scene to conclude a new and incredibly deadly disease is in the wild. Just as quickly, Rush realizes he’s not the only one who knows this, and that the soldiers cordoning off the area may not have everyone’s best interests at heart. Balancing plausible and well-researched science with a human element, Abel once again offers up a taut, gripping thriller that channels some of our worst fears.

    Clear by Fire, by Joshua Hood
    With authentic boots-on-the-ground details, Hood has created a searing story of shadow warfare and betrayal. Mason Kane is an elite soldier and a member of the officially-doesn’t-exist Anvil unit, a group of warriors from each branch of the military who conduct Black Ops against America’s enemies anywhere in the world. When Kane refuses a horrific order, he realizes Anvil’s purpose may not be as heroic as he once thought, and his unit commander tries to have him killed. When that fails, the blame for an atrocity is laid at Kane’s feet, making him an official fugitive. Suddenly this deadly soldier is the most wanted man in the world, and his only ally is the beautiful—and deadly—Special Operations operative Renee Hart. Together they have to prove Kane’s innocence while tracking a conspiracy that goes literally all the way to the top.

    The 3rd Woman, by Jonathan Freedland
    The best thrillers take the real world and play a game of realistic “what if?” Freedland imagines a world just barely into the future, where America’s decline has put it under China’s thumb. Beijing and Washington have made a deal wherein China forgives the U.S.’s crippling debt in exchange for establishing a military presence in America’s port cities, ostensibly to protect Chinese customs officials after a violent attack. When Madison Webb, a tenacious and talented reporter, begins investigating the death of her sister, she quickly realizes it isn’t the isolated accident the police insist it is, and that it may dovetail with her corruption investigations. Personal, current, and tautly written, this is a great candidate for book of the summer.

    The Lightning Stones, by Jack Du Brul
    Not every writer can take geology, deep mining, climate change, cosmic rays, and, yes, Amelia Earhart and mix them together into a thrilling, page-turner of a novel—but Du Brul, who frequently collaborates with Clive Cussler, is the right man for the job. Philip Mercer is back for an eighth go-round, visiting the Leister Deep copper mine where his mentor and father figure, Abraham Jacobs, is conducting an experiment. He arrives to find Jacobs and his team dead, efficiently executed. The investigation and battle to discover who and why goes tearing off in a fast-paced and scientifically fascinating direction that never fails to surprise, and Mercer remains one of the more interesting thriller heroes to grace the page.

    News from Berlin, by Otto de Kat
    What would you do if, during the greatest and bloodiest war ever fought, you were suddenly given information that could change the course of history? That’s the central question in this smart World War II thriller by de Kat. Oscar Verschuur is a Dutch diplomat posted to neutral Switzerland. During a rare meeting with his daughter, who is living in Germany with her husband (who works for the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs), he receives from her a date and a code name: June 22, Barbarossa. Verschuur knows Stalin thinks he is protected from Hitler by treaty, but the reader knows the German invasion of Russia on that date changes the course of the war—and history itself. de Kat paints a vibrant picture of a past world, and Verschuur’s struggles concerning what to do with this information lead to a surprising plot you won’t be able to predict, even if you know your history very well.

    Darkness the Color of Snow, by Thomas Cobb
    Cobb returns with another book that tells a simple human story thrillingly. A small-town cop pulls over an old high school friend for drunk driving. An argument ensues, then a struggle, and the young driver is hit by a car and killed. While the police chief believes his officer followed procedure, many in the depressed, seen-better-days town see an opportunity to manipulate the tragedy to their own benefit, and the story begins mounting in tension with every line, resulting in a novel that keeps you white-knuckled on the page despite its distinct lack of secret agents, deadly plagues, or assassination plots. Cobb once again creates masterfully written characters, teasing out their joy, nobility, selfishness, and rage in an affecting and surprising way as the town collectively seeks to assign blame—and punishment—for the tragic events out on the frozen road that night.

    In a Dark, Dark Wood, by Ruth Ware
    It’s not often a debut thriller is as confidently and expertly handled as In a Dark, Dark Wood. Without cheap tricks or loud bangs, Ware crafts a psychological thriller that plays with memory, old friendships, and long-simmering mental and emotional damage to produce something you won’t be able to put down. Nora Shaw is invited to the bachelorette party for a woman who used to be her best and closest friend, but whom she hasn’t spoken to in a decade. A night and a day after gathering at a remote cabin for the “hen do,” Nora awakens in the hospital, her memory addled. Eeerie flashbacks slowly bring the ominous situation to a boil as the reader scrambles to put the clues together to discover what happened. Ware grabs the reader from the first line and doesn’t let go until she surprises them with the last one.

  • Melissa Albert 7:54 pm on 2015/07/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , , ruth ware,   

    In a Dark, Dark Wood Is Your Next Up-All-Night Read 

    A broken friendship. A dark past. A doomed bachelorette party. And an isolated cabin in a dark, dark wood.

    These are the ingredients of Ruth Ware’s wickedly twisty In a Dark, Dark Wood, in which narrator Nora Shaw can’t trust anyone—not even herself. Two stories are told in alternating chapters: the before and the after, though we don’t know what frightening events we’re speeding toward.

    Before, Nora is heading to a high school friend’s “hen do” (British for bachelorette party), in a remote cabin. She hasn’t seen bride-to-be Clare in ten years, since some undefined incident caused her to switch schools and cut off all ties to her former friends at age 16. Nora is an author of crime thrillers (cue ominous music) and a relatively contented loner, but she can’t resist the strange invitation that comes out of nowhere after a decade of silence.

    After, Nora lies in a hospital bed, a police officer sitting just outside her door. But is the officer there to protect her…or to keep her from getting out? As she struggles to regain her memories of the terrible, bloody hours that left her half-dead, she reconstructs the first night and day of the hen party.

    As we meet the guests at the hen, each becomes a suspect in a crime we know is coming. There’s the host, Flo, whose adoring obsession with the bride borders on the pathological. There’s Tom, the token man, who refuses to explain just why his partner didn’t want him coming to the party. There’s Nina, a sharp-tongued doctor who cruelly brings up Nora’s past with Clare’s fiancé. And there’s Clare herself, the bride with the seemingly perfect life.

    And then there’s Nora. She’s a runner, a writer, a quiet woman with a quiet life who seems happy enough with what she has. But is she? What exactly happened ten years ago, when she ran away from her life, and why did she feel compelled to attend a party celebrating a woman she no longer knows?

    As the hours tick down and the strangeness multiplies—the guests’ cagey behavior, mysterious footprints outside the cabin door, a Ouija board session gone frighteningly awry—you, like Nora, will wonder who you can trust. What exactly happened in the beautiful cabin in a dark, dark wood? Turn off your phone and down some caffeine: you won’t be able to stop reading till you know every detail.

    In a Dark, Dark Wood is available now.

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help