A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, May 1, 2020

FLASHBACK FRIDAY- In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware- Feature and Review


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.

Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee?) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Nora (Lee?) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee?) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.

In the tradition of Paula Hawkins's instant New York Times bestseller The Girl On the Train and S. J. Watson’s riveting national sensation Before I Go To Sleep, this gripping literary debut from UK novelist Ruth Ware will leave you on the edge of your seat through the very last page.



In a Dark, Dark WoodIn a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware is a 2015 Gallery/Scout publication.

I began hearing a few rumblings about this book last year, but could never find the time to read it. However, when Ware’s next novel came up for review, I snatched it up immediately and was very, very impressed. So, off I went to my Overdrive Library to locate a copy of this novel. Although this book has been out for a while, the hold time was still lengthy. But, finally, a copy became available, so with giddy anticipation, I eagerly dived in.

“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 cupboard;

And in the dark, dark cupboard there was… a skeleton!

- Traditional Halloween tale

The atmosphere is created right from the start when Leonora- or Nora, as she prefers to be called, receives an invitation via email to a hen party being given for an old friend she has lost touch with, and with whom there are some painful memories associated with.

Against her better judgment, Nora agrees to attend the party with another friend, but when they arrive at their destination, Nora knows instinctively she has made a grave error, but it is too late to back out, and so we begin a serious game of psychological mind games that are not intended for the faint of heart.

As the story progressed, I picked up on a little tribute to Agatha Christie and her classic tales of mystery, but of course the story slowly morphed into a warped, twisted, tragic and utterly shocking tale of horror and suspense.

I love dark, suspenseful thrillers, so of course, this is just my kind of book. But, it takes a lot to impress me these days, so, I really appreciate a clever plot that gives my brain a workout, as well as my emotions.

I won’t lie and say I didn’t have my suspicions about what might be going on, but the thing is, I wasn’t sure, and I entertained several possibilities along the way, so this wasn’t one of those books where I saw plot twists coming a mile off.

I was engaged from start to finish and nearly read this book in one sitting. So beware- when you start this book, be sure you don’t need a full eight hours of sleep because you may not be able to put it down.

I really enjoyed this book and although it has generated a some buzz, it really could compete with some of the highly praised and wildly popular psychological thrillers that have garnered so much media attention.

So, while I never like to compare one author to another or one book to another, I will say, if you liked the more popular books in this genre, you really should give this one a look.

For a debut novel, I couldn’t ask for more, really. I have read the second book by this author, “The Girl in Cabin 10”, which will release sometime this summer, and I can see Ware’s craft is solidifying and truly believe this author could become a household name if she continues to improve at this pace. Ruth Ware is an author you should be paying close attention to.




Ruth Ware Talks About 'in a dark, dark, wood


Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her d├ębut thriller.

Find her on twitter at www.twitter.com/ruthwarewriter, on facebook at www.facebook.com/ruthwarewriter or via her website - www.ruthware.com

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