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Publisher's Summary

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' instant New York Times best seller 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 second.

Includes an excerpt from Ruth Ware's The Lying Game!

©2015 Ruth Ware (P)2015 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    3,837
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    2,758
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    965
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Both entertaining and annoying

This book had a strong start. I loved the premise and the author did an excellent job of pulling me into the story and keeping me engaged. Her description of the setting was incredibly eerie and creepy and kept me fascinated and interested in how the story would unfold and what secrets would be revealed. I'm not a big fan of the use of "amnesia" in a story to build suspense. It always feel cheap to me...like the author didn't want to come up with something more plausible or original. In this case it seemed to work... Until it didn't.

By the last 3 hours I was sick to death of it. It just kept going on, and on, and on. The whiny and overwrought internal dialogue of Nora grated on my nerves and more than once I wanted to stop listening. The "I wish I could remember but I can't remember" bit was so repetitive I could have skipped whole chapters and missed nothing. It kind of ruined the whole book for me.

The best part was the narrator. She did an excellent job with mediocre material.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Save your credit

I'll start on a positive note: The narrator was excellent. Okay now that I've got that out of the way: This book was awful. We begin with listening to hours of mundane details about 5 or so characters you never care about or really like. Their conversations, inner dialogue, boring conversations, inner dialogue. It's so terribly boring but I pushed on thinking we're just setting up and things will get better. Then I received a glimmer of hope as SOMETHING happens, only to have moooooooooore inner dialogue. Once you get to the crux of the book, where things should pick up and we should feel hooked and on the edge of our seats trying to figure out who-dunnit we gets hours and hours of, you guessed it, boring inner dialogue, an idiot character who "just can't figure it out!" despite the "bad guy" being so painfully obvious. I found myself fast forwarding through a good 20 minutes (this was at the climax of the book, mind you) just so I didn't have to keep hearing "it doesn't make sense" "if only I could remember" "it's so cold!" over and over and so the idiot protagonist could finally figure out the bad guy. Even at its resolution once we've figured it all out you're stuck scratching your head and thinking "Well does this resolution REALLY make sense..? Is the "bad" character's motive ACTUALLY strong enough to make them do what they did?" Everything felt so forced, drawn out, and boring that I wouldn't wish this book on anybody. Save your credit.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • jennifer
  • BROOKLYN, NY, United States
  • 09-06-15

THIS BOOK.

So much praise for this book!

IN A DARK, DARK WOOD is a psychological thriller in the same vein as GONE GIRL. Dark, contemporary, wry, edgy, enthralling, engrossing and confounding. It kept me guessing until the very end. Unlike GONE GIRL, the ending was satisfying.

The story revolves around a bachelorette party in a remote cottage. The small cast of characters is mostly female, mostly in their late 20's. Sounds like chick-lit, right?

WRONG! This is a book for everyone who loves a good, twisted thriller, male or female, college-aged, middle-aged, etc.

A fantastic listen. More Ruth Ware please!

59 of 66 people found this review helpful

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A mystery should be mysterious...

The narrator was fabulous with her rounded dulcet tones...but there was literally no suspense whatsoever.. It was painfully predictable... with all of the answers quickly obvious to anyone with a drop of imagination... What a bitter disappointment.,. It could have been wonderful... What a shame ...will not be recommending it to a soul..it would be an infuriating waste of time for them as well..,

35 of 40 people found this review helpful

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Never been so annoyed

I have never wanted to slap a character as much as Nora. Maybe it is the narrator but Nora is so pathetic and irritating. It makes it hard to finish the book with someone constantly feeling bad for themselves.

31 of 36 people found this review helpful

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Tiresome character

Really surprised by how little I liked this given the raving reviews. I thought this was... a little less than OK. We spend all of our time inside the main character Nora's head and she's rather weak and neurotic. I read a lot of mystery and the fact you could figure out who the baddie is didn't bother me - it was having to slog through all the passages of Nora's inner monologue and her insecure pitiful thoughts... I really wanted to yell for her to grow some self esteem. This was mostly psychological and not much thriller. The narration was good though!

51 of 60 people found this review helpful

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I needed for it to end

After starting this book on a long car trip, I didn't find myself wanting to turn it back on for the trip back home, but I did. I needed to know what happened--but not because the story was exciting or suspenseful. I had hoped that the author had carefully snuck some twists in there that I was not expecting. She did not. The story was predictable. The characters weren't likable--not a single one. And if the narrator described how cold she was just one more time...it became a running joke for me and my copilot on this trip. Lots of missed opportunities with this book. Plus- I never believed any of the characters motivations for what they were doing/had done. Save your money and your credits.

40 of 48 people found this review helpful

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Don't waste your time!

Slow, monotonous, repetitive, boring. I'm sorry I wasted the money on this. The only good thing was the performance by Ms. Church.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • San Juan, CA, United States
  • 11-30-15

tiresome character, predictable

The story is mostly told as a monologue in the main character's head, and it turns out a tiresome place to be. The constricted characters with their stop and start dialogue became tedious, and indeed, overall there is more tedium than suspense. Outcome predictable. Too much rumination, too little narrative force. Really good performance, however.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • cristina
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 06-17-16

Are half these reviewers crazy?

Those who compare this to "Gone Girl," or even Agatha Christie, must not have read either. What made Gone Girl great wasn't JUST the famous twist and the unreliable narrator. The story was interesting from the very beginning. "In a Dark, Dark Wood" is boring all the way through. The setting is boring (A glass house in the middle of the woods--how unoriginal!-- with a comment at the very beginning that "we are the actors and the woods are watching" which leads you to think that dark things are about in those woods...They aren't). The characters are boring (Some reviewers have said they are unlikeable, but it goes deeper than that. I have enjoyed many books with unlikeable characters. These characters are exasperating in their blandness and stupidity. As some have commented already, yes, Leonora is an IDIOT and, unfortunately, the book is told from her point of view. It is like being trapped inside the mind of a person with very low IQ and self-esteem for hours.). And the surprise ending some have mentioned was not remotely surprising. In fact, the "reveal" was so predictable (you saw it coming after less than an hour) that I kept expecting something radically different to happen (simply because of the reviews that praised the ending). It doesn't. The implausible explanation and conclusion are EXACTLY what you expected. I did finish the book, so it gets two stars (I usually reserve one-star ratings for those I can't finish), but it was a painful experience. Save your credit. Others have also praised the narrator. I found her just-OK (although she might be great if she had an actual story to work with). Her dramatic read makes some of the boring scenes and conversations even more absurd. And some of her male voices sound like cartoons.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful