In a Dark, Dark Wood Book Review [Spoiler-Free]

  • Author Ruth Ware
  • Page Count 352
  • Genre Mystery, Thriller, Crime Fiction
  • My Rating 3 / 5

There was something strangely naked about it, like we were on a stage set, playing our parts to an audience of eyes out there in the wood.” -Ruth Ware, In a Dark, Dark Wood

Okay, so, *cracks knuckles* this is a tough book for me to review. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this book, I think this one is sticking with me because it had such great potential, but just fell short.

The first Ruth Ware book I read was The Woman in Cabin 10, which was good. It was kind of slow paced in the first half, but once around the 150 page mark it really started to pick up speed and I was pretty happy with the ending, I thought it was well done and not too over-the-top. When I saw all the buzz around In a Dark, Dark Wood, I figured it would be even better than The Woman in Cabin 10 and I went out and bought this book right after finishing Cabin 10 (I didn’t feel like typing that out again.)

So, basically what I’m trying to say is that this book was a bummer. It wasn’t terrible, but my expectations were not met. I think there were a few things that really didn’t sit well with me, so I’m gonna break that down for you without giving any spoilers :

  • The characters were lame and one dimensional
  • The end was a little overly dramatic, how things lined up were a bit eye-rolley
  • The killer was a letdown
  • Nothing creepy really takes place in the woods! It’s in the title, it’s the setting for most of the novel, take advantage of it! I want more use of the creepy atmosphere, no part of the plot had to do with the setting!!!!! This could have taken place anywhere! Can you tell this angers me!!!
  • The time jumps started happening too frequently, I wish Ware stayed where the action was longer than she did
  • It was a bit slow and the buildup wasn’t spooky enough. I like a good slow burn, but not when there isn’t anything happening that’s worth spending pages, and pages on. There’s a scene where a group of people play with a Ouija board, like at least make that interesting!!!

I know everything I’ve said about this book is pretty negative, but I think I just needed to vent a little bit. This book wasn’t all bad, it definitely had some interesting “hmm that could be a motive” moments and the writing is well done. I just wanted a lot more out of this book. This is all my opinion though, there are a lot of people that really enjoyed this book, which is why it’s a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick!

I think I’ve read too many thrillers at this point, it’s kind of hard for me to not be such a hard critic. I need to go read a romance novel or something.


  1. Having no spooky weird forest-related stuff is a huge misstep in a book with that title. I’d be going into it expecting scary forest lore, lol. loved The Turn of the Key but have been continually hearing mixed stuff about her other books. Will tread carefully if/when trying them. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! I’ve also heard good things about The Turn of the Key, I’ll have to give that one a shot! But yeah, she really should have taken advantage of the dark, dark (emphasis on dark with that title) woods !

      Liked by 1 person

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