Beach Reads: In A Dark, Dark Wood

in-a-darkdark-woodWhat’s The Buzz?: I’m a little tired of the label of ‘the next Gone Girl‘ and quite frankly, that label doesn’t quite stick here. But let’s call this book what it is: a riveting piece of psychological fiction that is more thrilling than scary (although it does have an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery aspect to it) and has been making waves as a standout piece of page-turning story from a debut author, Ruth Ware.

What’s The Plot?: Leonora (Nora) hasn’t seen her childhood friend Clare in years – for reasons that are revealed throughout the book. Needless to say it surprises lone wolf Nora when she is invited to Clare’s stagette (or ‘hen do’, to use local language). While Nora is reticent about attending and dredging up their past, she eventually decides to go and be there to share in this special time with her friend. But…this isn’t your typical hen party. For one, it’s taking place in an eerie remote cabin in the woods. For another, it’s revealed very early on that Nora wakes up in the hospital, in pain, covered in blood (not necessarily her own) and no real idea as to what has happened to her. In a Dark, Dark Wood zigs and zags as Nora tries to put together the pieces of this disturbing night, hooking the reader for a fast and furious ride.

What Genre Is It?: As I mentioned above, technically In a Dark, Dark Wood falls into the ‘women’s psychological fiction’ category, similar to say, Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, or even Luckiest Girl Alive. So many girls eh? But the book also dips its toe into the thriller, mystery, and mass market pools to create something a little more pulse-pounding. Despite the spine-tingling title and cover, I didn’t find the book to fall into the horror genre so much. The plot, while extreme, is ultimately grounded in reality, although you may find the creepy remote setting spooky enough to qualify as horror.

How Beachy Is It?: Depends on how you like your beach reads served. If you enjoy a good thriller that can be devoured one lazy Sunday at the lake, then this is your book. In a Dark, Dark Wood demands to be read and I’d strongly recommend carving out time to get through it as opposed to divvying it up over weeks. If you want something more fluffy and sweet, then perhaps this is a touch dark for your book pile.

Who Should Read This Book?: There are a series of books every year that just seem to be *the* books everyone is reading and talking about. I’d say In a Dark, Dark Wood falls into that category, so if you want to be up on the hot fiction trends, then pick this baby up. Also if you enjoyed any of the books I mentioned in this review (it also reminded me a bit of Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick), then give it a go as well.

This engrossing read is available at booksellers across Canada right now, and bonus, I also think it’s a swell pick as we move into the cooler, creepier months (hello October). In the meantime, you can try to win a copy here:

1) First & foremost: you must be a subscriber to the Canadian Gift Guide to enter this giveaway. It’s as simple as finding ‘The Gift of Gab’ box in the righthand column and dropping in your email or clicking follow. Then, tell me in the comments below by September 13, 2015 – why are you interested in reading this pulse-pounding novel?

2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around September 14, 2015 to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.

3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.

4) Bonus Entry: Follow Random House of Canada on Twitter, tag them and me (@cdngiftguide) in a Tweet about why you want to read this intriguing book! Post a link to your Tweet below in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.

5) Bonus Entry #2: Add this book to your to-read list on GoodReads, and leave a link back to the page it’s on below in a separate comment to earn yourself another bonus entry.

32 Responses to “Beach Reads: In A Dark, Dark Wood”
  1. macfsh says:

    I want to read In a Dark Dark Wood because I love keeping up with the latest hot fiction. This does seem like the ultimate fall reading.

  2. Karen says:

    Love a new book and new-to-me aurhor!

  3. CLC says:

    This is the kind of novel I usually choose. It sound just right for me.

  4. Lindsey says:

    This looks like it would be a great read for fall too!

  5. Aimee says:

    Sounds like a good read. I need something new.

  6. Valerie says:

    I read both Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, and enjoyed them very much! This book sounds really interesting with just enough spookiness!!

  7. intensev5 says:

    I need a new book to read this fall!!!

  8. Susan says:

    I just finished reading a romance so could use a good psychological thriller now!

  9. Anne Derkat says:

    It would be a big change from the type of books I am usually drawn to.

  10. kiraali says:

    It sounds intriguing! 🙂

  11. Rhonda B. says:

    I like a good thriller. This sounds like a book I would want to read.

  12. Yes, I like to read everything.

  13. Audrey Skinner says:

    This book sounds very intriguing. I love a good drama/mystery.

  14. Holly says:

    So many book recommendations! I like the eerie mystery type books and this sounds great.

  15. Susan Patterson says:

    I would love to read this book because it sounds very inticing and it would be great to read at the lake! Thank you!

  16. Joan G. says:

    You’ve made this book sound like a must read.

  17. Heather Swanson says:

    I love a good mystery

  18. Susan T. says:

    I love all the books you mentioned, except Black Ice which just wasn’t my thing, so I think I would love this one too. A good, dark thriller is just perfect for the fall!

  19. Donnas says:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that I can’t put down. This sounds like it might be one of those books.

  20. mousecat says:

    I’d like to read this book because I love thrillers!

  21. cookie3 says:

    I love a good mystery with psychological aspects to it so I know that I would love this book.

  22. Kelly E says:

    I love thrillers they get your mind racing

  23. katydidit21 says:

    It sounds intriguing and a little different from what is out there now.

  24. Kelly H says:

    sounds good, i always love a good murder mystery

  25. dorcontest says:

    Oh, I want to read because it falls into the psychological fiction, thriller, mystery and yap… very pulsating for sure. I have my eye out for this one. Thanks.
    I subscribe by email.
    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  26. linnett says:

    Love a great thriller, this sounds like an all nighter to me, thanks

  27. jasmyth says:

    I would love to read this book it’s really my kind of book. I really like psychological fiction and this book sounds like is right up my alley. I believe I would really enjoy it!

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