Published 30 July 2015 by Harvill Secker
Someone’s getting married. Someone’s getting murdered.
In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room….
Some things can’t stay secret for ever.
Ruth Ware’s debut novel is amazingly good and beautifully creepy. A proper whodunnit that is just perfect for summer.
Clare invites friends she has known from the past and present to her hen do. Leonora, known mostly as Nora, receives an invite and reluctantly decides to go. Nora has not seen Clare in a long time. They are not the best of friends, any more. The small group of people end up in an isolated house, in the middle of no-where in the North of England. Someone dies. It is murder.
The narrative follows Nora from the her hospital bed, as she recovers from her injuries and tries to piece together what went on. And we go to the past and join Nora on the hen party. We already know this will all end in tears and death. This is a claustrophobic setting with intense feelings simmering, beneath the surface. From the start, we are looking for a murderer.
This is one of those books that reminds you why reunions can be a complete nightmare. There is a reason you don’t keep in touch with people. I felt for Nora and was willing her to have a bit of backbone and walk out. Although she is a crime writer, she is slightly clueless at times and puts herself in personal danger.
This is one of those books that will be hugely popular and deservedly so. It would also work terrifically on screen, with its close setting, unsettling atmosphere and cast of a few. I read it quite leisurely and enjoyed every moment. One to look out for folks.
My thanks to Bethan Jones for my review copy!