Thursday, January 5, 2017

In a Dark, Dark Wood could have been titled Mayhem at the Hen Party. As an American, I'm more accustomed to the idea of a bachelorette party, but the concept is familiar. Nora, a mystery writer and recluse, has been invited to her childhood friend's hen party and reluctantly agrees. The weekend forces Nora to face a past she's both avoided and dwelled on for the last ten years, with predictably disturbing results.

I enjoyed Wood more than Ware's more recent novel, The Woman in Cabin 10. Perhaps I was more prepared for Ware's unnecessarily opaque writing. I enjoy mystery and surprise but find deliberate and inexplicable withholding of information to be a cheap writing device. That said, I was more quickly invested in Nora and the secrets of her past and more willing to forgive Ware for hiding Nora's story. The ending was predictable but satisfying. I am ready, though, to read a mystery that relies on mystery instead of just hiding information.

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