cover image In a Dark, Dark Wood

In a Dark, Dark Wood

Ruth Ware. S&S/Gallery/Scout, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5011-1231-7

At the start of Ware’s solid but somewhat derivative first novel, a psychological thriller, crime writer Leonora Shaw leads a solitary life in London but receives an invitation to Northumberland to celebrate the impending marriage of Clare Cavendish, a friend she hasn’t seen in 10 years. Nora and Clare were once inseparable, but something drove them apart. Nora and her sarcastic school chum, Nina da Souza, another invitee, decide to make the trip to the remote cottage known as the Glass House, the site of the hen party weekend. Flashbacks show Nora in the hospital, where she’s recovering from an accident that she can’t quite recall and wonders whose blood is on her hands. From the catty conversations at the party, secrets from Nora and Clare’s past emerge, particularly relating to Nora’s former love, James Cooper. Ware does a competent job ratcheting up the suspense, but the revelations aren’t as exciting as the buildup. [em]Agent: Eve White, Eve White Literary Agency (U.K.). (Aug.) [/em]