Nora has just received an unexpected e-invitation from a Flo. The email says that the event is Clare’s hen night. It’s weird cause Nora doesn’t know this Flo, and besides, she also doesn’t know any Clare. Unless. It’s that Clare. The one and only Clare Nora has ever known, was the blond beauty who used to be her childhood best friend. Though it kind of makes sense if it’s that Clare, because this Flo refers to her as Lee, a nickname Nora used to be called in school, but has abandoned ever since, it still doesn’t make complete sense. She has completely lost contact with Clare for ten years now, so why all of sudden invite her to her hen night?
Plus, Nora is pretty sure she is not invited to Clare’s wedding? What kind of person would invite her to her hen night and not invite her to her wedding?
Something feels definitely off, and Nora can’t help but think that answering yes would be a mistake. Her hunch is screaming a loud no. She closes the email. Next day, this Flo, having seen read receipt, is emailing Nora for the second time. Privately this time, asking for RSVP. Will it be that bad of an idea to go? Still, her hunch is screaming no. A quick glance on the guest list, and she sees Nina de Souza’s name, apparently the only name she knows in the list. Nina is yet another someone from the past. Maybe, she can try Nina first and check if she’s going and decide for herself then. But once she’s emailing with Nina, Nora realizes that even contacting Nina at all might have been a mistake, for now Nina is making her decide for them both. You know, that kind of call, if you go, I go, and if you don’t, I don’t. Nora has never been a very assertive person, and this time it takes its toll on her. Despite her loud hunch, they’re going.
Guided by a nav map Flo’s sent, Nora and Nina arrive at a surprisingly remote area. Even when the map tells them that they have reached their destination, their first reaction is confused. Despite what the nav has told them, they’re still unsure if they’re at the right place. The only cabin around here is the house with full glass windows bounding it. A hen night, in this kind of house? A full-on aquarium in the middle of nowhere? This starts to feel even more like a mistake, and Nora feels uneasy. Behind the house is dark woods that goes deep with unseeable end. Against it, the house looks eeriely like a stage to Nora. It’s as if, there are a lot of eyes in the woods staring at them going about their lives on the see-through platform.
This book has surprised me in a very good way.
Prior to this book, I’ve read another book of Ware which she wrote under the banner of Agatha Christie’s name, In the Cabin 10. That wasn’t the first book written under Christie’s moniker I’d read, but that was the first that succeeded to entertain me. I loved it for the Christie feeling the book unmistakably bore, and also, the novel’s tone and style were looking astonishingly consistent with other Christie’s mysteries. Therefore I think, when I read In a Dark, Dark Wood, under the impression of In the Cabin 10, I instinctively was expecting it to have a similar writing style. Well, it didn’t, and that’s the best thing about it. It darn impressed me that Ware proves her skill to write in any style asked.
Apart from that, In a Dark, Dark Wood is a well-written mystery. It offers enough thrills that will get your hackles stand straight up, and I must say, it’s great that it spreads its hints quite evenly. For I hate it when a book holds up all its secrets only to drop all of them in bulk at the end of the pages.
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