In a Dark, Dark Wood marks the launch of a major new star in psychological women’s fiction, Ruth Ware. With all the commercial appeal and literary quality of Sophie Hannah, SJ Watson and Tana French, combined with an irresistible premise, this is a must read for lovers of crime and women’s fiction.
Nora Shaw wakes up in a hospital room with her head bandaged and a police guard outside her door. Are they there to protect her or arrest her? Nora is worried. Worried because her first thought is not “what’s happened to me?” but “what have I done?’
Nora, a writer in her mid-twenties, has been invited to the hen do of an old school friend. Nora hasn’t seen Clare in years but she’s looking forward to a chance to reconnect, even if she’s surprised not to be invited to the wedding itself.
But something goes wrong. A drinking game at the hen do reveals dark secrets in Nora’s past, a storm cuts off the power to the cottage and then an Ouija board has a warning for them all: there is a murderer inside the house…
I am running.
I am running through moonlit woods, with branches tearing at my clothes and my feet catching in the snow-bowed bracken.
Brambles slash at my hands. My breath tears in my throat. It hurts. Everything hurts.
But this is what I do. I run. I can do this.
Always when I run there's a mantra inside my head. The time I want to get, or the frustrations I'm pounding away against the tarmac.
But this time one word, one thought pounds inside me.
James. James. James.
I must get there. I must get to the road before–
And then there it is, a black snake of tarmac in the moonlight, and I can hear the roar of an engine coming, and the white lines shine, so bright they hurt my eyes, the black tree trunks like slashes against the light.
Am I too late?
I force myself down the last thirty metres, tripping over fallen logs, my heart like a drum in my breast.
And I'm too late – the car is too close, I can't stop it.
I fling myself onto the tarmac, my arms outstretched.