Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

In a Dark Dark Wood – Ruth Ware

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Psychological Thriller
5*s

In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house;
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark, room;
And in the dark, dark room there was a dark, dark cupboard;
And in the dark, dark cupboard there was…a skeleton!
—-traditional Halloween tale

Well this book is perfectly suited to an autumnal evening such is the oppressiveness of the mystery that is held within the pages of this book.

This spooky story starts with Leonora, now known as Nora being invited to the hen party of her former friend, Clare. The invite comes from the unknown Flo but Nora isn’t sure she wants to join the rest of the hens in the woodland hideaway  particularly as she hasn’t spoken to Clare for ten years, ever since the day she left school one day never to return. So we already know something bad has happened in the past and you’d think that since Nora is a crime writer, she would have been alerted to something iffy, but… there wouldn’t be a story if she had done what most of us would do, and made an excuse and not gone, with good reason, after all she wasn’t invited to the wedding. Back to the story, Nora makes contact with another of the hens. Nina and they agree that they’ll both go as support to each other. After all it might be fun!

When the hens arrive at the house they are surprised that the Northumberland getaway isn’t an old creepy home but glass structured house which has views into the woods, but that means that it is easy to feel that anyone who chooses to, can see in. The atmosphere in the house is so realistically portrayed. Six people none of whom know all of the others, except the bride-to-be are forced to have fun together and you can feel the underlying tension which occurs in such unnatural circumstances. Of course part of the problem is that no-one is quite sure who knows their secrets.

The characters are great especially as the tension rises. We meet Clare the bride-to-be who is reserved in the extreme along with her chief bridesmaid Flo who is there to ensure that Clare’s hen do is everything she dreamed of and will do anything to make sure that happens, aka known as a complete control freak! Alongside them we have the token male, Tom who is Clare’s camp friend and Melanie, a new mum of the kind that believes she is the first mother to ever leave her child for the first time. With Nina far more outgoing than the more reserved Nora the first evening gets off to a lively start which isn’t without the threat of exposing long-held secrets and we all know how well drink and secrets mix!

The story is told in part in a series of flashbacks and from the start we know something went badly wrong, but what and to whom, is the mystery that kept me turning those pages. I’m not easily spooked but this author’s descriptive writing style really got me in the zone of an oppressive situation and as a consequence I was more than a little creeped out more than once.

I can’t reveal anything more without potentially spoiling the tale for others but suffice to say that although I loved this I did notice a couple of minor weak points in towards the end but the excellent writing and the fact that it raised a few hairs on my neck means that this book fully deserves all the accolades it has received; I add mine to the long list.

I am very grateful to Random House UK for my copy of this book which was published on 30 July 2015.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (July 22)

This Week In Books Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

I am currently reading In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark Dark Wood

Blurb

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. NetGalley

I have recently finished Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Pretty Baby

See yesterday’s post for the synopsis and a taster from this book
My review will follow shortly

20 books of summer logo

Next I am going to read Under World by Reginald Hill, the 10th in the Daziel and Pascoe series and one of my 20 Books of Summer! Challenge

Under World

Blurb

Years ago, young Tracey Pedley disappeared in the woods around Burrthorpe. The close-knit mining village had its own ideas about what happened, but the police pinned it on a known child-killer who subsequently committed suicide.
Now Burrthorpe comes to police attention again. A man’s body is discovered down a mine shaft and it’s clear he has been murdered. Dalziel and Pascoe’s investigation takes them to the heart of a frightened and hostile community. But could the key to the present-day investigation lie in the past when little Tracey vanished into thin air…? Amazon

What have you found to read this week?

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking The Shelves (April 25)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Oh dear, I feel that I ought to stand up and say ‘My name is Cleopatra and I am a bookaholic’ because for some reason I seem to have been on a NetGalley binge and all those lovely publishers out there enable me by approving my requests! Well here goes:

I have a copy of The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum, an author I first ‘met’ last year by reading The Murder of Harriet Krohn, a quietly brilliant book. This is the eleventh in the Inspector Sejer series so I hope that it works as a stand-alone and isn’t so good that I feel I have to purchase the previous ten!

The Drowned Boy
Blurb

He’d just learnt to walk,’ she said. ‘He was sitting playing on his blanket, then all of a sudden he was gone.’
A 16-month-old boy is found drowned in a pond right by his home. Chief Inspector Sejer is called to the scene as there is something troubling about the mother’s story. As even her own family turns against her, Sejer is determined to get to the truth. NetGalley

The Drowned Boy will be published on 4 June 2015

I also have a copy of In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, a book that is due to be published on 30 July 2015.

In a Dark Dark Wood

Blurb

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….
NetGalley

… and I have a copy of If She Did It by Jessica Treadway which was published on 10 March 2015

If She Did It

Blurb

What if you began to suspect your child of an unspeakable crime?
When Dawn introduces her family to her new boyfriend, Rud, they hide their unsettled feelings because they’re glad that Dawn, always an awkward child, seems to have finally blossomed.
Then Dawn’s parents are savagely beaten in their own bed, and though Hanna survives, Rud stands trial for Joe’s murder. Claiming her boyfriend’s innocence, Dawn initially estranges herself from everyone she knows, but when Rud wins an appeal, Dawn returns home saying she wants to support her mother.
Hanna knows that if she could only remember the details of that traumatic night, she could ensure her husband’s murderer remains in jail. But Hanna hadn’t realised that those memories may cause her to question everything she thought she knew about her daughter… NetGalley

I lay the blame for requesting this next book firmly at Lady Fancifull’s door as she wrote such a brilliant review of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald and mentioned two other favourite books of mine; 84 Charing Cross Road and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, that I simply couldn’t resist requesting a copy for myself!

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Blurb

Warning: once you let books into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
Sara is 28 and has never been outside Sweden – except in the (many) books she reads. When her elderly penfriend Amy invites her to come and visit her in Broken Wheel, Iowa, Sara decides it’s time. But when she arrives, there’s a twist waiting for her – Amy has died. Finding herself utterly alone in a dead woman’s house in the middle of nowhere was not the holiday Sara had in mind.
But Sara discovers she is not exactly alone. For here in this town so broken it’s almost beyond repair are all the people she’s come to know through Amy’s letters: poor George, fierce Grace, buttoned-up Caroline and Amy’s guarded nephew Tom.
Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop. NetGalley

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is due to be published on 18 June 2015

Finally Mel Sherratt contacted me to see if I wanted a copy of Only The Brave, well there was only one answer to that question! This is the third in the Allie Shenton series and I certainly can’t stop now.

Only The Brave

Blurb

When one of the notorious Johnson brothers is murdered and a bag of money goes missing, a deadly game of cat and mouse is set in motion.
DS Allie Shenton and her team are called in to catch the killer, but the suspects are double-crossing each other and Allie has little time to untangle the web of lies.
As she delves deeper into the case, things take a personal turn when Allie realises she is being stalked by the very same person who attacked her sister seventeen years ago and left her for dead.
Set over forty-eight tension-filled hours, Only the Brave is the latest gut-churning police procedural from acclaimed author Mel Sherratt. NetGalley

Only The Brave is due to be published 26 May 2015

Any of these take your fancy? What have you found to read this week? Please do share in the comments below