In a Dark Dark Wood

img_2601Book: In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Date Read: December 19 to 22, 2021

Rating: 4 (of 5) stars

This book was one of my last picks of the year to finish up the bonus challenges included for the Unread Shelf Project 2021—a book from a Little Free Library. Before I talk about the book, I need to talk about how I love the idea of Little Free Libraries, but I am not so great at using them. I love having books, and being around books. When I have really enjoyed a book, I have a hard time letting go of it—partially because I am a re-reader, and partially because I love to have it on hand to lend out to someone who might be interested. I do try to collect rather than hoard though, so sometimes it does become necessary to pass a book on to its next life.

There is a Little Free Library along one of the routes that I like to walk through my neighborhood. Throughout the warmer months, I like to stop to browse the titles there at least once a week, and have picked up a few over time. Given my lengthy to read list, I am not always great about getting to those books right away to return, so I use a “take a book, leave a book” approach (as I believe many others do as well). Over the last few years, I have gradually dropped off any book donations that I have there, hoping that I will keep things balanced.

This is actually one of the first books that I picked up from that Little Free Library. The title was familiar and the cover intriguing. Although I was slightly confused with the disjointed storyline early on, I thought it was brought together nicely throughout the book. Although I would say that this is primarily a mystery, there were some elements of horror woven into the story, and these pieces were very well done. The skin crawling eeriness sprinkled throughout made the mystery aspect richer, while also serving to distract a bit from the clues dropped along the way. I was expecting some kind of twist, but the one here had nuances that were way beyond what I had anticipated.

There were some elements here that I think could qualify this as a 5 star read, but overall I put it just a little below that. While I appreciate that there was a mix of genres intertwined here, there were some elements that just did not seem to fit. Occasionally when reading, I found myself doing a mental double take— wondering if I had accidentally picked up a romantic comedy rather than horror mystery. That’s not to say, of course, that those genres could never mesh, but it did not feel right for the story here.

Boris’s Thoughts: “Horror, mystery, comedy… too many things to think about, really. I think I’ll nap on this one. 2 paws.”

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