Narrator: Imogen Church
Length: 9 Hours 35 Minutes
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on August 4th 2015
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.
Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee?) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Nora (Lee?) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee?) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.
In the tradition of Paula Hawkins's instant New York Times bestseller The Girl On the Train and S. J. Watson’s riveting national sensation Before I Go To Sleep, this gripping literary debut from UK novelist Ruth Ware will leave you on the edge of your seat through the very last page.
I have been listening to audio-books like crazy this year. I actually found a favorite narrator in Imogen Church and sought this out because she was reading it. While Church was, once again, fantastic, I felt like the book was very lacking in character development, pacing, and plot. I think my biggest issue is that I thought we were going to get a twist through a certain character, and I got extremely excited for that possibility, only for it to take a twist in a much less sinister direction. I think Ware ignored the characters she was writing up until the twist and decided she needed to fit the new trend of constantly making characters evil to attempt to shock the reader, rather than let something happen organically. I found myself losing interest after the twist, to the point of not really caring what happened to the characters, because it just started to get outlandish and asked for too much suspension of belief.
Overall it isn’t a terrible novel, but I think that Ruth Ware’s The Girl in Cabin 10 was much better. Keep your eyes open for a review of that! She seems to have improved after this novel so there are some nice, creepy moments to be had if you want a tale in the woods.