The novel starts with our protagonist running breathless and bloodsplattered through the snowy woods repeating a mans name, out of fear, or calling for help we don't know. Later, in a hospital, she has trouble piecing together what happened that weekend.
Leonora receives an unexpected invitation to the bachelorette party (called a hen night in Britain, maybe in America too, I don't know what women do) from a close, childhood friend she hasn't spoken to in ten years. She's reluctant to go, but with the encouragement of another old friend she agrees. There are only a few other guests, few being able to make it to the short-notice event. The house is set by itself deep in the woods and contrary to expectations is a modernist structure with open glass walls on all sides. There's a feeling of being watched.
The action keeps going back and forth from Nora's hospital bed to her foggy memories of the weekend. Something bad happened and she has to remember what, because she appears to be the prime suspect and their may be more lives at stake. The book gets hard to put down.
I typically don't like thrillers. I like thrills and suspense, but they seem to have more trouble than mystery stories in finding a palatable ending. In a Dark, Dark Wood
is no exception. Nora's struggling memory, the behavior of the other guests, the final pulse-pounding
chapters are all too convenient for me. There is a load of other elements that make up the meat of the plot, but other reviewers have nailed it so I won't bother with spoiler-tag worthy revelations. So, since I usually have a problem suspending my disbelief for this kind of story, take my review with a grain of salt.