In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

23783496  Leonora, or Nora as she prefers to be called now or Lee as she was known in her youth, wakes up in the hospital badly injured from an accident and not really sure what happened.  She just remembers she was at a hen party for someone she hadn’t seen in ten years and it had been an excruciatingly uncomfortable time and  something terrible had happened.

The book flips back and forth between the present and the past.  In the present, Leonora is in the hospital recovering from injuries with at least one dead friend and amnesia.  In the past, the events leading up to and during the weekend are uncovered.

Leonora’s fear for her friends and herself is palpable. Her uncertainty in the face of her inability to remember feels real.  The mounting tension as the weekend plays out with the dynamics between the characters is extremely well done and drives the novel along at a fast pace.  The only issue  was that I had no doubts from almost the beginning who was behind it all and why, but even with that I still enjoyed the book greatly and would recommend it.

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Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

30653986  Ragdoll is  the first in a new series. The protagonist DS William Fawkes has been recently reinstated after very publicly losing his mind in court, attacking a defendant found not guilty, the so-called Cremation Killer, and spending some time in a mental hospital.  Now he is back in the saddle again a new career making case has arrived.  A body, actually a body made up of parts of multiple bodies has been found and a hit list of future victims with William’s name at the bottom.  There seems to be tie ins to the The Cremation Killer case and William, Baxter and the team are in a race to save the victims on the list, identify the body parts and find the connection.

Very well done thriller, fast paced, with good plot development and intriguing relationships between the characters.  Fawkes himself is interesting, although I find it a stretch to say that anyone would find him well enough to be back at work.  The resolution did a good job tying up all the loose ends of the case.  This novel very much had a feel like the movie Seven, but with more going on between all the characters.