This is the first novel by Brit Ruth Ware, and it’s that rare thriller that is also a mystery. In a straight thriller, you may know whodunnit, and the thrill is catching or finding that person in time. But combining the best parts of the thriller—pacing, suspense—with the best parts of a mystery—whodunnit?—is a rarer skill. It’s shared by such writers as Jeffery Deaver and Lee Child. Heady stuff for a first timer.
This is a completely gripping story—I read it straight through in one sitting, just about—and you won’t forget it anytime soon. The central character is Nora, who lives alone in a London flat. She’s contacted out of the blue by someone named Flo who is throwing a bachelorette party (or in Brit lingo, a “Hen Do”) for Clare, Nora’s childhood best friend who she hasn’t seen in a decade.