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In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods (2007)

by Tana French

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dublin Murder Squad (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,312368828 (3.77)457
  1. 141
    The Likeness by Tana French (2810michael)
  2. 62
    Faithful Place by Tana French (ijustgetbored)
  3. 40
    Haunted Ground by Erin Hart (mikedraper)
    mikedraper: Irish setting, good characters and well written
  4. 10
    Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These psychological suspense novels feature characters who, as young children, witness horrible crimes and must now revisit their painful pasts to discover the truth. The stories are fast paced, chilling, and atmospheric.
  5. 10
    Sister by Rosamund Lupton (kraaivrouw)
  6. 00
    The End of Everything by Megan Abbott (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Missing persons cases drive these lyrical, richly detailed novels that blend Mystery and Psychological Fiction to explore family secrets, childhood friendships, and the loss of innocence. First-person narration heightens suspense by calling into question the reliability of memory.… (more)
  7. 00
    Gallows Hill by Rory O'Brien (msouliere)
  8. 00
    This Body of Death by Elizabeth George (cometahalley)
  9. 04
    December by Phil Rickman (ehines)

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» See also 457 mentions

English (354)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  All languages (367)
Showing 1-5 of 354 (next | show all)
Long, rambling introspection leading toward an extremely depressing conclusion doomed to make me angry.


DNFed at 40%


More thoughts to come. ( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
It took me about 50 pages to get into this book (possibly because of the long winded descriptions and lack of dialogue), but once I did, I was enthralled. In the Woods features two intertwining mysteries, missing kids and murder, that happen, well, in the woods. Our MC, Detective Rob Ryan, has a link to to the missing kids and is investigating the murders. As our narrator, he takes us through this psychological thriller. What I loved about this book is how we can see how much of an effect these cases have on Detective Ryan's psyche. We are inside his head, and so, while the evidence may lead you to believe one thing, he is sitting there in the midst of everything (perhaps even a mini breakdown?) and giving his spin, his view from tinted and tainted glasses, about what he believes to be happening. This makes you second guess the case, the proof that is right in front of you, and when it all comes together, you want to shout "I knew it!" while at the same time you are shocked this is what actually happened.

I loved the flawed, broken character (of Detective Ryan) French wrote. I loved all of the characters actually. French developed such great, three dimensional characters who mesh so well together. I especially enjoyed how this was so much more than just a mystery shrouded in suspense. It truly had a deeply embedded psychological aspect to it that kept you thinking and engrossed. It ends only half tied up, and while at first I was upset not to have the answers, French stayed true to her characters (and their personalities) this way, and therefore I believe it was the perfect ending as well. ( )
  Kristymk18 | Nov 12, 2015 |
This is another novel I read for my TA-ship. The prologue of In the Woods reminded me of the opening of Tepper's Grass--the lush description breaks many of the "rules" for crime fiction (a la Elmore Leonard) but also has some metaphors that remind the reader of Chandler's prose. Tana French keeps some conventions of the hardboiled genre (such as the femme fatale) but plays with others, such as a lack of convergence of the two mysteries and the relationship between her protagonist, Ryan, and his partner. I longed for Cassie's perspective, and will probably read French's novel that has her as the protagonist (and is previewed in the back of this edition). There was a tiny Joyce flavor, with pop culture references--to the X-Files, Worms, etc--and being set in Dublin. And many of the cliches for a good crime novel apply here: it was a page-turner, hard to put down, and had some good twists.
  Marjorie_Jensen | Nov 12, 2015 |
'd heard a lot about this book, and the back blurb made me interested in reading it. An Irish detective is investigating a murder that happened in the same field his two childhood friends disappeared from. He was with them that day, but he was the only one who came back; afterwards, his parents moved him away and changed his name. There's a chance the cases might be linked, and since he doesn't remember much of his own experience, he's eager to solve them both this time. The thing is, no one can find out he's that same boy from the original case. The concept was interesting, but the story dragged on too much. It was bogged down in details that were unnecessary by the end. The resolution was less than satisfactory as well, though I've heard it's the first of a series. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
A few too many "had I known" passages but otherwise an excellent first book... ( )
  leslie.98 | Oct 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 354 (next | show all)
Although she overburdens the traditional police-procedural form with the weight of romance, psychological suspense, social history and mythic legend, she sets a vivid scene for her complex characters, who seem entirely capable of doing the unexpected. Drawn by the grim nature of her plot and the lyrical ferocity of her writing, even smart people who should know better will be able to lose themselves in these dark woods.

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tana Frenchprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wang, JenniferCover artistmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Resnick, NancyDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Probably just somebody's nasty black poodle. But I've always wondered... What if it really was Him, and He decided I wasn't worth it?"
-- Tony Kushner, A Bright Room Called Day
For my father, David French,
and my mother, Elena Hvostoff-Lombardi
First words
Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s.
What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie.
We think about mortality so little, these days, except to flail hysterically at it with trendy forms of exercise and high-fiber cereals and nicotine patches.
To my mind the defining characteristic of our era is spin, everything tailored to vanishing point by market research, brands and bands manufactured to precise specifications; we are so used to things transmuting into whatever we would like them to be that it comes as a profound outrage to encounter death, stubbornly unspinnable, only and immutably itself.
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence," he told me reproachfully.
Maybe she, like me, would have loved the tiny details and the inconveniences even more dearly than the wonders, because they are the things that prove you belong.
Last words
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143113496, Paperback)

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

Richly atmospheric, stunning in its complexity, and utterly convincing and surprising to the end, In the Woods is sure to enthrall fans of Mystic River and The Lovely Bones. And look for French's new mystery, Broken Harbor, for more of the Dublin Murder Squad.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:21 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Detective Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, investigate the murder of a 12-year-old girl near a Dublin suburb. The case resonates with similarities to a murder committed twenty years before that involved two children and the young Ryan.

» see all 10 descriptions

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