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In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Tana French

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,774407735 (3.78)497
Title:In the Woods
Authors:Tana French
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:mystery, suspense/thriller, author-Ireland, unread

Work details

In the Woods by Tana French (2007)

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    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
    In the Forest by Edna O'Brien (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Murder mysteries set in forests of Ireland, although otherwise not very similar.
  7. 00
    This Body of Death by Elizabeth George (cometahalley)
  8. 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)
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    Gallows Hill by Rory O'Brien (msouliere)
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    December by Phil Rickman (ehines)

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» See also 497 mentions

English (392)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (406)
Showing 1-5 of 392 (next | show all)
I read this years ago - I remember enjoying it but don't have a very clear picture of it lying around in my head anymore. I'd like to revisit and read other books in the series.
  lamotamant | Sep 22, 2016 |
3.5 stars ( )
  CrystalDawn1217 | Sep 19, 2016 |
Parts of this murder mystery were quite disturbing, and I wasn't really satisfied by the end, but I really wanted to know what happened and couldn't stop reading. ( )
  klburnside | Sep 9, 2016 |
Award-winning Irish mystery writer Tana French's first book, In the Woods combines the story of a recent murder of a 12 year old ballerina, found in the woods next to some homes outside of Dublin, with the story of the detective who works the case and who just happens to be the survivor of a mystery, set in the same woods when he was 12 and his two best friends disappeared.

What I liked:

- Very readable, distinct characters that make the reader care, colourful writing, interesting story. Only one line (and there will be more lines of negative), but all of these are really important.

What I didn't like:

- I figured out who the culprit of one murder was early on, although I had no idea how the murder was done, or more importantly, why.

- At just under 600 pages, this novel was WAY too long. I like a nice, tight 150 - 250 page book, and although I realize some stories need more, this one was easily 200 pages over it's allowance.

- I love a story set in a forest. So much potential for a mysterious, even creepy mood. There was none of this in this book -- a book with a title that pretty much promises me that mood. The whole thing could have been set in a field for all the atmosphere she failed to include.

And some spoiler comments:

About the protagonist: He turns into a complete jerk 2/3 of the way through and never adequately explains why.

About the ending: Two things. First, that the criminal doesn't really get what is deserved is unsatisfying in a crime novel. If you want to write bad guys getting away with stuff, then make it more literary and less mystery novel. Second, the older mystery about the missing kids is never solved. Why even bring that in to it? Huge disappointment

Last year I read Tana French's Broken Harbour and I was really impressed. I wanted to read more by this author. And before that I'd read In the Forest, by Edna O'Brien, which was a murder mystery set in a forest in Ireland. When I posted my comments on LT, several people suggested this book. ( )
1 vote Nickelini | Sep 1, 2016 |
There were elements to this book that were 4 star quality, and it is a great crime mystery novel. Tana French clearly has a lot of talent as she was able to get me invested into the believable characters. It was refreshing to read a book that took place in Ireland as well. The thing that bumped this down to a 3 star book for me was a turning point that one of the characters makes later in the book, for the sake of spoilers I won't say who, but it just pissed me off and there didn't seem to be any good reason for it. I know that French did this as a conscious choice, and I respect her ability to invoke such reaction from me, but I still wasn't happy with that direction, and that is why I gave this a 3 star rating, which is still good.

As I previously stated, elements of this were 4 star quality for me and I would definitely recommend this book. I think this would potentially be a nice selection for a book group. ( )
  masteryoda716 | Aug 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 392 (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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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