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In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Tana French

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,688398750 (3.78)482
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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» See also 482 mentions

English (384)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (398)
Showing 1-5 of 384 (next | show all)
jesus christ, this book ( )
  eefa | Jul 26, 2016 |
This book is, in a word, bleak. It's definitely a page turner- I started it before bed, intending to read just a chapter, and was up until 3 in the morning until I couldn't keep my eyes open. I wanted to know what happened, if and how the two cases were connected. The book has a lot of cliches that aren't necessarily bad but do get a bit predictable, and I found the ending largely unsatisfying. ( )
  stormyhearted | Jul 18, 2016 |
"What I am telling you before you begin my story is this, Two things: I crave the truth. And I lie."

right off the hop, we have an unreliable narrator! or do we? wheeeeee!! i enjoyed this read, and enjoyed being on alert for the lies from our narrator, detective rob ryan. his first person account flowed pretty well, as he went back and forth between the present crime under investigation and his own past and possible connection to the recent murder. i was second-guessing pretty much everything out of his mouth.

though i figured out 'who dunnit' really early on in the book, tana french still made this a compelling story. in the woods didn't feel typical. it felt a bit more layered, and as though a bit more thoughtful exploration of her characters was going on, for the most part. i did have a few quibbles:
a) seriously -- can guys and girls NEVER be friends in fiction? i get so tired of 'sex ruined everything' when i'm reading. maddox and ryan were great murder squad partners and friends, and made for an engaging literary pairing.
b) false rape claim. sigh. and yeah -- i know: psychopath. whatever.
c) the voice of rosalind was off for me, and she was such an obvious suspect as soon as i met her on the page.
d) the ending sort of petered out for me

but, even with these little issues, i did like this novel - and it's a pretty great debut. so many people i know have loved this series and been telling me i need to read it - i am glad i finally made time for book #1 in the 'dublin muder squad' series. ( )
  Booktrovert | Jul 8, 2016 |
I'm giving this book three stars as I liked the story even though I didn't like the characters. I had also figured out that the older sister was involved in her sisters murder, although I didn't figure out who she had gotten to commit the murder. ( )
1 vote KarenDuff | Jun 1, 2016 |
In The Woods
3.5 Stars

Warning: This review contains spoilers so read at your own discretion!

An intense if predictable mystery, excellent characterization and an engrossing writing style (although it can get tedious at times due to the narrator's internal ramblings).

Tana French is very skilled at both character construction and, as it turns out, deconstruction. The humor and banter between Cassie and Rob makes their relationship the highlight of the book and more than compensates for some of the more descriptive and long winded passages. Rob starts out as a likable hero and his traumatic past easily evokes the reader's sympathy. However, as the story progresses, he embarks on a slow and annoying psychological decline that ultimately destroys the single most important connection is his life, and ends up marring the story as a whole.

The mystery is actually divided into two cases - the 1984 disappearance of two children in the woods surrounding Knocknoree, Ireland and the discovery of a young girl's body in the same woods in the present day. Throughout the book, French consistently builds the connection between these two events but the links turn out to be superficial at best and only one of the mysteries is resolved, which may leave readers disappointed.

With regard to the mystery of Katy Devlin's murder, the villain is glaringly obvious from the first and while there are one or two surprises along the way, it still amazes me that the detectives took so long (almost 16 hours of listening time) to figure it out as the clues and the motive were all but smacking them in the face!

That said, the revelations are profoundly thought provoking and it is impossible to come away from the book without feeling intensely about the characters and the story.

In sum, the book is well-written and worth reading but might not appeal to readers, like myself, who prefer a sense of closure and justice in their mysteries and thrillers. Finally, Steven Crossley's narration of the audiobook is enjoyable. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Jun 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 384 (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
(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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