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In the Woods by Tana French
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In the Woods (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Tana French

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,865417716 (3.78)501
Member:dallenbaugh
Title:In the Woods
Authors:Tana French
Info:Penguin Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:2012 Books Read, Read but unowned, Prize Winners
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

In the Woods by Tana French (2007)

  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
    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)
  9. 00
    Gallows Hill by Rory O'Brien (msouliere)
  10. 04
    December by Phil Rickman (ehines)
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» See also 501 mentions

English (402)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  English (416)
Showing 1-5 of 402 (next | show all)
Intricate crime story with unusual characters all of whom were well developed. Lots of interesting turns and twists. ( )
  Doondeck | Nov 28, 2016 |
This book loses points at the end because the story that initially interests you, the whole reason I decided to read the damn book in the first place, is never resolved. Why bother pulling people in with that in the first place? It's like she had a story she wanted to tell, but she knew it wouldn't be interesting enough on its own so she invented a much more interesting problem to grab your attention. Bad form Tana French.
Regardless of my rant I did still enjoy this book and will probably read The Likeness here pretty soon. ( )
  Heather_Brock | Nov 23, 2016 |
Really well-written, compelling characters, and a story that had me riveted. But then the ending, oh the ending! It was beyond unsatisfying. Now, I don't need a Hollywood ending. I can deal with a not altogether happy ending, but this was disappointing, left several threads hanging, and ultimately was a big let down. I really want to give the author another chance because I found the writing to be so enjoyable, but I don't know if I want to invest my time into another of her books only to be let down hard at the end. ( )
  penguinasana | Nov 21, 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 | Nov 19, 2016 |
I really enjoyed the writing and suspense of this book; I couldn't put it down. The lack of resolution really irritated me, however. Did rob remember the truth and we aren't meant to know? Until the very end, i hypothesized that he was a psychopath himself and had killed his friends. He does say "i told you right from the beginning: I lie." I hope that she will revisit this plot line in subsequent books. ( )
  abbeyhar | Nov 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 402 (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 editionscalculated
Wang, JenniferCover artistmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Resnick, NancyDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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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