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In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Tana French

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,660395753 (3.77)475
Title:In the Woods
Authors:Tana French
Info:Penguin Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

In the Woods by Tana French (2007)

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    The Likeness by Tana French (2810michael)
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    Faithful Place by Tana French (ijustgetbored)
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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)
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    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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    This Body of Death by Elizabeth George (cometahalley)
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    December by Phil Rickman (ehines)

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» See also 475 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 381 (next | show all)
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 |
Review: In The Woods by Tana French.

I guess I could say this is not a book for everyone. There were a lot of strong negative reviews. However, I enjoyed the book even though I could find a few faults with the book myself. I’ll start out by saying that it’s an intelligent mystery novel with two mysteries entwined throughout the book. I found it an observant and clever character oriented and an especially good story with sharp, funny, and believable dialogue.

The first mystery involves two missing children in a wooded area near their home and the second mystery, twenty years later in the same wooded area a murdered twelve year old girl was found. So, through the crazy companionship of two detectives encompassed both mysteries simultaneously to find out the truth. What happened to the two missing children twenty years earlier and who killed the twelve year old now lying on an altar stone within the wooded region?

The scene descriptions are lush and beautiful, characters of different interest and attitudes, and moments of good humor but balanced off by serious moments. I found it a remarkable story, it held my interest, good characters and bad character that a reader finds in most every story, mysterious avenues to solve, but most of all intriguing because sometimes the reader needs to fill in the blanks to unfinished events…..but I did not find it unworthy of the Author’s journey to create a mystery….
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
In the Woods was chosen as my Book Club's book for September. I'd never read anything by Tana French before, and quite honestly had gotten away from thriller/mystery reading in favor of paranormal and dystopian lately. That being said, I did thoroughly enjoy this book. There were times when I could not put it down, and other times when it got so intense that I HAD to put it down and walk away for a moment. (Though I never had to put it in the freezer!) I have to admit to being more surprised than usual at what had happened and who the "bad guys" were. I suspected one, but the reasoning escaped me. The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 was simply the lack of information about the "cold case" we learn about in the beginning. I truly expected to have some sort of closure on that by the end and was disappointed to not get any. In any case, I enjoyed the book and do intend to check out the rest of the series. ( )
  MynTop | Apr 8, 2016 |
Within four pages of starting this book, I knew I was going to love it. It's almost a five star for me ( )
1 vote mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 381 (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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