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

by Tana French

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6,212429654 (3.77)544
Member:cattwing
Title:In the Woods
Authors:Tana French
Info:Penguin Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

In the Woods by Tana French (2007)

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» See also 544 mentions

English (415)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All (429)
Showing 1-5 of 415 (next | show all)
Reread after finishing the latest (#6) in the Dublin Murder Squad series.

This is definitely the best unreliable narrator book I've read. And author Tana French certainly defies the 'a picture is worth a thousand words' adage because no picture can evoke the sensations of childhood the way her writing does. But even after a second time through I am still bothered by the dangling case from Rob/Adam Ryan's past. As I remember, this was originally the first of a 'Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox Series', which made it seem there should be more to come about him. I still feel that way ( )
  wandaly | Jul 21, 2017 |
very well written first book. i like an awful lot of what she's done here. not everything certainly, but quite a lot, especially the quality and tenor of the writing.

i love that the two threads of the story, that we think will relate at some point and that they're working to find the link between, never actually do tie together. and that the thread in the past, then, remains unsolved and we don't really know what happened to ryan or the other kids that day in the woods. i know many readers would probably hate this, that she leaves it unknown and unsolved, but it feels so real to me that we don't always get answers, that we think there are connections when really there aren't, that we reach for continuity that isn't there. that we try to use the present to figure out our past. and it doesn't always work. and sometimes it even fucks up our present because we aren't looking where we should.

so i love that, and i also really loved how she portrayed friendship in this book. i loved the relationships between the trios, both in the past and present, that show true depth of friendship and connection. so i hated it when she made any of these relationships sexual; she lulled me into thinking it wouldn't because it took so long, and i was glad that it wasn't going to happen and pissed off when it did.

i will absolutely read her again. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Jul 19, 2017 |
Having read Tana French’s later books, I was looking forward to reading this, her debut novel and was not disappointed! Once I started it I was reluctant to put it down because I very quickly became drawn into the psychological tension which underpins the plotting and the story-telling. There is a satisfying and credible complexity to each of her characters which made me care about what happened to them. I thought that the author handled the past and the present story-lines in a very effective way. Her exploration of the power, as well as the unreliability, of memory and the long-lasting effects of trauma was masterful. Another aspect of the book I enjoyed was her evocation of small-town Ireland and innocent, childhood summers. Although I had “solved” the murder quite early on, the skill with which the story was told held my attention throughout the almost six hundred pages of the novel and I thought that the ending was poignantly effective. At no time did I feel that this book was too long – in fact I would happily have welcomed more time in Rob and Cassie’s company! ( )
  linda.a. | Jul 13, 2017 |
More of a psychological thriller than a police procedural in the 1st outing for the Dublin Murder Squad. A long read but Tana French kept me hooked and some excellent writing. ( )
  sianpr | Jun 4, 2017 |
I read the second volume of the Dublin Murder Squad series five years ago and finally came to the series from the beginning.
The story is very exciting as it plays between the past and the present. Detective Rob has a connection to the scene of action because he had to experience as a child, how a friend disappeared and was no longer found.
In the now, a dead girl is found in an archeological excavation. Soon it will be clear who she is. The detectives try to figure out who killed her and why. In doing so, they reach the limits of clean determination. On the contrary, they are continually deceived.
The outcome of the story fits into the crumbling investigations. Nobody is really happy and you can not change it. ( )
  Ameise1 | May 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 415 (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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