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In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Tana French

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,474383793 (3.77)463
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)

  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
    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)
  7. 00
    Gallows Hill by Rory O'Brien (msouliere)
  8. 00
    This Body of Death by Elizabeth George (cometahalley)
  9. 04
    December by Phil Rickman (ehines)

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» See also 463 mentions

English (370)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  All languages (383)
Showing 1-5 of 370 (next | show all)
I do like to read the occasional police procedural but only occasionally as I tend to find them rather grim, dark and gritty reads. Some of them can also be rather graphic in their descriptions of the crime. That doesn't sit well with me. French’s novel has all of the elements of a police procedural that I enjoy - the investigation into the crime scene, the rounding up of suspects and the questioning of witnesses/neighbours – with the grim, gritty and graphic aspects muted and not in your face every page. What makes this one even better than the average police procedural read for me is the focus French places on the relationship between the two lead detectives, Cassie and Ryan, and the sharp introspective detail of Ryan’s narrative. It is a slow-building story, another aspect I appreciated as I am not a big fan of stories that are all about adrenaline pumping action. I like my mysteries/thrillers to be sleepers, more about getting analytical and figuring out the details, not the ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ stuff. French really knows how to build the psychological profile of the character while still stringing the readers along, letting them think they have a handle on the situation. The only quibbles I have are my dislike of some choices made by Ryan and how he tries to justify those choices/decisions. Well done, but just rubs me the wrong way and lead me to dislike Ryan as a character.

Overall, I am really glad to have finally read this one and to know that I have copies of The Likeness and Broken Harbour waiting for my on my bookshelves… I just need to track down a copy of Faithful Place. ( )
  lkernagh | Feb 12, 2016 |
Police procedural and psychological thriller.

Current murder of a 12 yr old girl has strange similarities to the disappearance of 2 children from the same neighborhood 20 years ago ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 29, 2016 |
This is a very intense book; I had to read the last 250 pages today to find out what would happen. I hate to tell the story, but basically Detective Ryan finds himself investigating the murder of a 12-year-old girl in his old neighborhood. The girl was apparently killed by the same woods where Ryan's two best childhood friends disappeared in an unsolved case, on a day Ryan can't remember. Already you can see there are complications, but there will be many more (an archaeological dig, Ryan's memory and coming-of-age, the girl's strange family, a highway fiasco). To make things even more interesting, there is the relationship between Ryan and his partner Cassie.

Tana French does a great job with psychological studies; the mental state becomes one of the plot lines on its own. The characters here are all worth learning about and the investigative process was also fascinating. I appreciate that French doesn't force everything to be tied up in neat little bows, but some people may not prefer that. 4.5 stars. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 24, 2016 |
This book seems to really turn off some people because of the ending. It's completely understandable. I know I would not have ended this way, but it wasn't so horrible as to turn me off to the book on the whole. The writing is excellent. French's skills at developing characters, scenes, and mood have been compared to Donna Tart and it's both accurate and a compliment. French scores big with me on the characterizations alone. You know these two detectives incredibly well even a few dozen pages into it. There's a nice level of complexity in the story lines which allows the reader to continually wonder where the tale is going and how it's going to end. Worth reading. ( )
  RalphLagana | Jan 23, 2016 |
I don't normally read detective stories/murder mysteries, and if I do, they are likely historical. Therefore I was more than a little surprised how this story captivated me, how much I enjoyed it.

Detective Rob Ryan was the victim of a violent crime when he was 12 years old and his two best friends disappeared, however he has no memory of what happened to him (or them) that day. Now, two decades later, a young girl is found dead at the site of the old case, and Rob thinks the murder could be connected to his own private mystery.

If you expect a story with all loose ends neatly tied up at the end you will be disappointed. Also, although I felt the story was well-paced, it's by no means action-packed. Not all questions will be answered and not everything can be explained, but I was fine with that. Such is life. To me, this is more a psychological study about the impact the past has on the present, how experiences shape a person and influence their choices, rather than simply a whodunit. I thought the characters were (mostly) very well developed and interesting, and the writing was spot-on, vivid and incredibly atmospheric, taking you right to that place. It is one of those books that I found impossible to put down. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 370 (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 10 descriptions

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