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In the Woods (2007)

by Tana French

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dublin Murder Squad (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,138550704 (3.78)705
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.
  1. 181
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    Transcription by Kate Atkinson (sturlington)
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  6. 10
    A Memory of Murder by Nichelle Seely (alhall)
  7. 00
    In the Forest by Edna O'Brien (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Murder mysteries set in forests of Ireland, although otherwise not very similar.
  8. 00
    Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran (sturlington)
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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)
  12. 01
    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.
  13. 02
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Ling.Lass)
    Ling.Lass: Unreliable narrators, psychopaths, unsympathetic characters who miss their chance at redemption
  14. 03
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» See also 705 mentions

English (535)  Spanish (6)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (550)
Showing 1-5 of 535 (next | show all)
I expected more. I read [b:Faithful Place|7093952|Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #3)|Tana French|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1291165900s/7093952.jpg|7350661] first and loved it so much I was excited to go back and read her first two books. I ended up really kind of disliking this one.

What kind of point was the author trying to make by making her protagonist into an ineffectual buffoon at the end? Was the point just to watch this guy implode and screw up his life? Well I guess she succeeded there. But she left him utterly torn down with no light anywhere at the end of his tunnel. How uplifting.

And I ended up severely disliking Cassie too as she showed herself a major grudge holder and a cruel woman as witness by her last act of the book. She knew all along that this guy was imploding and why and yet she just cuts him loose. I know he was nasty to her after sleeping with her but that lasted about a week and she knew as well as him that it was against the rules. Guys do stupid stuff. I guess if they don't apologize within a week then screw them and throw away 2 years of friendship. And not believing her about the psychopath, forgiveness is out of the question too. She's a hard hard woman and I'm not interested in reading her book which comes next.

Let's not even talk about the way that the mystery set up in the prologue gets left dangling. I guess we're supposed to believe that the Horned Lord took them.

I might try book no. 4 when it comes out. IDK. I will encourage people to read Faithful Place though. ( )
  Luziadovalongo | Jul 14, 2022 |
The writing in this book is lovely, which earns 3 stars from me. I loved Cassie's character, as well. The plot itself was a bit too long, however, and it wasn't quite the page-turner that it could have been. Also, I wish the mystery from the protagonist's childhood had been solved. It seemed odd to leave it so unresolved. ( )
  samanddiane1999 | Jun 22, 2022 |
I really enjoyed this book. It's an interesting mystery and a well written book. The characters are well developed and likable. In fact, I was with the author the whole time, how she chose to unfold the story, introduce us to the cast of nasty characters, even her weird semi-magical sub-plot. All quite fun and fitting.


She lost me, however, when the main character accused me of not recognizing one of the characters as the murderer. And this didn't make me angry because I like to know "whodunit" before the reveal, it made me angry because Ms. French did such an amazing job creating a character who is a psychopath that I recognized her the minute I met her. So the story from then on, for me, was really much sadder. When the main character is so easily manipulated by this psychopath, destroying his job, his partnership and really his whole life, I was powerless. But to have him then accuse me of being fooled just as easily as he was? Very off-putting. Left a bad taste in my mouth. Plus, the magical sub-plot went nowhere.

I plan on reading more of her books.

( )
  Carmentalie | Jun 4, 2022 |
This was the debut for Tana French. I like her writing and her characters but this one plodded along. A bit too much description and too internal. ( )
  Dairyqueen84 | Mar 15, 2022 |
Dublin Murder Squad detective, Rob Ryan, and his partner/best friend, Cassie Maddox, set out to investigate the murder of a 12-year-old girl when her body is found at an archaeological dig. Red herrings abound, and there are so many intricate layers of possibility that Ryan and his partner quickly become bogged down and find themself on the verge of despair at ever solving the murder. The case has, from the beginning, threatened to be the undoing of Ryan, as it occurred in his own hometown, where years earlier his two best friends disappeared in the nearby wood never to be found and Ryan himself was so traumatized that he has never recovered the memory of what happened that day.
Hardcore police procedurals aren't usually my thing, but I adored this novel from Page One to the end. It took me a little while to sort out the answer to the crime, but even after I did, I was still on the edge of my seat to know how the characters themselves would react to the discovery, which says so much about French's writing. I loved the smart plot, with its interesting twists, and the characters themselves, who had their own, parallel story, which was just as fascinating and engrossing as the mysteries (both the murder and Ryan's past). This is my first French but it will most certainly not be my last. ( )
  electrascaife | Feb 27, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 535 (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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"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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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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Book description
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 and stunning in its complexity, In the Woods is utterly convincing and surprising to the end.
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Average: (3.78)
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