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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
9,922566703 (3.77)724
Fiction. Mystery. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

A gifted voice in psychological suspense, Tana French delivers a mesmerizing debut thriller. After a 12-year-old Irish lad and his two pals fail to return from a day in the woods, searchers find only the terrified sixth grader??with blood-filled shoes and no memory of what happened. Now 32, the tragedy's sole survivor Rob Ryan is a detective on Dublin's Murder Squad. A current investigation takes Rob to the exact site of his childhood trauma. With the present case chillingly similar to his 20-year-old nightmare, Rob hopes to unlock the shrouded secrets of his past.… (more)

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» See also 724 mentions

English (548)  Spanish (8)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (565)
Showing 1-5 of 548 (next | show all)
I read The Witch Elm right before I picked this up, so I knew exactly what I was getting into: a slow, detail oriented story that excels in character development and tact.

That being said - French's books are long. They are easy to read, but at times they can be a bit tedious. Personally, I seek books with long, atmospheric description and intense character studies, but I understand why this book would drag for some readers.

Looking forward to reading the second book in the series. ( )
  cbwalsh | Sep 13, 2023 |
Rereading this one, for maybe the third time. Beautiful writing. Complex characters. A dark mystery, and a touch of the supernatural. Engrossing, enchanting, enjoyable. It just misses five stars because it was just a little too drawn out for me. ( )
  TheGalaxyGirl | Aug 19, 2023 |
I really liked this book. The characters, the pacing, the interpersonal relationships were all so well done. French's talent of description is nothing short of amazing. This was an all encompassing reading experience for me. I missed meals, bus stops, took too long on my breaks at work, but none of that mattered. I just needed to read it to see where the story was going to take me next.


( )
  beentsy | Aug 12, 2023 |
Tana French destroys my quick reading pace but it’s totally worth it. Looking forward to continuing this series after a few more quick reads! ( )
  annikaleigh89 | Jul 26, 2023 |
Not to be contrary, but I can't love it or hate it. I liked a fair amount of the theme of memory and identity, the unreliable narrator, the characterization; and the syntax is funny and delightful. There's an emotional level to the book that is interesting and well written, and I totally get how strongly people reacted to it. As a mystery, of course, it failed me. That's fine, but I guess in the end I've read books on the theme that hit me with greater strength and weren't constrained by the overlay of a police procedural. There is group of books sometimes classed as mysteries that I would group as thrillers, and I have this reaction to all of them. I don't know, I'm not getting what you're getting, or I'm not looking for what you found, maybe. ( )
  Kiramke | Jun 27, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 548 (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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Wikipedia in English (2)

Fiction. Mystery. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:

A gifted voice in psychological suspense, Tana French delivers a mesmerizing debut thriller. After a 12-year-old Irish lad and his two pals fail to return from a day in the woods, searchers find only the terrified sixth grader??with blood-filled shoes and no memory of what happened. Now 32, the tragedy's sole survivor Rob Ryan is a detective on Dublin's Murder Squad. A current investigation takes Rob to the exact site of his childhood trauma. With the present case chillingly similar to his 20-year-old nightmare, Rob hopes to unlock the shrouded secrets of his past.

No library descriptions found.

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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