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In the Woods by Tana French
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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
7,901490745 (3.77)647
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. 161
    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
    Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (sturlington)
  5. 10
    Sister by Rosamund Lupton (kraaivrouw)
  6. 00
    In the Forest by Edna O'Brien (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Murder mysteries set in forests of Ireland, although otherwise not very similar.
  7. 00
    Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran (sturlington)
  8. 00
    Gallows Hill by Rory O'Brien (msouliere)
  9. 00
    This Body of Death by Elizabeth George (cometahalley)
  10. 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)
  11. 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.
  12. 02
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Ling.Lass)
    Ling.Lass: Unreliable narrators, psychopaths, unsympathetic characters who miss their chance at redemption
  13. 03
    December by Phil Rickman (ehines)
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» See also 647 mentions

English (475)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (489)
Showing 1-5 of 475 (next | show all)
IN THE WOODS is a well-written, realistic and gritty psychological crime thriller set in Dublin.

What I loved about the book: Beautiful use of language; rich descriptions, complex characters and intriguing plot, although I correctly guessed the main villain early.

What I disliked about the book: too often the main protagonist (Detective Rob/Adam Ryan) acted, thought and sounded like a teenage girl (throughout the book I was fully aware that I was reading from a male point of view as written by a female author); also, I prefer more resolution and less melancholy in the endings to the novels I read for relaxation (I want reassurance that good will triumph, even if only between the pages of a book.)

However, once I started IN THE WOODS, I read compulsively until the end - there's an edge to it that keeps you reading long after midnight. ( )
  JudyCroome | May 10, 2020 |
So, it was okay. The mystery was interesting and the characters were compelling, but something just didn't quite click for me in this book and I struggled to get into the story. To be fair, I'm a very hit-and-miss mystery reader, so more dedicated readers might really love this book. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Apr 30, 2020 |
I enjoyed this book right up to the point that the main character started acting irredeemably stupidly and obnoxiously. Unfortunately, I wasn't nearly as fooled or shocked at the big reveal as the main character and that really brought the book to an unsatisfactory conclusion for me. That said, I very much enjoyed the trip almost all the way to the end and if not for the feeling of frustration at not being able to follow the main character all the way through, I would have given this book 4 stars or more. ( )
  Nikchick | Mar 21, 2020 |
I enjoyed this book right up to the point that the main character started acting irredeemably stupidly and obnoxiously. Unfortunately, I wasn't nearly as fooled or shocked at the big reveal as the main character and that really brought the book to an unsatisfactory conclusion for me. That said, I very much enjoyed the trip almost all the way to the end and if not for the feeling of frustration at not being able to follow the main character all the way through, I would have given this book 4 stars or more. ( )
  Nikchick | Mar 21, 2020 |
I am guilty of having high expectations for books when I see the amount of ratings and reviews on a book here on Goodreads. This was the case for Tana's French "In The Woods". I was expecting a fast paced crime mystery novel. Or at least an intriguing twisted plot. A story that grabs you. A mystery that keeps waiting for an answer. None of this is happening in the woods.

Stunningly the book is slow paced and repetitive. The opening mystery never got resolved, just
throwing its shadows into another crime. Usually the first person prescriptive is intriguing as I can see the story and hear it from the protagonist's point of view. But not in this novel. Telling the story from Rob / Adam Ryan prescriptive, didn't connect with me at all. Sometimes I didn't even feel it was a 1st person prescriptive anymore. The whole idea of a fictional plot is to make it believable and real. In several parts of the book with the amount of several unbelievable actions like So a police detective works in a police force in "a small Dublin suburb" yet the head of police has no idea he was the same kid that lost two of his friends in the same woods? Not investigating the shed where the crime happened? Her sister spilling everything out to detective Cassie was totally unbelievable. But yeah, we know that Cassie was a psychopath detector through a silly background story, probably just thrown in for that ending.

I am really baffled that such a 2 star crime novel would get such high exposure. ( )
1 vote hivetrick | Feb 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 475 (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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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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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