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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
8,492525710 (3.77)674
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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    In the Forest by Edna O'Brien (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Murder mysteries set in forests of Ireland, although otherwise not very similar.
  7. 00
    A Memory of Murder by Nichelle Seely (alhall)
  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)
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    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.
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    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Ling.Lass)
    Ling.Lass: Unreliable narrators, psychopaths, unsympathetic characters who miss their chance at redemption
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» See also 674 mentions

English (509)  Spanish (6)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (524)
Showing 1-5 of 509 (next | show all)
  chapterthree | Jun 2, 2021 |
The book is narrated by Rob Ryan, a former detective on the Irish murder squad. He is haunted by his past. In the summer of 1984, Bob was out playing in the woods with two of his friends. Only Bob was found (clinging to a tree with blood soaking his shoes) but he could not remember a thing. Neither of his friends were ever found. Twenty years later Bob lands back in his home town and is now working on a murder case in the same area where he grew up and where his friends went missing. He has confided his past to his partner, Detective Cassie Maddox, and the two work together to solve the new murder and possibly the uncover the truth about Bob's mysterious past. ( )
  KatherineGregg | May 28, 2021 |
I would have loved to give this book the full 5/5 stars (I'm technically giving it a 4.5), but there was just something about this Tana French novel that didn't resonate as strongly with me as the "The Likeness". I realized too late that I read this series out of order and I absolutely loved Tana's writing style right away. She forces me to broaden my vocabulary as well and thankfully I can look up words on my Kindle quickly and easily.

French's writing is so beautifully pieced together. She does a brilliantly job of "showing" versus "telling" the many descriptions of people, places, and events. She crafts a very well put together story that always keeps me guessing "who dun it".

I wish the person telling the story (Detective Ryan) hadn't been such a schlump. French did a great job depicting things through his eyes, but I couldn't get over how self-centered he was and unfortunately that ruined some parts of the story for me. I think I much preferred the third person point of view that French uses in "The Likeness".

With that being said, I really did enjoy this book. It kept me guessing who the murderer was and what the motive was behind it all. I saw something wrong with Rosalind (I mean, Detectives Maddox and Ryan did point it out for us the very first time they visited the Devlin's house), but I never would have guessed the magnitude of the issues within the house after they were able to rule out abuse and rape.

Overall, I rate this book at a 4.5 (too bad Detective Ryan was a bit of a prick), but will give it the full 5 stars because I love Tana French so much. ( )
  courty4189 | Mar 24, 2021 |
1 Budding Ballerina
1 Identical Twin
1 Tragically Vulnerable Elder Sister (Boy Catnip)
2 Rather Bad Parents
1 Dysfunctional Family
1 Archaeological Site about to be Demolished by Progress

1 Effortless Partnership
2 Troubled Pasts
1 Summer of Lost/Repressed Traumatic Memories
1 Unofficial Profiler (with Psychopath Experience)
Several Shady Land Deals
Countless Bottles of Wine

1 Cold Case
2 Pre-Teen Disappearances
Too Much Blood
1 Hidden Rape ( )
  Caramellunacy | Mar 10, 2021 |
Started off great then long and drawn out. Murder int he woods. Cop couple need to solve the crime. ( )
  pgabj | Feb 20, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 509 (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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Publisher's editors
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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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