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In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Tana French

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9,002545677 (3.78)694
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.
Title:In the Woods
Authors:Tana French
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

In the Woods by Tana French (2007)

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» See also 694 mentions

English (529)  Spanish (6)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (544)
Showing 1-5 of 529 (next | show all)
I can not say enough good things about this book. I love suspense/thriller fiction, so I read a lot of it. This is how I would describe the quality of this book - it is the exact opposite of James Patterson...Patterson's stories are flimsy, fast, and have no substance. French's books - ALL OF THEM - are thick, trudging (which is a positive thing, as a reader, because I like to invest in a story, spend time with it), and grab you and pull you in. When this book ended I felt cheated that it was over, that I could not go home with the characters and spend more time with them...and then she wrote her next two books. I feel like finding French as an author was like finding a secret gold mine. PLEASE read her books!! You don't have to read any of them in order! ( )
  rubberkeyhole | Jan 16, 2022 |
This is one of the books where I feel that anything I might write would not be able to convey my feelings as a reader or the atmosphere and depth of the story.
The premise itself sounds like a straightforward police procedural: Rob Ryan and his partner Cassie Maddox investigate the murder of a girl in a small town close to Ireland. Rob has a secret, though: As a child he lived in this very town, under another name, and was the lone survivor of an incident that left his two closest friends dead.
This is only the beginning of many events unfolding, and the creation of a net between a set of fascinating characters, each of them hiding their own flawed secrets. These characterizations and the many layers of stories, including Irish legends and local colors, is what truly makes this novel, so that it rather feels like a literary work and not solely like a crime novel. I have never read anything like it and it will stay with me for a long time. ( )
  MissBrangwen | Dec 23, 2021 |
Even though Tana French is a mystery writer, the mystery is just an excuse to enjoy her luscious writing and keep turning the pages. She develops characters and sub-plots in interesting settings. This one is in Ireland and opens with the death of a 12 year old.
  JanEPat | Dec 7, 2021 |
I lot of people appear to be frusturated with the ending of this novel. For fear of spoilers, I won't get into that too much other than to mention that yes, I was frusturated too. My frustration did not take away my investment into the story however. I read these books backwards. I liked the sound of The Likeness better, it had slightly higher ratings and reviews, and so I read it. I kept wondering what had happened to Cassie to keep mentioning this case to pique my interest, so I picked up this one as well. These books don't really need to be read in order it seems, characters crop up, and you get more out of them, but it's not vital.

To be honest, Rob pissed me off more than once. I had a hint of who the killer might be and why it happened, but I didn't fully guess it until right around when everything came about. Maybe I'm a little dense, or maybe the writing worked, but I didn't guess it very far ahead of time. Like Cassie, I had suspicions (and apparently I was right). Rob missing out on so many things, what happened with his relationship with Cassie, I just......I wanted to punch him in the shoulder and ask him what the hell was wrong. I still liked the guy. I felt for him, and I really enjoyed reading his voice throughout the novel. Cassie was definitely my favorite.

All in all, its a good story. Great writing, solid characters you both root for and want to punch, somethings are left unanswered, but, that's kind of how life works. ( )
  banrions | Dec 7, 2021 |
This had kind of a plodding start and took me a little while to get into. But by the end I was really enjoying it, so it does get better once things get going. Usually the narrator is my favorite character, but I'm still not terribly fond of this one. Halfway through I was thinking 'I'm not sure he should even be allowed to be a cop!' lol. But he wasn't horrible, just unlikable for me and quite flawed. I often like flawed characters, but his just don't align with my tolerances I guess. I liked some of the other characters though, so I still felt like I had skin in the game. The main mystery was decent. I'm interested to read the next book, though it's especially difficult to predict where things might go from here. (It looks like it mostly follows the police *department* rather than specific characters, but some do carry over).

(On the audio version, the main character is written to have an English accent, fair play, but there's not much of an Irish accent for any of the other characters either. For a story taking place entirely in Ireland, I'm surprised that wasn't made more of a priority. The reader did a decent job otherwise, and it looks like the rest of the series is read by a variety of narrators, so their accent abilities will probably just vary.) ( )
  JorgeousJotts | Dec 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 529 (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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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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