A gorgeously written novel that marks the debut of an astonishing new voice in psychological suspense
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, stunning in its complexity, and utterly convincing and surprising to the end, In the Woods is sure to enthrall fans of Mystic River and The Lovely Bones.
A part of the 50 Reader Store Essentials list.
Irish author French expertly walks the line between police procedural and psychological thriller in her debut. When Katy Devlin, a 12-year-old girl from Knocknaree, a Dublin suburb, is found murdered at a local archeological dig, Det. Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, must probe deep into the victim's troubled family history. There are chilling similarities between the Devlin murder and the disappearance 20 years before of two children from the same neighborhood who were Ryan's best friends. Only Maddox knows Ryan was involved in the 1984 case. The plot climaxes with a taut interrogation by Maddox of a potential suspect, and the reader is floored by the eventual identity and motives of the killer. A distracting political subplot involves a pending motorway in Knocknaree, but Ryan and Maddox are empathetic and flawed heroes, whose partnership and friendship elevate the narrative beyond a gory tale of murdered children and repressed childhood trauma. (May)
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Showing 1-5 of the 5 most recent reviews
1 . Frustrating but good
Posted July 16, 2011 by Rachel , PittsburghI took me awhile to get into this book, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. I was completely enthralled with the characters and their storylines and I couldn't wait to get to the end to see how it all turned out and then.....nothing. I must be honest, the ending infuriated me. I have never been so angry after reading a book ever! I would have given this book 5 stars if not for the absolutely, positively, disappointing, frustrating, unfullfilling ending. That being said, I actually enjoyed the book, believe it ot not. If only it would have ended differently.
2 . Worth the read
Posted October 22, 2010 by Toulouse , MichiganThe characters were well developed and totally believable. Both the story and the back-story were interesting. Some items turned out to be unrelated, but hey, wouldn't you expect any real murder investigation to be like that.
I will read more of Tana French's work.
3 . Loose Ends Never Come Together
Posted June 08, 2010 by Lauren , Las VegasI bought this book when I was about to board a plane and right when I began reading it I couldn't put it down. I read the entire book in less than a week and when I was finished I was very disappointed. The author had 3 different mysteries going during the whole book and none of them were ever solved. I had my mom read it to see if I had missed something and she agreed it was a major let down.
4 . an enthralling read...
Posted May 14, 2010 by arandall , tampa, flloved it...not your typical detective story. The characters are thoroughly three dimensional and the author's style is engaging, lyrical and witty. I couldn't put it down. I am looking forward to reading her next book.
5 . very disappointing
Posted March 14, 2010 by WLD , MassachusettsThere was no plot to this story and really no story either. I didn't expect everything to tie up nicely at the end like most books, but this was just plain boring. Why focus on what happened 20 years ago? Nothing came of it, just a few childhood memories, but nothing of any importance to what may have happened. The main story did not keep my attention at all and I struggled to continue reading praying that something good would happen. Nothing did...
May 16, 2007
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