by Tana French
Genre: 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. He is 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 12-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.
Reviewed by Amanda- a Tea Drinker ;)
My Rating: 4 Tea Cups!
In her debut novel, Tana French, explores the world of Dublin’s crime and murder. Rob Ryan is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and needs to investigate a child’s murder in the woods. This is the same woods where his two friends vanished twenty years earlier.
I have to admit, I’m a bit of a scaredy cat. I don’t like to read gory novels or novels with children’s murders. However, In the Woods wasn’t too gruesome or frightening.
In the Woods primarily focuses on Rob Ryan. Detective Ryan is a unique character and it’s hard to warm up to him. His actions are questionable, but you know deep down he is a good guy who desperately wants to find 12 year old Katy Devlin’s murderer.
“What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with truth is fundamental but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies and concealment and every variation on deception.”
Ryan has a strong connection with his partner Detective Cassie Maddox. I really liked Cassie and at times wished that the readers could have gotten her perspective as well as Rob’s.
The novel concentrates on the murder and sexual assault of Katy Devlin and I loved how the readers were treated to every interview and every clue all the way to the murder trial. It also helped that I was surprised about who the murder was.
The negative for me was the length of the novel. It seemed that Tana French tried to squeeze as much as she could into this novel. There was the main storyline as well as the disappearance of Rob’s childhood friends. No spoilers, but considering the outcome of this novel, I’m surprised of the amount of time spent on Rob’s past.
Overall, I really enjoyed In the Woods. It was an exciting, creepy novel that had me wondering until the very end. I will definitely be continuing on with this series.
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