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In the Woods

French, Tana

(Book - 2007)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
In the Woods
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"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."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2007
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 0670038601
9780670038602
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY FRENCH
Characteristics: 429 p. ;,24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Join the discussion on Jan. 27, 2015. Rob Ryan, detective on the Dublin Murder Squad, can’t remember the summer evening in 1984 when he was found in the woods following a dark and violent trauma. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox find ... Read More »

The first in Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series is a masterpiece of chilling psychological thriller and police procedural. Detective Rob Ryan with a troubling past. When a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods he was traumatized in as a child, he and Detective Cassie Madd... Read More »

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.

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 was traumatized in as a child, he and Detective Cassie Maddox--his partner and closest friend--find themselves investigating a case chillingly sim... Read More »

Tana French's debut Irish mystery is a tightly woven police procedural that carries a huge psychological punch. When he was a boy, Det. Rob Ryan was found in the woods, clinging to a tree, shoes soaked in blood, and his two best friends were missing. Fast forward 20 years, and the detective and h... Read More »


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Jan 25, 2015
  • KateHillier rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

You're grabbed from the first sentence and for the first 200 odd pages. Things get a little draggy in the middle and then perk back up again but I found the middle section rather hard going, (Adam) Rob Ryan is a flawed, damaged man whose past and present meet and ruin him further in many different ways. You get the vibe very early on that things are too good at the moment for things to last and then when we progress to a child being murdered on the the eve of things being perfect for her you know everything about this book spells doom. The case from Ryan's past in 1984 ruined things and now this case is going to ruin things more. If you're looking for a happy ending, even a happy ending for a murder mystery, this is not your book.

It is a compelling read even though the middle bit is a challenge and I am going to be heading on to the next one. Going to hope it's a bit shorter though.

Dec 08, 2014
  • Persnickety77 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

The narrator was an idiot and annoying and I couldn't get passed that

I cant believe this is a debut novel! well written with believable facts and evidence, solid characters, and mysterious. I keep guessing what will be the ending but surprised by it. This book is recommended by SCL staff.
Thank you!

Love this book! Even for someone (me) who's not a mystery/thriller fan, I found it totally compelling, smart, and worthwhile. Perfect summer reading, plane reading, anytime reading.

Apr 19, 2014
  • nonna5 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Great writing, interesting story. Ending was disappointing.

Dec 02, 2013
  • lindatveit rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

I kept waiting for the book to get better, especially towards the end . . . but such was not the case. I should have aborted reading it well before I finished the book.

Oct 02, 2013
  • billt rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I don't read a lot of murder/psychological thrillers, but this one may be the best I've ever read. It is dark and pessimistic, however--this is not Agatha Christie, matters are not tied up in a neat bow at the end, and no one lives happily ever after (but sadder, & hopefully wiser). Mysteries are not solved, crimes go unpunished, innocence is ravaged in several different ways, and the detective narrator is a staggering wreck by the end. Whodunit fans be warned--this is a probing psychological novel, not just a puzzle exercise. And it isn't one of those fiendishly clever stories with a surprise ending--you may guess the evildoer well before the end--but it will leave you brooding on the fragility of trust, and the propensity of evil to do grievous harm not only to its target but to all who come in contact with it.

Jul 23, 2013
  • EHOLTZCLAW rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I was super frustrated with the ending of this book, but mostly because I was so intrigued by the story and characters. Don't go into this expecting your run-of-the-mill, tidily wrapped-up mystery ending.

Some of my friends are really into Myers Briggs Personality types. They get giddy at the idea of sussing out just how a person's quirks and habits and way of living might place that person in one category or another. According to these friends, I'm what's known as an ISTP. I'm not sure exactly what this means, but today someone posted this link on Facebook http://liturgy.co.nz/prayers-for-myers-briggs-types/15978, and it suggests the following prayer for my personality type: "God, help me to consider people's feelings, even if most of them ARE hypersensitive."

Tana French's IN THE WOODS is a literary crime novel. It features real detectives attempting to suss out psychological profiles and solve real crimes. And for most of the novel it does this admirably--the setting and the characters are alive, the mysteries are rich and complex, the thoughtful broodiness is spot on. But for an ISTP, or for anyone who craves characters who act at least somewhat rationally, a frustrating pattern emerges in the second half of this book: our narrator catches the hypersensitivity bug and starts behaving less like a detective and more like an angsty thirteen-year-old. And so I recommend the book to anyone who likes a well-crafted mystery, but only if you're prepared to spend some time on your knees, thanking God--and French--for all their characters, even the irrational ones who make us crazy.

Jul 02, 2013
  • Kristen Merke rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I can understand why someone might find this book amazing. However I didn't. Too many characters, plot points and useless anecdotes to make it worth while. It had so frustrated, I barely made it through. And when I did finish it was extremely dissatisfying. There were elements I did enjoy, making it average at best. Worth a try though, you just might like it.

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Jul 02, 2013
  • Kristen Merke rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Kristen Merke thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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Feb 23, 2011
  • gypsy101 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

loved it, a dark mystery with characters i enjoyed reading about. A detective who was the sole surviver of a abuduction of two of his other friends, investigates a murder that took place in the same location 25 years later. Haunting and lonely- you won't like the ending.

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Aug 14, 2010
  • beckylunatic rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"Don't step on anything that looks like archaeology."

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