Book Review: In the Woods by Tana French

in-the-woodsAdam, at the age of twelve, disappeared along with his two best friends in the woods near his home in Dublin. Two days later Adam was found standing gripping a tree with his fingernails, his shoes filled with blood, his body shaking with horror and his memory erased. The other two children were never found.

Adam’s parents moved to another area, sent him to boarding school and changed his name. They dropped Adam and he became known by his middle and last name: Rob Ryan. When Rob left school and returned to Dublin he became a cop. As he moved through the ranks and joined the elite Dublin Murder Squad, he let only one person know his true identify — his partner Cassie.

One day a case arrived at the Squad that hits close to home for Rob — too close. It was in Rob’s old neighborhood and in the same woods. A twelve-year-old girl’s body is discovered on the site of an archeological dig. As Rob and Cassie deliberately and carefully work through their investigation they encounter a large number of challenges. For one thing, Rob begins to have flashes of past events from his childhood, small things at first. Rob tries hard to recall what happened during those days he went missing. Could that event be connected to this current murder? Is it possible they might find out what happened to his two friends?

I hope I can tell you how much I enjoyed this book. I loved that it was written in the first person narration of Rob. Rob told us what was happening, what had happened in the past, and then told us his thoughts on those events and people. That style made me feel as if I had a deep well of knowledge about both cases and what was going on. I knew his opinions and how he felt about everything. The other people in the story became well known to me, especially Cassie and Sam.

This was a complicated story. There were so many people to interview, so many clues, and loads of possible suspects and motives. I also liked the discussion about “Truth.” As I mentioned in my post last Tuesday when I shared the book’s first paragraph, the in-depth look at the philosophy of being a murder detective gave so much depth to the book. For example, here’s one quote I liked:

“I crave truth, and I lie.”

Think about that. A detective’s job is to find out the truth of what happened, but there are times when he/she can’t tell the whole truth.

I strongly recommend In the Woods to mystery lovers and thinkers everywhere. You’ll love the action, the people, the twists and turns, the psychology and philosophy, and finally, an excellent story.

R.I.P. Challenge: 4/8

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3 Responses to Book Review: In the Woods by Tana French

  1. I need to make the time to get to this.

  2. Nan says:

    I just left a comment on http://skrishnasbooks.com/ saying that TF just isn’t for me. I think I just don’t like such a psychological book. I read this one and began the next and just gave up. There’s a creepy quality that I don’t like. But she has lots of fans. She doesn’t need me. haha.

  3. engelsigh says:

    I love this series. They just keep getting better as they go. Great review!

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