Written by: Tana French
Pages: 429 (Trade Paperback)
The premise: ganked from BN.com, because I'm seriously lazy. ;) 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.
Worth the Cash: Actually, it almost feels like a "Keeper Shelf." I really, really enjoyed this book. Especially the characters, and I enjoyed it so much that I was tempted to get the sequel written in Cassie's POV before I ever finished reading In the Woods. I held myself back because I knew some people were really unhappy with the way In the Woods ended and I didn't want to end up as one of those people but with the sequel on my hands. That said, I could've bought the sequel and been perfectly happy. This book haunted me, folks. Its ending and resolution is such that after I finished the book, I dreamed about it, my brain making a desperate effort to understand everything and to give me a kind of extended ending. That's kind of cool and kind of creepy, but I was very satisfied with the ending, even though it doesn't wrap the book up in a nice, pretty bow. The ending isn't for readers looking for escapism, or readers who want to see order and justice in every pocket of the world. It's not to say it isn't there on some level, but this book should disturb you on a certain level, for what it says about humanity and its unsolved mysteries. It's a good book with excellent characterization, and I really felt for these guys and wished to hell certain things hadn't happened in the book that were perfectly inevitable. Oh, how it broke my heart. But oh, how satisfying this was. I look forward to French's next book featuring Cassie, which is called The Likeness.
Review style: spoilers, so beware. While reading this I had no desire to flip to the end to spoil myself, and I'm glad for it. So if you have any interest in this book, don't click the link below. It's a MYSTERY for goodness's sakes: why spoil the mystery for yourself?
If you've read it and want to discuss it, feel free to read the full review at my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
REVIEW: Tana French's IN THE WOODS
ALSO: my 2009 Top Ten list has been posted, along with a giveaway. If you're interested, just click here. That's the link to the giveaway, which contains the link to the top ten list. ;)
Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!
January: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
February: Kindred by Octavia E. Butler