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French, Tana: In the Woods

In the Woods (2007)
Written by: Tana French
Genre: Mystery
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.

My Rating

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. :)


Happy Reading!

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


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)
I loved this book; it totally kept me on the edge of my seat. Have you read the follow up "The Likeness?"
Jan. 8th, 2010 05:14 am (UTC)
Not yet, but I plan on getting it. :)
Jan. 8th, 2010 03:23 am (UTC)
I saw someone throw this book onto the top of trash at six flags one day... I took it off the top and carried it around all day. I havent read it yet though.
Jan. 8th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)
I loved this one. It was one of the few that I didn't figure out halfway through (it was more like 3/4 of the way)...that always impresses me.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 8th, 2010 05:14 am (UTC)
Let me know your thoughts! The narrator is pretty flawed, which has turned some people off, but I loved it.
Jan. 8th, 2010 05:01 am (UTC)
this looks good! thanks!
Jan. 8th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
I have heard wonderful things about this book. I will have to get it soon. Thank you for your review! :)
Jan. 10th, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)
I absolutely adore this novel. I now have the sequel, THE LIKENESS, and I can't wait to read it! ♥
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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