Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In the Woods, Tana French


Title: In the Woods
Author:  Tana French
Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Penguin Books
Edition: Trade
Source: my shelves (courtesy of Jenners)
Date Completed: January - 2013 
Rating: 4/5 
Recommend: yes



Most have raved about this book,  yet others were left disappointed by the way it ended.  I went into this one knowing that I would not see closure, and because of that I did think this book was very well done.

At the onset we know that something happened "In the Woods", in the Dublin neighborhood of Knocknaree, 25 years early to Rob Ryan and his little friends Peter and Jamie when they were about 12.  Rob (Adam) was found with blood on his shoes and clinging to a tree, unable to recall what happened. His friends were never found. 

Now 25 years later Rob is a detective for the Dublin Murder Squad. He and his partner Cassie Maddox are investigating a new case missing child case which turns into a homicide. The 12 year old victim was Katy Devlin who was found in the same woods where something terrible happened to Rob and his friends years earlier.  Rob's past is unknown to his coworkers (except for Cassie).  The case feels very similar to him and in the process of the investigation, vague memories of that day begin to surface.

As Rob and Cassie work through the case, their relationship heats up as well. Their relationship seemed very realistic and I loved the witty exchanges between the pair.  It's one of those relationships that I found myself rooting for the pair.  Despite their relationship Cassie begins to have her doubts about her partner.  Are Rob's dreams and flashbacks a key to those lost memories or are they alcohol induced?   What really happened, "In the Woods" to Rob and his friends? That is what readers will hope to learn, but this is one book that doesn't wrap everything up in a neat little bow. 

There is a lot to like about this story. It's a very atmospheric psychological thriller that will have readers anxiously turning the pages.  The writing is addictive and at times even funny.  I love flawed characters flawed and Rob fits the bill. He is key to the story. I found myself constantly trying to get inside his head to determine what was real and what was imagined or embellished -- early on in the first few pages Rob tells the reader [ he craves the truth and....he lies]

This story should appeal to readers who enjoy dark stories and stories with secrets, truths and lies.  Readers that like all the missing pieces to fit when they finish a book might me disappointed. Despite that I do recommend this first in a series.  I'm looking forward to the Likeness (book #2 in the series)

19 comments:

  1. I've had this for a while. I think I'm afraid of the lack of resolution. I need to get over it and read it!

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  2. My husband enjoyed this one but I haven't read it. I'm glad you liked it, Diane!

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  3. I really liked this one, and I enjoyed the Likeness, as well (and Faithful Place). I have the newest one on my to be read list, but haven't gotten to it yet. I'm wondering how the audio version might be.

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  4. Atmospheric and addictive? Moving this one up to the top for my Mystery March!

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  5. Wasn't this one intense! I just read and loved The Likeness too.

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  6. I've been meaning to read this for ages, but I'm one of those who like everything to be resolved at the end, so now I'm wondering...

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  7. have it on the shelf and have not gotten to it. Must do that very soon!

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  8. I am listening to this one with my husband right now, and we are almost finished with it. It is an excellently rendered tale, and keeps the suspense very taut throughout the whole story. I am also prepared for the fact that the ending doesn't tie everything u neatly in a bow. Very nice review today! I can't wait to find out what comes next!

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  9. I thought this one was very well done too. I haven't picked up any of the other books though because it was a little bit slow for me and did take a good chunk of time to get through. For that reason, I've held off on the others.

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  10. Doesn't her writing just pull you in? I was so rooting for Cassie and Rob and was SO PISSED at Rob at the end. Talk about being your own worst enemy. I'm excited for you to tread more of her books.

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  11. So glad you liked this one. It is up shortly, unless I put aside what I am reading for it right now!

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  12. Always good to learn of another new to me Irish writer

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  13. I liked this one a lot, but yes, found the ending a bit frustrating. I definitely now consider myself a Tana French fan!

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  14. I am so glad that you enjoyed this one!!! I have The Likeness on my stack of books to read soon!!!

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  15. I really liked this book and I'm so glad you did, too. You make some very good points about the book.
    The book really worked for me...the characters, the story-line, even the ending, I enjoyed how Tana French handled it all.

    I recently read The Likeness. It was good though I didn't think it was as good as In the Woods. I'm interested in what you think about this book.

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  16. I'm still mad that I was left hanging at the end of his one! I can expect hat from Japanese literature, but not from a proclaimed mystery.

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  17. Like you, I knew there would be unresolved issues at the end so I wasn't bothered by them. I'm looking forward to the next one too!

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  18. Loved this book, a real page turner. I've yet to read the second book, don't know why.

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  19. I really enjoyed this one when I read it a few years back. The ending did get to me a bit but overall it was an amazing thriller. I've been considering rereading it before I move on to the 2nd book. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this one so much!

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