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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In the Woods

French, Tana. In the Woods.

Oh, Tana French is good. Very, very good. Hard to believe this is a debut novel.

In the Woods is a compelling piece of writing; I really could not put it down -- beautifully written, vivid descriptions, suspenseful, complex characters.

The story is about Adam Robert Ryan, now a detective with the Dublin Murder Squad, but formerly one of three children who went into the woods in Knocknaree in 1984, and the only one who came out again. Jamie and Peter were never found, but Rob was discovered in shock, his socks and shoes bloody, and without any memory of what happened.

Nearly 20 years later, Rob and his partner Cassie Maddox find themselves on the case of a murdered child at an archaeological site next to the same wood in Knocknaree. Is there a connection to the earlier case?

The relationship, the friendship, the interaction between Rob and Cassie is a large part of the attraction of the book.

I really want to tell more, but don't want to give anything away. There are several subplots and some surprises.

So...just a couple of quotes from the prologue:

"Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s. This is none of Ireland's subtle seasons mixed for a connoisseur's palate, watercolor nuances within a pinch-sized range of cloud and soft rain; this is summer full-throated and extravagant in a hot pure silkscreen blue."

"The wood is all flicker and murmur and illusion. Its silence is a pointillist conspiracy of a million tiny noises..."

Iliana recommended this one. Thanks!

Fiction. Mystery/Psychological. 2007. 429 pages.


  1. I have this one and am really looking forward to it. It won several awards this year. It might be a good one for my mystery group to tackle next year.

    There is another one in this series out already, THE LIKENESS. Did you know?

  2. Wow this sounds really good. Another one for the TBR list.

  3. I just keep seeing more and more good reviews of this one. I'm definitely looking forward to reading it.

  4. So scary, right? But really, about that thing that she didn't resolve....are you angry? Are you impressed by her ability to thumb her nose at us all and just...leave it? How do YOU feel? Because I'm being driven mad.

  5. Now you have to read 'The Likeness', which is just so much better than 'In the Woods' it leaves you breathless.

  6. This sounds great, Jenclair, so thanks for the heads-up. It's going on my library hold-list tonight.

  7. I hope to read this one next--as soon as I finish reading the mystery I am working on. I keep hearing how good it is, and it sits next to my bedside waiting for me!

  8. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this one! The beginning was just beautiful wasn't it? I mean it really just lured you in. I am one of those who liked the end too, after I thought about it for a while of course :)

  9. Trying again to reply on this post.
    Replied to the first comments on next post because this wouldn't work.

    Sam - It is an excellent read!

    Danielle - Once you start, you won't be able to put it down!

    iliana - I agree completely, the author has a wonderful way with words and hooks you right off!

  10. Ew, I bought this last week! Sounds good!

  11. I've been too scared to read this, even thougoh I love psychological thrillers. As a general rule. Maybe now I'll pick it up.

  12. bellezza - I had picked it up, read the jacket, and put back on the library shelf because I was afraid it would be too stressful (the children- don't like things to happen to children). Then I read iliana's review... I'm so glad I reconsidered!