Alex's Reviews > In the Woods

In the Woods by Tana French
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Oct 14, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: mystery
Read from October 12 to 14, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Gripping. Really gripping. And I really wanted to give this book a better rating, but it let me down. French's prose and her skill at crafting a tight, suspenseful novel makes you want something better than what you get.

It's easy to spy the killer - everything is dropped in the beginning. But I spent most of the book ignoring it because I didn't want it to be so easy. I suppose maybe not everyone has marathoned Law and Order: SVU on USA multiple times, but still. It seemed the simple way out. Although, to be fair, I do not write murder mysteries and would do a terrible job of one, so perhaps I should just give French this one.


I don't like finishing a book and hating the protagonist. Rob Ryan actually nauseated me by the time I got to the end, with his treatment of Cassie and how he fell into Rosalind's lap like an eager puppy. I absolutely hated how stupid he was, though once again, I guess I was warned that he was unreliable. I didn't want a perfect narrator, but this was hard to bear.

And I don't think I've read a book in recent memory that is so unsatisfactory as this one. Is Tana French simply waiting to write another novel about Rob, Jamie, and Peter? This seems perhaps unlikely as she's published two more books since then. It feels like a sloppy way out and deeply uncomfortable. I like neat packages and though I did know going into this one that it'd be somewhat messy, I didn't expect a huge major plot point to just not be resolved.

Reading, for me, is letting go. It's trusting the author with your imagination, an intimate and deep part of you. I don't want to sound melodramatic, but I don't trust French as an author anymore. I'm unsure of whether or not I want to read her other books because I feel cheated by this one. She's the girl who teases all night, promises and lingers, and just when you think you're going to go home with her, she turns around and says, "Oh, my boyfriend's calling." WHAT THE FUCK, LADY??

But (I know this review is rife with contradictions), I may give in and read the other two. Why? Well, even if she's a tease, she at least knows how to spin a good story. And it's been a while since I read something that kept me on the edge of my seat like this one.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read In the Woods.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.