Tatiana's Reviews > In the Woods

In the Woods by Tana French
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's review
Jan 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, mysteries-thrillers-horror
Recommended to Tatiana by: Megan
Recommended for: fans of dark mysteries
Read from January 15 to 18, 2011

As seen on The Readventurer

In the Woods reminded me a lot of Gillian Flynn's novels (Sharp Objects and Dark Places). All these books are very dark mysteries/psychological thrillers and they all are as much about particular crimes the narrators investigate as they are about the narrators themselves, a disturbed bunch.

Rob Ryan, a detective on the Dublin Murder squad, and his partner Cassie Maddox are assigned to investigate a murder of a pre-teen girl. The thing is, the girl's body is found in the same woods where 20 years prior Rob's two best childhood friends disappeared. Rob undoubtedly witnessed their disappearance but has absolutely no recollection of what actually happened. Are these two crimes connected? Will investigating this new crime stir Rob's repressed memories? Is it a good idea at all for Rob to be involved in this case?

In the Woods is a very strong debut novel. Although a little too wordy in places, it is still a beautifully written, skillfully constructed mystery, with a multitude of red herrings. But my favorite part of this book was witnessing the effect of the investigation on the detectives working on it. It almost destroys all people involved. And our narrator, Rob, is a very special head case. His transformation is particularly striking.

I found the entire story very satisfying in terms of crime-solving. I was pleasantly surprised by how neatly French wrapped things up. Well, except that one huge piece of the puzzle that apparently infuriated a bunch of readers (not me though). That bit of unfinished business will have me coming back for more Tana French's novels.
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Reading Progress

01/15 page 39
9.0% 1 comment
01/17 page 330
77.0% "Rob is an a-hole"
03/16 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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Heather I had a feeling you would be intrigued by these two...

Tatiana I've seen these books before. I guess it was the time to add them to my TBR:)

message 3: by Marts (new) - added it

Marts  (Thinker) Awaiting your review on this Tatiana, I've had it on my list for a while...

Tatiana I like it a lot thus far.

message 5: by Marts (new) - added it

Marts  (Thinker) thats good to hear...Marts shall be waiting...

Heather Oh, this has been on my TBR forever. I even thought abut reading it the other day.

Ellie I so loved this book-I think I even made the effort to write a review. She's become my absolutely favorite author of the moment (alright-she & about 4 others but still...) I loved this, loved the next (not quite as much) & totally adored the 3rd (Faithful Place). I can't wait for your comments.
Her texts work as both mystery & a novels, not always the case, with really interesting characters & a sense of place that's outstanding.
Hope I didn't oversell. lol

Tatiana No, you didn't, Ellie:) Although I have to say, I hate Rob at the moment. I hope he improves in future books.

Megan Tatiana, like you I also didn't mind that unfinished business. Somehow, it didn't seem like a "tune in next time" ploy ~ for me, it just added to the depression & desolation felt at the end of the novel. And the realness of it. After all how often is anything wrapped up neatly, especially when it began so long ago?

Can't say that I hate Rob, though. Must be left over from my teenage years when I had a soft spot for troubled jerks, lol! Even if he doesn't improve he is interesting ~ for now. We will see if he changes or continues to be a self-absorbed drunk. It amazed me how much everyone drank in this book!

Jenn "Awww Yeaaahhh" You have quite a treat in store with the next two books! I love them.

Tatiana Megan, I really despised him for how he treated Cassie, even though I understood why he would be in such a state.

Jenn, I already have both The Likeness and Faithful Place on hold. Can't wait to read some more about these two.

Megan Yes, he was especially nasty to Cassie. I was happy to see her move on though. If she hadn't been able to, I think I would have had more hatred towards him. But as it is, I think she is better off without him ~ well, obviously, lol. But I think whats-his-name will be a better romantic partner for her.

message 13: by Tatiana (last edited Jan 26, 2011 11:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tatiana Sam is a much better person, and what Rob did was pretty much unforgivable in my book. But then these two will be working together again...

Megan Sam & Rob? Or Rob & Cassie will be working together again? Either way, I'm excited to read on. The Likeness is in my living room now, and am hoping to get to it this weekend ~ can't wait :)

Tatiana Cassie and Rob.

Ellie Of French's 3 books (so far), The Likeness was my least favorite. So if you happen not to like it as much as In The Woods, don't give up. Faithful Place is wonderful.

Heather *live on coffee and flowers* I just bought this at a thrift store and I wasn't terribly sure about it, even for two dollars. Then I read that it reminds you of Gillian Flynn's books and I got all excited. Thanks!

Tatiana Hope you like it, Heather.

Regina This is going to be a great summer - -new release by both Tana French and Gillian Flynn.

Tatiana Regina wrote: "This is going to be a great summer - -new release by both Tana French and Gillian Flynn."

Oh yes, Regina! It's been a long for these two books.

message 21: by Vanessa (new) - added it

Vanessa Hi tatiana, I loved all of Gillian Flynn books. Especially dark places. I'm looking for my next read. Any suggestions?

message 22: by Judy (new)

Judy I may read it and I may not--I suppose knowing that the original mystery is never solved might make it less frustrating. I'm a sucker for beautiful writing, even if it doesn't say much.

message 23: by Marts (new) - added it

Marts  (Thinker) You've made this sound rather exciting Tatiana, I definitely need to buy it...

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