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In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1)
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Archive - Group Reads > In The Woods - May 2014

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message 1: by Leigh (last edited May 01, 2014 08:27PM) (new) - added it

Leigh | 6313 comments The second of our May Group Reads is In the Woods by Tana French. The group lead for this discussion is Jamie Lynn(Thank you!).

As usual please note we discuss all aspects of the books we read - the plots, the characters, the settings and so on - on our discussions threads. Hence the discussion threads will contain spoilers from the start. if you haven't finished the book yet be careful not to read others' posts until the end.
Feel free to use the spoiler tags, if you like.


In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1) by Tana French In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1) by Tana French In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1) by Tana French In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1) by Tana French

Summary:
A 12-year-old girl is found murdered at an archaeological site at the center of a controversial highway construction project. Katy Devlin was a popular girl who had recently been accepted to the Royal Ballet School; her father is an outspoken opponent of the new roadway. But what haunts Detective Rob Ryan about this case is its location: the quiet town of Knocknaree, Ireland -- in the very woods where he used to play as a child.

Twenty years ago, a young Rob and his two best friends went into the woods, chasing each other, playing in a castle of ruins. But they didn't return to their homes at sunset. A search party was dispatched to canvas the woods, finding only a catatonic Rob clawing at a tree, his clothing ripped, his shoes filled with blood.

Detective Ryan has always guarded this secret of his past, but the recent murder forces him to reveal it to his new partner, drawing them closer together in the search for the perpetrator. Is there a connection between Rob's childhood trauma and Katy Devlin's murder? And is Detective Ryan prepared to confront the secrets that lie deep in those woods? Suspects abound in this fast-paced mystery -- a stunning debut that examines the complexities of the human mind and the cost of discovering the truth.

One of the videos featured on the group home page the first couple of weeks of May is an interview with Tana French.

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/videos/6410...


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 88 comments I read this last year or so, and am currently reading the 4th in the Murder Squad series, Broken Harbour. In the Woods still haunts me, and I too wonder what happened to Rob.

I must say I put off reading this book for awhile, because others' reaction to the scene in the woods. I for one did not find this the most memorable part of the book. There was so much more that had an impact on me, such as Rob's entanglement with the victim's sister, and the arc of his friendship with his partner.


Tara Riley (terrorrose) Is it final that Rob won't come back in another one of her books? This book was really well written and left me wanting more.


Jane Gorman (janegorman) | 3 comments This is a haunting story that sort of leaves you hanging -- wanting to learn more about Rob. The characters are so intense, it drew me in from the beginning. I agree that Rob is a questionable character -- I was ready to believe he had turned to murder, as well. Not a likable person, certainly. And as Jamie says, he is a liar, so who knows. I'm disappointed to hear there won't be a follow up to this.

I liked watching the video -- I just saw it, hadn't noticed it before. It's clear that French is character centric in all her books, which is a great way to write, like a psychological analysis of each character embedded in a murder mystery.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments I read this book several years ago. Although I usually review the books I read, I didn't review this one. I've read the rest of this series and love it. But I don't remember particulars about IN THE WOODS. Maybe when I read other comments here I'll remember.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I read this last year or so, and am currently reading the 4th in the Murder Squad series, Broken Harbour. In the Woods still haunts me, and I too wonder what happened to Rob.

I mu..."


I've read this whole series, and BROKEN HARBOR is the best.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Tara Rose wrote: "Is it final that Rob won't come back in another one of her books? This book was really well written and left me wanting more."

Nothing is final.


Overton Scott | 8 comments This was the first of French's books which I read (some time ago). I remember an overwhelming sense of menace that just kept building. I was also unsettled by the ending, but not in the way that you often are in a novel of suspense, when something disturbing occurs and you can't get it out of your mind. In this case, I felt a real lack of resolution that upset me, so much so that I still feel it today. French being the excellent writer that she is, I'm pretty sure that was a deliberate decision by her. And I can tell by the comments below, several other people would like to revisit some of the characters.


message 9: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited May 04, 2014 05:10AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 88 comments @ Jamie Lynn: that is a FASCINATING take on Rob that had never occurred to me.

@ Tara Rose: I should qualify my statement by saying that Rob has not resurfaced in future books (although he is mentioned by Cassie, briefly, in The Likeness. But, as others have said, you never know if an author will choose to revisit a character in a future book. An excellent question that I'm sure the author gets whenever she speaks to fans! I have a podcast I've been not getting to from the Diane Behm show; I'm going to make time to listen to it to see if she is asked that question.

Jamie Lynn wrote: "Tana French writes very well and I will read her again. [spoilers removed]"


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 88 comments Beth wrote: "I've read this whole series, and BROKEN HARBOR is the best. ..."

Good to know, Beth. I'm about halfway in, and it is getting more and more creepy. You know a book has you hooked when you keep putting it down because you don't like where it's going, but you keep picking it up again because you can't not find out.

Actually, this described my listening experience of In the Woods,too. And all of French's books. She is so good at ratcheting up the tension.


Suzanne | 29 comments I just finished the book - the lack of resolution bothered me - I guess it is too much like real life - with a book I want to KNOW. I liked the analyses of Rob above - interesting. (view spoiler) Lest these comments sound too negative, I thought it was a well written book, and I'd be interested in reading more in the series.


Suzanne | 29 comments Jamie - I think you are right! And good for her!


Cathy (cathy_perkins) | 10 comments I like the author's voice - her writing style - and have already picked up the second in this series, but I agree with a number of the comments above (Rob's character and the lack of resolution in the ending).


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 88 comments Spoiler on whether Tana revisits Cassie or Rob to date: (view spoiler)


message 15: by Dana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dana | 14 comments I really enjoyed this book, but was unhappy with the ending with regard to characters and story resolution.


message 16: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy killeen (judymkx2) | 2 comments I haven't given up that Tana French will bring back Rob. Her pattern seems to be that she takes a character from a previous book and centers her next book around them. But I have read a review of her upcoming book and she brings back Frank Mackie, that's 3 books for him. I think we want to know about Rob because It's hard to leave his woods experience unexplained. it just eats at you.


Heather (trixieplum) | 193 comments I've read all but Broken Harbour so far, and only remember bits and pieces of each. But, looking back at my ratings, I've incresed the number of stars with each one, so I have high hopes for the fourth!


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Janet wrote: "Wonder which one you think the best Karin Slaughter books is."

I've read only one of hers, the first book in her series.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Suzanne wrote: "I thought it was a well written book, and I'd be interested in reading more in the series. ..."
It gets better and better, honest.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Judy wrote: "I think we want to know about Rob because It's hard to leave his woods experience unexplained. it just eats at you..."

Maybe she's trying to figure it out herself.


Leslie (lesmorecats) | 72 comments CREEPED ME OUT!
I read another by her, same reaction.
Therefore, she's not for me!


message 22: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron (ronb626) | 3721 comments Just finished In the Woods earlier today. What a terrific book! Good writing, good characers, good plot. OK, so it wasn't as wrapped up as some would want it. Is life usually like that? Worked for me, though. And, maybe some day, Ms. French might go back there with another book about those woods. Who knows? Well, she probably does.

I'll definitely look into more of her books. From what I understand, Rob isn't in any more, but, Cassie and Sam are. I'll give #2 in the Dublim Murder Squad series a try one of these days.


message 23: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron (ronb626) | 3721 comments Jamie Lynn wrote: "I still want to know just the same. lol"

Well, I hear you, there! Maybe in an ensuing book...


message 24: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron (ronb626) | 3721 comments Jamie Lynn wrote: "I hope so Ron. Rob is one of the most interesting characters I've read about in a book. I'd really love Tana French to revisit him."

Never having read Ms. French before, so I know nothing about here writing other than In the Woods, but, it seems to me that she has left herself open for a sequel that explores Rob's childhood mystery. And, I think it's make a great story and a great read.


Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments To all of you who haven't read the other Tana French novels, I repeat: she gets better with every book. You don't need to read them in order, but, if you do, you'll see how each is better than the last.


message 26: by Ron (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ron (ronb626) | 3721 comments Beth wrote: "To all of you who haven't read the other Tana French novels, I repeat: she gets better with every book. You don't need to read them in order, but, if you do, you'll see how each is better than the ..."

Thanks, Beth. That recommendation is appreciated.

I do remember finding that same thing out from Robert Crais. His books, although good from the start, just got better and better as he developed into the writer that he has become today. It was a lot of fun "watching" that happen.


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