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In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1)
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Archive: Other Books > [Trim] [Poll Ballot] In the Woods by Tana French - 2 Stars

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Heather Reads Books (gothicgunslinger) | 370 comments I found this book terribly unpleasant. This is especially disappointing because I've had this one on my To Read list a long time, I'd had it recommended to me by a close friend, and I was looking forward to reading it. I really wanted to like this one. But after the first hundred or so pages, the thin and unlikeable characters became thinner and more unlikeable, the murder investigation veered into the ludicrous, and the ultimate resolution rendered a dozen or so plot threads pointless. I came away wondering: what was the point?

I will preface this by saying I have tried and failed to read one of Tana French's later books, The Witch Elm. I gave up by page 100, finding the narrator a whiny and unsympathetic guy and the pacing far too slow for my tastes. In the Woods suffers from this as well, but moved fast enough in the first 100 pages to keep me going. Unfortunately, that was probably a mistake.

Here's the synopsis: Adam "Rob" Ryan is a murder detective on the Dublin Murder Squad (which, the author feels compelled to reveal in the author's note at the end, doesn't actually exist). Twenty years ago, when he was 12, he and his best friends disappeared in the woods near their houses. Rob returned with blood in his shoes and so traumatized he couldn't remember what happened. His friends were never found. Now, the body of another twelve-year-old, a girl named Katy Devlin, has been found in the same general area, leading to speculation that the two cases are related. Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, are assigned to the case. What dark mysteries will they unravel?

Well, the answer is... not very many. The book largely fails on delivering on its premise, meandering through several hundred pages of tangents fueled by nothing but rank speculation and hysteria by the parties involved. When the killer was revealed, it was someone I had suspected almost immediately.

(Read the full review here, where I get very opinionated, lol.)


message 2: by Meli (new) - added it

Meli (melihooker) | 3234 comments I also DNFed The Witch Elm, but I will try to go back to it sometime. It was just hard to get into at the time and I had other books for book club to read.

Hopefully In The Woods will be better for me, as I also have it on my tbr.


Heather Reads Books (gothicgunslinger) | 370 comments Meli wrote: "I also DNFed The Witch Elm, but I will try to go back to it sometime. It was just hard to get into at the time and I had other books for book club to read.

Hopefully In The Woods will be better f..."


I felt the same way about The Witch Elm, and have it flagged to try again, but after In the Woods, the chances I'll do that have diminished significantly. I hope you enjoy it more than I did, or are able to DNF where I couldn't... I think I was just going out of spite by the end.


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