Sunday, January 10, 2010

In the Woods by Tana French

Synopsis: A gorgeously written novel that marks the debut of an astonishing new voice in psychological suspense.
As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours. Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past. Richly atmospheric, stunning in its complexity, and utterly convincing and surprising to the end, In the Woods is sure to enthrall fans of Mystic River and The Lovely Bones.

Quote: There was a time when I believed I was the redeemed one, the boy borne safely home on the ebb of whatever freak tide carried Peter and Jamie away. Not any more. In ways too dark and crucial to be called metaphorical, I never left that wood.

Why this book you might ask: I saw this book reviewed on a couple of blogs. I but it on my wish list and finally got it.

My Thoughts: This was a beautifully written book, if a little verbose. I truly enjoyed the look into modern Irish culture. It took awhile to get into it but it captured my interest and pulled me along.The main character Rob turned out to be unlikable, to me. He justifies his odd actions and behavior toward Cassie by citing the trauma in his childhood. Really though, I just wanted to hit him. I guess it is good when a novel can evoke emotion from the reader.

The two plots that intertwined through out the novel were both interesting and compelling. While the more modern murder was solved, the the older, more interesting one (to me) was just left hanging. It was written with such potential. There were hints that something possibly supernatural was involved, many nods to mythological creatures, and I wanted to get to it..... No such luck. I left at the end feeling a little unsatisfied. I wonder, if nothing is going to come of the old crime why was so much time spent on it, teasing the reader? Perhaps it is shallow to like an ending that is neatly wrapped up.

Over all, I liked it and will read the next one in hopes that Robs childhood experience will be looked into. I know Cassie will be the main character of the next book. I also liked the voice of the narrator of this audio.

Read this reader's comments on the supernatural elements in this story.
Preview the book here.

Audio CD
Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (May 17, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143142186
ISBN-13: 978-0143142188

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This audio: 20 hrs. 25 mts.
Total: 26 hrs. 25 mts.


Shannansbooks said...

Sorry you have not enjoyed the book as much. I have not read much Irish Literature but the premise sounds good. I sorry you did not enjoy it as much as you would like to.

Jo, a retired teacher said...

Thank you; I think I'll skip this one. I need to feel good about the protagonist, and I hate feeling like the end was not really the end.

Anonymous said...

This one has been on my wish list for awhile.