I is for In The Woods

Tana French

Back cover:  The debut novel of an astonishing new voice in psychological suspense.  In Tana French's powerful debut thriller, three children leave their small Dublin neighborhood to play in the surrounding woods.  Hours later, their mothers' calls go unanswered.  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, Detective Rob Ryan --the found boy, who has kept his past a secret--and his partner Cassie Maddox investigate the murder of a twelve year old girl in the same woods.  Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance the uncover the mystery of the case before him,  and that of his own shadowy past. 

If it wasn't for the Ireland Reading Challenge, I probably would have never been introduced to Tana French's writing.  She's gone on to write two other novels "The Likeness" and "Faithful Place", both of which are now residing in my TBR pile waiting to be read.    It's one of those stories that gives you the chills, makes you want to shake the characters sometimes, bite your nails, talk back to the characters saying "no wait. don't do it."  French's writing pulls you in and the characters keep you there.   They are by no means perfect, have their flaws which makes the story more interesting. 

As I've discovered with stories set in and around Ireland, written by Irish authors, they always leave you with wanting more.   Sometimes you expect a happy ending and everything wrapped up neatly like a present with a bow at the end.  And sometimes, like life, the ending isn't so tidy and perfect.  The bow is kind of off kilter, the wrapping ripped and a corner of the present is peaking through.  Leaves you thinking!  

To find out more about Tana French and her books, check out her website.

Pages:  429
Publisher:  Viking Adult
Released:  May 17, 2007

Other thoughts:

"Not only does French craft a smart, unpredictable, well-told mystery that will keep readers guessing AND bring her characters to life with spot-on descriptions and true-to-life relationships, she does it all with wonderful writing.

"And let me tell you, I was shocked at the ending.  Beyond shocked.  It just went in the total opposite direction of what I expected, and I LOVED that." 

"Tana French does a brilliant job of bringing to life how it might feel to work as a detective, but she also adds a layer of psychological suspense that ratchets up the tension to the point where I felt like I was going to burst with anxiety."

*note - personal copy and personal opinion. I did not receive any compensation for my opinion, nor am I a amazon affiliate.


  1. I read this for the Ireland Challenge too, "The Likeness" is in my To Be Read pile too. =)

  2. I haven't read any French (am I the only one?) but In the Woods has been on my list for a long while. The fact that the "writing pulls you in and the characters keep you there" is enough for me.

  3. This sounds like a cool book, must keep an eye out for it, thanks.

  4. I have this book, and it's sequel on my shelf and I am anxiously awaiting the time when I can read all three of the books in this series. They sound so good, and I have heard such amazing things about them! I am glad you enjoyed this one!

  5. I have a copy of this one....after reading your awesome review I want to read it!


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