Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jenn's Review: In the Woods

In the Woods
Summary:  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. 
Review:  Apparently you either love or hate this book.  I loved it!  ...and I'm sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it. Lots of reviews have said that this seemed a slow start, but I didn't find it so... I was immediately taken in by Tana French's rich plot and detailed setting.  Her writing style is palpable and her character's are true to life.  I didn't always like Detective Ryan, but his reflection was at least brutally honest, and I could appreciate that.   He's never dealt with his issues from his abduction and this case brought them all roaring to the surface.  I loved his partner and am glad that the next book is through her eyes, because I'd love to know more about her. 
I had the culprit pegged fairly early on, but couldn't quite figure out how it was pulled off, so ended up doubting myself, which is a sign of good writing in my book. [Spoiler warning] I was a little incredulous regarding the fact that the secondary crime scene wasn't thoroughly searched the first time around, but everything was so well written I let it slide.

Was I disappointed that the cold case was never solved?  Yes, but I knew we were experiencing the current case through Detective Ryan's eyes, and while it was central to him, it wasn't central to the case. Though the ending isn't neat and tidy, it's far more realistic than many thrillers and I loved that about it.  
I am excited to read more from Tana French.  She has certainly captured my attention with this beautiful debut novel.

Final Take:  4.5/5
Julie's Review: In The Woods
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1 comments :

Julie December 15, 2010 at 10:13 AM  

I'm so happy that you liked it as much as me.

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