In the Woods

In the Woods

Book - 2007
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When he was twelve years old, Adam Ryan went playing in the woods one day with his two best friends. He never saw them again. Their bodies were never found, and Adam himself was discovered with his back pressed against an oak tree and his shoes filled with blood. He had no memory of what had happened.

Twenty years on, Rob Ryan - the child who came back - is a detective in the Dublin police force. He's changed his name. No one knows about his past. Then a little girl's body is found at the site of the old tragedy and Rob is drawn back into the mystery. Knowing that he would be thrown off the case if his past were revealed, Rob takes a fateful decision to keep quiet but hope that he might also solve the twenty-year-old mystery of the woods.

ISBN: 9780340924761
Characteristics: 596 pages ;,18 cm.


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Feb 12, 2018

Loved this book! Reading The Likeness next!

CRRL_MegRaymond Dec 18, 2017

One summer night, three children fail to return home after a day of playing. One child is finally located, with bloody sneakers and no memory of what happened that day.

marycatlyons Nov 06, 2017

This story had great potential, but I felt it was bogged down with prose and descriptions that you didn't necessarily need. Overall, not a satisfying read.

Nov 02, 2017

Well written, but it was overly long and unnecessarily drawn out. Two central elements to the plot and the delay in finding the killer - the narrator's behaviour and his relationship to his partner - stretched credibility and were hard to believe, especially since the likely murderer was quite clear to this reader by the middle of the book.

AL_HANNAH Oct 12, 2017

A fantastic read! It was incredibly suspenseful, I was constantly waiting to find out what happened next. It's also a debut novel, which says a lot about the author. I have since read some of her other work and am very impressed with her writing.

Oct 01, 2017

Impossible to put down, powerful prose, and boy, will you feel dirty when you get through it. A great narrator investigates an awful crime and as the reader you get to watch his mental and physical health slowly unravel. It's painful and it's worth every second, but make sure you have time for a shower afterwards.

Aug 26, 2017

Good murder mystery even if a little too long. I especially enjoyed the author's ability to describe a child's view of events and relationships, how special and magical childhood memories can be. Tana French also excels in conveying the complexities of adult relationships and the human psyche. Definitely an excellent first novel for any author. I'm looking forward to reading her other novels.

Brucea_1 Aug 18, 2017

Good ,suspenseful story. Very dark. Somewhat drawn out though.

Jun 09, 2017

This book is absolutely amazing! Simply, her writing is incredible. The storyline is unlike anything you have read. You will be haunted by the ending. I have lent this book to several people and they all rave about the book. It is not a quick read.

Apr 03, 2017

More like In the Trash, because that's where this book belongs. The protagonist is a giant, idiotic man-baby, and towards the end the author of this garbage book LITERALLY insults the reader's intelligence. Skip this brick and read something less stupid.

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Apr 05, 2017

gobula thinks this title is suitable for 2 years and under

Jul 27, 2016

BWilsoned thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Kristen MERKE
Jul 02, 2013

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Jul 25, 2017

This book wasn't quite what I was expecting--it was far more.

French writes with a taut, well-paced style. The story begins with several potential areas of tension: male and female detective partners; a detective who is hiding his true identity because of a childhood trauma; and a murder to solve that has taken place at the site of that childhood trauma. And the author pulls and works each of these strands in the a very taut rope.

Because the story is told in first-person—Detective Rob Ryan is living with the aftermath of a childhood trauma—the reader sees and hears everything he does. But we also see how his mind works. More interestingly, we watch his mind unravel. But French's writing is so tightly paced that the reader is sliding down the treacherous slope with Rob Ryan before we realize it.

Detective Ryan’s story begins as a typical detective investigation, with only a few phrases suggesting he is telling this story from a point in the future. But as the murder investigation continues, the tension between Ryan and his partner builds. This becomes more apparent in Ryan’s telling, as he begins adding more information about their relationship and the changes he begins to recognize after the case.

As the case reaches its tense conclusion, Ryan’s voice becomes a tight balance between distraught and resigned. And the reader cannot put the book down until knowing how the story turns out.

As the investigation concludes, the reader is as exhausted as the investigators. The final chapter is Ryan’s “now.” He is looking back with all the awareness of hindsight, filled with sadness, self-loathing, and resignation.

This reader was left feeling overwhelmed by the emotions in these characters as well as the self-absorption most humans go through life with. One of the most amazing “whodunits” I’ve ever read.

Feb 23, 2011

loved it, a dark mystery with characters i enjoyed reading about. A detective who was the sole surviver of a abuduction of two of his other friends, investigates a murder that took place in the same location 25 years later. Haunting and lonely- you won't like the ending.


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Aug 14, 2010

"Don't step on anything that looks like archaeology."


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