In the Woods : A Novel

In the Woods : A Novel

eBook - 2007
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Penguin Putnam
The debut novel of an astonishing 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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Baker & Taylor
Twenty years after witnessing the violent disappearances of two companions from their small Dublin suburb, detective Rob Ryan investigates a chillingly similar murder that takes place in the same wooded area, a case that forces him to piece together his traumatic memories. Reprint.

Publisher: Penguin USA,, 2007
ISBN: 9781101147153
1101147156
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks

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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.

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bwrogers
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.

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Lorr57
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.

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amz5769
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.

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gobula
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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Dreamstime
Mar 03, 2017

A young boy emerges from a deep forest but his two best friends do not. When the boy reaches adulthood he becomes a detective. Now he and his partner are faced with solving the brutal murder of a young woman in the same forest. The detective's name and family residence has changed. Only Cassie, his partner, knows about his past. The story mixes a police procedural with a key detective central to the case who is constantly at the border of an emotional meltdown. I found his constant hand-wringing and the deception of his superiors about this personal connection to the case quite distracting. I gradually grew to dislike the protagonist. What kept me going to finish this long story was the terrific quality of the prose. French writes well, but in the service of a poor story. If you want a tale about a detective who might be suffering from PTSD who loves returning to sit on the self pity pot, then IN THE WOODS is for you.

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Sansha
Aug 20, 2016

This is an epic read, 592 pages! I love Irish crime novels and this was no exception. Even though the main character frustrated me at times and the investigation seemed to grind along at times, the premise of the story was different and engaging.

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BWilsoned
Jul 27, 2016

I enjoyed the twists and turns of this story as well as the procedural and relationship aspects. I also liked that it wasn't all sappy and wrapped up too neatly at the end.

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bfitzthum
Jun 29, 2016

Not every mystery is solved. Not every ending is happy.

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gobula
Apr 05, 2017

gobula thinks this title is suitable for 2 years and under

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BWilsoned
Jul 27, 2016

BWilsoned thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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Kristen MERKE
Jul 02, 2013

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

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margaret_henderson
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.

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gypsy101
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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beckylunatic
Aug 14, 2010

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

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