Five words from the blurb: detective, body, woods, family, secrets
Tana French is an author who has been raved about so much that I have forgotten where I first heard about her. I am often disappointed by thrillers and so was nervous about approaching this book, but I shouldn’t have worried – In the Woods is just as good as everyone says it is.
The book is set in Ireland and follows Detective Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie, as they investigate the murder of a little girl. The case brings back difficult memories for Rob, as two of his childhood friends disappeared in the same wood twenty years earlier. The pair try to establish if the cases are linked, whilst trying to hide Rob’s connection to the previous investigation.
The book was gripping all the way through and there were plenty of twists and turns to entertain me. The pacing was perfect – keeping me hooked on every word at the beginning and then speeding up towards the end.
The writing was simple, but effective and I was especially impressed with the character development – all were well formed and I connected with them on an emotional level quite quickly.
There were a few moments when I had to suspend my disbelief as police procedure was abandoned for the benefit of a more thrilling plot. HIGHLIGHT TO READ SPOILER (for example the fact no-one searched the archaeological site or the tool sheds at an early stage in the investigation), but I was willing to overlook these minor problems as they did make the story more entertaining.
I loved the ending. It tied up many of the questions raised by the book, but left some things unanswered so that the sequel is now calling to me very loudly.
There isn’t anything profound or informative in this book, but as a piece of pure entertainment it is almost flawless. Recommended.
The thoughts of other bloggers:
The wonderful thing about this novel is that while it’s ostensibly a mystery, it’s really a character-driven story dressed up in a mystery’s clothing. Fyrefly’s Book Blog
Tana French is a goddess. Not just any goddess, but the Goddess of Mystery. You’ve Gotta Read This!
French’s writing is extremely evocative and effective at ratcheting up the suspense. Steph & Tony Investigate!