#275 ~ In The Woods

In the Woods by Tana French

Published by: Penguin

Published on: May 2008 (paperback)

Page Count: 464 pages

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

My Reading Format: paperback purchased at Ram’s Head Books, a local independent bookseller

Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook

Award: Winner of the 2007 Edgar Award for Best First Novel

My Review

Rob Ryan is the equivalent of an American homicide detective in Dublin, Ireland. He is good at what he does, but he doesn’t quite fit in to the department as well as he would like. It might not help that he has changed his name to avoid any connection to a mysterious disappearance that took place in his childhood neighborhood. He and his two best friends went into the woods behind their suburban neighborhood one afternoon just before the beginning of a new school year. He was the only one found. His memories of that time are foggy at best. The disappearance of his friends was never solved and his life changed immeasurably as a result. This never really played any role at all with his job until the day another adolescent girl was found murdered in the same woods. Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, are assigned to the case, which tests the strength of their partnership as well as Ryan’s stability. Are the two cases related? Can Ryan remain on the case and do his job well given his background?

Before reading In the Woods, I was in my second reading slump of the year. I was no more than four or five pages in to In the Woods and I couldn’t put the book down. I found the mystery surrounding Ryan’s past, the mystery of the dead girl in the woods, the working relationship with Ryan and Cassie, and everything else about this novel engrossing. I loved the details about the neighborhood’s history and the profiling that went into the current case. The night – make that morning – I finished this novel, I only got 4 hours of sleep. I didn’t care. Finishing that book was much more important. The ending was so satisfying to me, even if it didn’t spell every single thing  out.I never felt that loss of sleep anyway.  I was too busy talking the book up at work.

My Final Thoughts

After reading In the Woods, Mystery/Thriller has become a “Go To” genre for me and Tana French has become a new favorite author.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough – and I’m not alone.  Check out these other bloggers’ reviews:

Other Voices

The Book Lady’s Blog
Jen’s Book Thoughts
Care’s Online Book Club
Book Addiction
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?
Reading Matters
Confessions of a Bibliophile
Presenting Lenore
Books I Done Read
Fyrefly’s Book Blog
Jenny’s Books
She Reads and Reads
Regular Rumination


  • At 2010.08.12 06:48, Care said:

    Isn’t it fun to get totally sucked into a book? I really need to get to Likeness and it’s in the house! Hope you get a nap today to catch up o
    n some sleep.

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    • At 2010.08.12 06:59, Sandy said:

      I read The Likeness and it freaking blew me away. It irritated me that I read it first, even though I know it doesn’t matter. I have In the Woods on my shelves and is on my TBR Challenge list so I’m going to get there. I can’t wait. I also have Faithful Place ordered from the library!

      • At 2010.08.12 07:44, Nicole said:

        I wasn’t bothered by this ending either. I really grew to love the characters in this novel. I was so happy to meet one of them again in The Likeness. I love that I have found a few authors who write really good mystery. It is a great way to knock out a reading slump.

        • At 2010.08.12 09:41, Fyrefly said:

          So glad you liked this! I also had to stay up way past my bedtime to finish it, although I didn’t read the whole thing in one sitting… wow! I’ve got The Likeness in my pile of “on deck” books that I’d like to get to before the end of the year.

          I also gave a copy of this to my mom, who loves mystery/thrillers but tends to read more pulpy ones – Patricia Cornwell, etc. – and she loved it too!

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          • At 2010.08.12 10:45, Wisteria Leigh said:

            Well if you couldn’t sleep before finishing this one. I will definitely have to read it. It sounds so exciting and I could use a book like this before I get back to the classroom.

            • At 2010.08.12 11:21, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

              I’ve had this book for far too long and need to get it read. It sounds fantastic!

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              • At 2010.08.12 11:31, trish said:

                So glad you loved the book! The best part about seeing people love In the Woods is knowing that The Likeness is even better. Tana French can’t write fast enough for me! The next time she’s in the United States, I’ll do whatever I can to see her, even if it means flying somewhere.

                • At 2010.08.12 12:21, softdrink said:

                  I feel like Scrooge when it comes to this book. I just didn’t feel the love like you all did.

                  • At 2010.08.29 12:51, l said:

                    I have been reading lately but only just “liking” most things I’ve been reading. I’ve been looking for a book to really fall into and this one is one the shelves–sounds like just the book to pull out to make me love reading again.

                    • At 2010.09.01 10:48, Heidi said:

                      I absolutely adored the characters in this book, and have another French work in the wings.

                      (Required, will not be published)

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