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 sunny 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 later Adam -- now using his middle name of Rob -- is a detective with the Dublin police force. His colleagues don't know about his past. He works as a team with Cassie Maddox, a smart, tough cookie; they are best friends as well as partners. When the body of a young girl is found at the site of an archaeological dig, Rob and Cassie get the case. And when they reach the crime scene, Rob realises it is the exact site of his childhood trauma. They also find a hairclip that he recognises as having belonged to his friend. Could there be a connection between that old, unsolved crime and this? Knowing that he would be thrown off the case if his past were revealed, Rob takes a fateful decision to keep quiet. Rob and Cassie are investigating the murder of Katy Devlin, but they both hope that they might also solve the twenty-year-old mystery of the woods.
Publisher: New York : Viking/Penguin, 2007
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780670038602
Characteristics: 429 p. ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

List - Vacation Location
cals_readers Jul 16, 2018

Dublin, Ireland

From the critics

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Jul 10, 2019

I gave up on this audiobook, she's just too long winded - the kind that causes me to lose interest. IMO Michael Connelly is the absolute best at telling a mystery or crime, his descriptions hold me interest.

Jul 04, 2019

The ending was extremely disappointing. I think that Tana is a bit long winded, although actually a very good writer who totally sucks her readers in, but the reader also has to invest a lot of emotional energy into reading her books, and then for the ending of this mystery to be unsolved was really a letdown to me.

Jun 16, 2019

Bit of a spoiler, warning:

Enjoyed it for the most part except that it wasn't very subtle about constantly reminding us that the friendship/relatiopship was just too good to last, and the ways he destroys it at the end doesn't jell with his character as it has been built up.

Mar 18, 2019

As a previous reviewer said, this book was my first exposure to Tana French, and I too loved it. The writing was so engaging, and the characters grew on me the more I read it. It was the kind of book that gave me a little thrill of excitement as I was reading it, to know that it was waiting for me at home to continue on with it. Also the kind of book that made me sorry that it was over when the book ended. I will be reading more of Ms. French’s books.

Mar 06, 2019

This was my first read from Tana French and I absolutely loved it. Its a wonderful mystery, you get sucked in the more you discover about the case. If you like mysteries, cop shows, twists and turns - read this! It is totally worth the time!

Feb 12, 2019

I gave this a three at the time I read it, but honestly I couldn't tell you one single thing about it now. Must have been good, but not memorable.

Jan 21, 2019

This is the third book I've read by Tana French. So far I've only really enjoyed one...and unfortunately this wasn't it. Don't get me wrong...she writes well, and I started out loving this book. But for me, the love affair started to fall apart midway through the book.

That was the point at which I realized the main character was just plain unlikeable, certain sub plots unbelievable, and the story chapters too long. As such, the ending for me was not worth the wait and just plain irritated me. I did however enjoy French's "Faithful Place" so it could be down to personal tastes.

Nov 14, 2018

Very very enjoyable.It's a lengthy book but she really knows how to move a story along. She's great with her descriptions - you get lost for a minute or two and forget your reading fiction. It sounds so real, as if you are right there seeing what's happening. That's a rare gift for a story teller.

Two or three times a year I pick up a book that I gobble down like a good meal. And this is one of those. A young girl is murdered in a Dublin suburb and we follow the police investigation through the eyes of one of the detectives who, himself, was involved in an eerily similar crime in his childhood. I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between the two detectives which takes some very unpredictable turns – as does the murder investigation. I can’t wait to read more of Tana French’s books. (submitted by JH)

WestSlope_TheaH Aug 21, 2018

Tana French is my favorite mystery author and her award-winning debut showcases her unique blend of police procedural and psychological thriller. I love her richly detailed storytelling, complex characters, and the moody, disturbing atmosphere that permeates her work. In the Woods is the first in a series---you’ll be hooked!

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Add Age Suitability
May 15, 2019

crystalpatterson thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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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May 15, 2019

Other: mention of child rape


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Aug 14, 2010

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

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