ISBN-13: 9780340924761
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Published: November 2007
592 pp

First sentence: Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s.

In 1984 in a small suburb in Dublin, three twelve-year-old children wandered into the woods and only one managed to walk out alive. The boy has no memory, nor any clue to the disappearance of his other two friends, except his blood-stained sneakers when he was found gripping a tree trunk, terrified. The two children could not be found.

Twenty years later, that boy is now known as Detective Rob Ryan and working in Dublin Murder Squad. No one knows about his secret past except his partner and best friend, Cassie Maddox. When they are summoned to investigate a murder case of a twelve-year-old girl, Katy Devlin, who was found at the local archeological dig, it eerily reminds Ryan about the unsolved case of his two childhood friends, Peter Savage and Germaine Rowan.

To add complexity to the case, there is something about the Devlin's family that arouse the two detectives' suspicions, and then there is the Move the Motorway Campaign which Katy's father, Jonathan is an outspoken member against the project. Ryan knows his career will be over if his superior finds out about his identity, but he is very determined to solve the case, and most of all he is hoping to find some answers to the case which happened twenty years ago.

In the Woods is a highly addictive read as I was drawn into Tana French well-woven debut story involving Detective Ryan's childhood and the taut pacing murder case of Katy Devlin. The chemistry between Ryan and Maddox is another interesting read; as both of them have their dark past and issues to deal with. There is also a psychological element in this story, which had led me to ponder about each characters' minds and their behaviours.

This book is also the winner of the 2007 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. I cannot wait to read The Likeness, where in this next sequel, Detective Cassie Maddox will take the lead of another intriguing case.

Other review:
Bookgirl's Nightstand
Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?

11 Responses
  1. Alice Says:

    This one sounds good, Melody. I don't understand though, how Ryan's career may be over if his superior finds out about his identity. After all, he was the victim in the case? I guess I'll have to read it to find out. :)

  2. Melody Says:

    Alice, that is because he'll be too emotionally involved which the squad thinks will be a bad idea for him to look into his present case. I'm hoping you'll read this book! It's a page-turner!

  3. Debi Says:

    Oh man, you have TOTALLY sold me! I must get this book! (Hope our library has it, as I just went on a book spending ban for a while.) Thanks for the fabulous review, Melody!

  4. Iliana Says:

    So glad you liked it! Were you disappointed by the end though? At first I was but the more I thought about it, I became convinced that it ended just right. I can't wait to read The Likeness! Oh, and thank you for linking my review Melody :)

  5. trish Says:

    I just got this book from Amazon! I'm glad you liked it...I read a couple pages and had to put it down (to read other stuff), but I hope to pick it up again this weekend!

  6. Ana S. Says:

    I'm not the biggest thriller reader, but I enjoy a good one every now and then, and this sounds like one I'd like. A psychological element is always a plus. Also, that second cover is just so cool!

  7. Melody Says:

    Debi - You must read it! It's a keeper IMO. ;)

    Iliana - I'm not disappointed by the ending at all! I find it ends very appropriately! I'm very tempted to read The Likeness next. ;)

    Trish - I'm glad to hear you're reading the book! I can't wait to hear your thoughts after you've finished. ;)

  8. Melody Says:

    Nymeth - Your comment just came through after I've posted my comments. ;)

    I'm hoping you'll read it soon. It's one of my favourite crime thrillers! And there goes without saying that Tana French is one of my favourite authors now. :D

  9. What a great review, Melody! I have this in my TBR collection, waiting to be read. I loaned my copy of Likeness to a coworker, and my boss saw it sitting on her desk and snatched it up to read first. LOL I guess it's a really popular series. :-)

  10. Melody Says:

    Thank you, Wendy! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it! I've just started reading The Likeness and I'm really enjoying it! :)

  11. valentina Says:

    Haven't read Tana French yet, cause I'm not a great crime fiction reader, but In haven't met anyone yet who hasn't liked this book.
    Apparently the Likeness is supposed to be even better.

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