Murder mysteries are one of my top loved tv shows. I love Father Brown, Midsomer Murders and so many more. So of course as a reader, I’m going to love a good murder mystery. So when I heard about Tana French I had to try her first book (hoping to love it and move on to more). of course:)
The first book did not disappoint! It was moving, interesting, and has wonderful characters that pulled you in.
The book is called:
in the woods by Tana french
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In the Woodsinvolves two different stories (cases) within each other. The lead detective Adam who now calls himself Rob has quite the backstory. When he was 12 years old he and his 2 other friends Jamie and Peter were playing in the woods when something very mysterious happens and the children go missing.
After they fail to come home the police are called and a huge search takes place in the woods. They only find Adam, catatonic, his shoes filled with blood. The other children are never found.
Twenty years later, the scene of another crime takes place in the same area and this time it’s the murder of another child. This child is also 12 years old and she has been found in an archaeological dig area.
This book takes you in very different directions throughout and interweaves back and forth to both stories. Adam became a detective because of the trauma that came with the case of him as a child. He has no memories of what happened and it haunts him. Because he is working in the same area around the same time of the year Adam has to struggle with all of the memories he can remember about his friends and his family around that time. You get a sense he starts to lose himself and really starts to struggle.
You meet all the suspects and they are all very interesting. The author does a very good job of making you interested in their lives and curious about all of them. There is a conflict with possible political corruption and disagreements about building a road. There is also the big dig which creates questions about the ones who are working it. Who are they? What did they see?
The two main detectives, Rob(Adam) and Cassie are best friends. They know one another inside and out and often hang out days together to solve a case or to just vent or be at peace. However, the case ends up making their relationship very complicated and you wonder if they will make it out of this one as friends. With Rob(Adam) falling apart toward the end, everything becomes more and more difficult.
The book has done very well but many people were not satisfied with the direction the story takes or the ending. It is not a wrap everything up nice and neat with bow ending and at first, I will admit that was hard for me to take but after thinking about the book quite a bit after I was done, it stayed with me. I realized for me anyway, it made the book even more exceptional. Why? Maybe because most of real life isn’t wrapped up all neatly in the end. People are complicated on the best days and when there are traumatic events that take place in their lives, can we expect perfect endings? I think not.
The writing is exceptional, that is my true feelings on it. I talked about this book for days with my husband sharing all the twists and turns. If you read it, know there is a movie on Starz called The Dublin Murders that is about this book and book number 2, so be sure to read them both before seeing it!
I don’t give 5 stars easily, I save those for my absolute favorite books, but for me, this one was one. If a book stays with you the way this one did it deserves 5 stars!
Note: This book contains bad language at times and sex is mentioned(not in a graphic way). The murder is of a child and I will admit I hated that part. The child is dead when the book starts so you don’t read the murder scene live as it happens but there are still graphic details given in coroner reports, etc that could be difficult to take.
Verdict: 5 stars
Have you read In the Woods? I’d love to hear what you thought! And if you’ve read other Tana French books, let me know which ones are your favorites!
In the Woods Book Review by Tana French
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ABOUT THE BOOK
The bestselling debut, with over a million copies sold, launched Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcherand “the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years” (The Washington Post).
“Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting.” —The New York Times
Now airing as a Starz series.
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 and stunning in its complexity, In the Woods is utterly convincing and surprising to the end.