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Review: In The Woods by Tana French

In The Woods
by Tana French
Summary: 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.
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I was so disappointed in this book. I bought it because I had picked it up in a bookstore and a woman saw me reading the back and started telling me how good it was… then another woman walked up… then another asking what book we were talking about. I ended up surrounded by like 6 women half of which were saying how great and twisty the book was and half that were now interested in buying a copy.

The women who read it must have been the kind of people that are surprised by who the killer is on every episode of Law & Order. I figured it out within the first couple chapters and was hoping it was a red herring but it wasn’t. Furthermore the author doesn’t complete the contract by never giving us any resolution to Adam/Rob’s storyline!

Contrary to what you might assume, I did not become Detective on some quixotic quest to solve my childhood mystery.

Rob Ryan, From In the Woods by Tana French

Sorry, Rob/Adam but I bought this book in order for you to solve your childhood mystery and you failed me. I jumped on Goodreads and was excited to see there was a sequel, but in reading the synopsis it was centered around his partner, Cassie and, the third wheel from this book, Sam. No mention of Rob/Adam whatsoever. The rest of the novels in the series don’t seem to have any of the characters from this book.

Speaking of Cassie, I feel like what happened between her and Rob/Adam at the end wasn’t so much of revelation or thrust of the plot it was more of an implosion or a sad tumble, like someone turning off the air to one of those inflatable wacky tube man gimmicks. As soon as they solve the modern day crime the story just completely falls to shit.

It was very well written from a prose and pacing standpoint (until the falling action and resolution) and I was very much tugged along by the characters and involved in eliminating suspects. The major problems with the plot and the author not following through on the assumed promise of resolving Rob/Adam’s storyline is a key factor in my disinterest in reading any more of Tana French’s books, unfortunately. If anyone has any suggestions from her titles that can wash this bad taste out of my mouth I encourage the reccs!

Have you read In The Woods by Tana French? What do you think? Comment below or @ me on twitter @dianneinwriting

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