Book Thoughts: In The Woods By Tana French

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Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

Human beings, as I know better than most, can get used to anything. Over time, even the unthinkable gradually wears a little niche for itself in your mind and becomes just something that happened.

Murder mysteries always make me feel like I missed my calling. I get a thrill from solving puzzles, I have earth shattering epiphanies all the time. My memory is solid, and my love for late night greasy food knows no bounds. See? I would have made a perfect detective

Then I remember I kind of have a weak stomach, so maybe I should just stick to reading awesome thrillers like In the Woods

In the Woods is the perfect blend of hard murder grit and eeriness that borderlines mystical at times. It grabs you and refuses to let go till the heart wrenching end. The book’s plot revolves around Rob (Adam) Ryan and his partner Cassie Maddox both murder detectives for the Dublin squad. They get assigned the murder case of Katherine( Katy) Devlin, a twelve year old girl whose body was found in the woods near an archeological dig site. What is seemingly a routine case actually brings back haunted memories for Rob, because in these same woods, Rob’s best friends disappeared twenty years while he was found catatonic and with no memory of the events that lead to their disappearance. Now Rob attempt to solve two cases both for justice, and for the answers he’s been needing his whole life.

Tana French crafts a powerful punch from her writing to her characters. Even though I had to be up by 6:30 I was up till 3 reading because I just could not put the book down.I needed to know what happening. I cringed at the vivid descriptions of the murder of a twelve year old girl, and my flesh broke out in goosebumps thinking about those woods. This was a thriller in every sense of the world from psychological to emotional.

The plot is evenly spaced, although at times a little slow as Rob and Cassie follow leads that turn out to have nothing to do with the case, but that’s standard to crime. At first the crime has no concrete clues, then BAM it unfolds beautifully. Also, I kind of had a hunch about who the killer was, and I was so proud of myself when it turned out to be true! Again, I think I missed my calling.

Rob is a troubled character and you feel for him. It isn’t easy to go through what he went through. He knows he is full of flaws, and he makes tons of mistakes. Furthermore, he causes his own misery which he himself admits.

I had learned early to assume something dark and lethal hidden at the heart of anything I loved. When I couldn’t find it, I responded, bewildered and wary, in the only way I knew how: by planting it there myself.

I alternated between wanting to slap him or hug him. He is so… alone and haunted by his friends’ memory that he lets it seep into every facet of his present.

As for Cassie, she is a badass. She was hilarious, and smart and knew how to hold her own in a group full of “macho” men. I loved the banter between her and Rob and their friendship. The Likeness is the sequel to this book and it centers around her story, so I can’t wait to read it.

Now lets talk about that ending. Well not to much because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but What the hell was that?! I sincerely hope that French will revisit this at some point. I need her to!

Overall very well done. I recommend it to everyone!

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