Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In the Woods

by:  Tana French
published by:  Viking Adult
publish date:  May 2007

A 12-year-old girl is found murdered at an archaeological site at the center of a controversial highway construction project. Katy Devlin was a popular girl who had recently been accepted to the Royal Ballet School; her father is an outspoken opponent of the new roadway. But what haunts Detective Rob Ryan about this case is its location: the quiet town of Knocknaree, Ireland -- in the very woods where he used to play as a child.

Twenty years ago, a young Rob and his two best friends went into the woods, chasing each other, playing in a castle of ruins. But they didn't return to their homes at sunset. A search party was dispatched to canvas the woods, finding only a catatonic Rob clawing at a tree, his clothing ripped, his shoes filled with blood.

Detective Ryan has always guarded this secret of his past, but the recent murder forces him to reveal it to his new partner, drawing them closer together in the search for the perpetrator. Is there a connection between Rob's childhood trauma and Katy Devlin's murder? And is Detective Ryan prepared to confront the secrets that lie deep in those woods? 

I first listened to the audiobook of Faithful Place by Tana French several months ago and absolutely adored it.  When I saw the audiobook of In the Woods was available for download from my library I jumped on it.  I'll say that Faithful Place was far superior in my opinion, but In the Woods wasn't terrible by any means.  I was glad that I had listened to Faithful Place first because the ending of In the Woods frustrated me so much that I might not have gone on to read anything else by Tana French.

The book interwove the current murder of Katy Devlin and the twenty year old mystery of the disappearance of 2 children from the same woods.  Along with the two cases and Detective Ryan's involvement in both, his relationship with his partner becomes quite complicated.   The book was filled with really interesting characters starting with Detective Ryan and his partner.  I found their relationship to be very complex and I felt really sympathetic towards Cassie. 

While I was frustrated with the ending, the rest of the book was really well written.  I found myself really invested in the book.  Otherwise, I don't think I would have cared about the ending.  I was always sitting in my car trying to listen to a few more minutes to find out what was going to happen next.  The audiobook reader did a good job (although, the Faithful Place reader had an Irish accent!). 

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