Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#16 In the Woods by Tana French

After reading a few reviews for this book, I figured that it was just the type for me.  Detective stories, Ireland, moodiness, what could go wrong?  When I picked it up from the library though, the librarian shook her head and warned me about a possible disappointment.  She said that she was with it until the end, and after finishing the book I too was left feeling just as disappointed.

In the Woods starts in 1984 Knocknaree, Ireland, a suburb outside of Dublin.  Three best friends, Adam, Peter, and Jamie, go off to play a summer afternoon and two are never seen again.  The third kid is found later clutching to a tree and soaked in someone else's blood.  That kid, Adam Robert Ryan, grows up to be a murder detective in Dublin.  Ryan was never able to remember what happened to him and his friends, and has tried to distance himself from those events as much as possible.  One day though he and his partner Cassie Maddox are called to Knocknaree to investigate the murder of 12 year old Katy Devlin who is found by the woods that Ryan and his friends disappeared into.  There are a few similarities between the two cases so Ryan and Maddox investigate both.

This book is well written, I was instantly hooked and had a hard time putting it down.  The characters are great and a lot more realistic then you get with most detective stories.  We are taken through Ryan's relationship with Maddox and his phycological breakdown, both of which felt genuine.  I really was completely engrossed until the end, when I was left feeling like I did after the Lost finale: That's it?

Spoilers from here to the end

For those of you who have read the book could you please answer some questions for me?  First, I'm fine that we don't know what happened to Jamie and Peter, but why was Jamie's hair clip found by Katy's body if they weren't connected?  And why did Cassie and Rob's relationship dissolve so easily?  They were shown to be incredibly close, I just don't believe that what happened between them would be the end of their relationship.  It seemed like French just wanted to get rid of Ryan's character so she could focus on Cassie for her next book.

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