Rob Ryan, along with his partner Cassie Maddox land the biggest murder case of their police careers when a 12-year-old girl has been found murdered in the woods by a Dublin Suburb. For Cassie, this is the career boost of a lifetime…
but for Ryan it is something more…
Twenty years previous, Ryan (then Adam) at the same age that the now murdered girl was, was part of a group of three best friends that entered that same woods feeling their whole lives were before them… Ryan was the only one to leave the woods, his sneakers covered in blood, with no memory as to what happened… the other two children, were never found.
No one knows about Ryan’s’s past history with the woods or the connection the two children never found… no one, except Cassie.
Although stir carrying many scars from his own experience, Ryan does his best to push the past back into the past while applying all his skills to find the killer of the present… yet in his subconsciousness, he can not help but wonder if the two are not somehow linked together…
“What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies … and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely … This is my job … What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this–two things: I crave truth. And I lie.”
~Opening to In The Woods by Tana French
This audio is a case of internet buzz that brought me make this purchase. I had heard Tana French was an incredible writer, I had heard that the audio was fantastic… knowing that I can get to audio and through audio faster than I can another book on the pile, I went audio.
Diving into this audio I was instantly engrossed in the back story of Ryan’s childhood nightmare and believed this was going to be an incredible story. I have always enjoyed a great murder mystery, probably one of the earliest genres of choice in my youth reading career (oh yes… I feel it is a career :razz:) so I settled in for an amazing ride…
I enjoyed the play back and forth by police partners Ryan and Cassie… I loved that Cassie was not a dopey girly girl but a strong and vile partner to Ryan… what he missed she found, and vise versa.
As the story unfolds into a great and disturbing tale of a family with too many secrets, and the entwining of the two stories both past and present I felt like a kid on the edge of my seat holding the book tight and the blanket up to just below my eyes tighter.
And then just when I was think this book.audio was a rave… the end failed big time for me. It failed so big in fact… I thought I must have missed something. It could not end that way I thought… I have strings left over… they are unraveled… where is my somewhat neat package tied up in a bow?
But no – no package… and no bow.
I even looked at a few other reviews to make sure that I accurate that there was no closure… and its true… at least as far as I am concerned I felt a little cheated in the end, like I was building excitement on this rollercoaster – up,up,up and then…
no exciting drop…. just flat.
Will I read Tana French again? Absolutely… I hear her book The Likeness (also featuring Cassie Maddox) is pretty awesome… so yeah, I will try again. 😀
The 2011 WHERE Are You Reading map has been updated to include In The Woods
I purchased this audio from audible.com
41 thoughts on “In The Woods by Tana French”
This is the only book by Tana French that I haven’t read yet (even thought it’s her first). I have also heard of people who have been let down by the ending.
The Likeness is brilliant, Sheila! One of my favourite books of last year – enjoy! 🙂
Thansk – I have actually heard that The Likeness is much better… I like that it has the same character in it too.
Too bad the ending fell flat. It’s a book I’m hoping to read in the next month or so, so I will definitely circle back to your review at that time!
I would be interested in your thoughts Natalie… I really felt like I was missing something…
Oh, I hate when that happens…a book falling flat at the end, or unexpected dangling threads.
Otherwise, it sounds like a good one!
That is my one complaint about audio Laurel…. if I miss something – its hard to go back and find it. 🙂
Oh, I hate when a book falls apart at the end for me.
I do too Kathy. We have invested the time into the read, excited to see where it will go and instead we are left with a big question mark. 🙂
I hated the ending too but I still loved the book, and I love French, and I have faith that one day she’ll come out with a sequel and tell us WHAT THE $%#& happened to Ryan!
LOL Jill – I hope you are right. This is my first French but I have heard so much good about her..
I agree with Jill (rhapsodyinbooks) 100%!
In this case… a sequel would make me VERY happy. 😀
OHHH….I hadn’t thought of trying the audio. That may work better than the book sitting on my shelf. Glad u liked it Sheila.
LOL… I always get to audio before I get to books… 😀
See when that happens it makes me want to throw the book at the wall! But like you I really want to read this one!
I dont know how an author introduces such a large plot and then lets it go… honestly I am still a bit baffled.
I liked that part of it remained unsolved (the woods part) but really hated the person Ryan turned into. I kept hoping for him to figure out he was being an @ss but he never did. Sigh. I’m hoping the next book is better!
Lol – agreed Amanda… the whole ending from Ryan’s inability to commit until it is too late, add the odd relationship with Cassie – it left me feeling there must be more to this story…
I have been curious about this book for a while, but never got around to reading it. It is not my normal read, but I will probably read it at some point
It is a good mystery,and worth the read…. you just have to take the end of whatever it is worth…
Yes! I was starting to think I was the only person in the world who didn’t love this book.
It had an epic fail at the end Jill… whatever happened to the children in the woods???? What was the big scary noise described in the middle of the book?
I’m sorry you didn’t like the ending as much as I did. I more than loved it because it didn’t clean everything up in a nice, neat package. It felt more real for me that way, like it could possibly happen. The older I get the messier I like my books and movies. Sometimes I like the ending to be left a little messed up, the good guys don’t always get the badguys. I even like it, sometimes, when the bad guy comes out completly on top. I haven’t read the second one yet, though I have it. This makes me want to get to it sooner than later.
I like messy too Ryan… too neat is boring – but this felt like we were led to believe there was a tie in – and all this information came up about the old case… and then they left it….
I am hoping maybe the second one will touch on what was left out here… not neatly, but darn it Ryan – I need some sort of closure! LOL 😛
I remember when I read this that I was so angry! I loved the writing, but that ending… And I read reviews that called it a “brave” choice to leave that unresolved. Bah! One of the reasons I love mysteries and thrillers is that the bad guy almost always gets it in the end – and everything is tied up. I will say that The Likeness and Faithful Place are both excellent reads, and I will continue to read whatever she writes. But I don’t know that I’ll ever get over that ending!
Well… you answered my question Carrie… I was wondering if The Likeness touched on this a bit more… sounds like thats a no…. bummer. 😀
Sheila – she changes the main character in each book – The Likeness is Cassie’s story. Faithful Place is a the story of a character we meet in The Likeness.
Cool! I look forward to it!
It definitely doesn’t tie up things in a pretty little package!! I know a lot of people were upset with the ending (or lack thereof) but she’s such a good writer. Continue on with her … I promise that the future books aren’t as messy at the end!!!
Thanks Jenners…. I will put my big girl pants on and try again 😀
I agree that the ending was very frustrating. I do like closure to my books and a neat little bow isn’t so bad either. But the one thing that was positive about the ending being a bit untelling is that it led to a great book discussion for with my book group. Everyone had different ideas about what happened and we all tried to provide more proof to why our ending was *Right. I am looking forward to reading Likeness.
OOh – that sounds interesting Jen! I think my book club would have been frustrated, but that even makes for good discussion!
I have to be honest . . . I remember very little about this book. I know I loved it, but I can’t remember the ending. Bad, I know. Maybe that is the downside to reading so many books. It is a lot harder to remember the details for every single one!
I have that happen too… I totally get not remembering how some books end.
I completely agree that everything was amazing up until the end. It almost seemed like it wasn’t intentional – you know, Rob’s whole story situation and the fact that nothing was resolved. However, Faithful Place was so entertaining aside from being a little farfetched. I’m reading The Likeness now and LOVE Cassie Maddox. I find that while the whole situation might not be completely sound, but it’s certainly been a fun read. I can’t wait for her next book to come out!
Thanks Beth – I need to squeeze in another of her reads soon too I think 😀
I am in the middle of reading this book now and, although I didn’t read your entire review I see I am probably going to be irritated by the ending. Oh well! I’ve still heard great things about the book and so far, I’m enjoying it. So I’ll keep on going!
LOL – yup 😛
I haven’t read TF but really want to, I con’t to read about the ending but feel I must start with this one. What a bummer….
I have heard her others are better 😀