Thursday, September 24, 2009

Review #13: In the Woods by Tana French

Title: In the Woods

Author: Tana French
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Awards: Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author
Publisher: Penguin

Rating: 5/5

First off, what is this book all about? Here is my description.

Set in and near Dublin, Detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox are investigating the murder of a young girl found in the woods behind Ryan's childhood home.

This setting brings back painful memories of Ryan's escape from abduction. Twenty years earlier he was found in the very same woods clinging to a tree trunk in shock wearing sneakers filled with blood. His two friends he was playing with that day, dead and gone. Not to be found again.

He is unable to remember anything that happened and for the next twenty years kept this secret from most everybody in his life, except from his new partner Cassie.

In the Woods combines both of these unsolved murders in an awesome suspenseful read.

My Review:
I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. The writing was superb; haunting, raw and nostalgic.
I had so many post it notes to mark quotes but I don't want to give anything away.

Imagine experiencing something so awful as a child that you block it out and leave so many unanswered questions that haunt you for the rest of your life. Then one day you land smack in the middle of your memory and in order to answer another victim's question, you must face your own. This "unknown" haunted the whole story up until the end.
Detective Ryan's character was heartbreaking and endearing and his dynamic with Cassie was beautifully portrayed by the author's writing.

The supporting characters gave this book a raw edge. The family of the little girl included a controlling father, a submissive mother, and two sisters, one troubled and one manipulative.
The woods that the murder takes place in are near an archeological site run by a cast of strange, fiesty characters. The police force in which Cassie and Ryan work is also filled with men and women, dedicated to the job and fierce in their opinions.

What I loved the most, outside of Ryan and Maddox, was the way the author made you feel nostalgic. She wrote about childhood in a way that made it easy for any reader, in my opinion, to identify. She wrote honest dialogue between the young kids and the way a child looks at the world and how they feel about their home life.

I am very excited to continue with these characters and this author. The Likeness is Book Two and is already out in paperback. Check our Tana French's website for more details. The ending of this one will completely catch you by surprise.

This was my first of two books chosen for the R.I.P Challenge and it was worth it. I am glad I finally got around to reading it. It got all 5s. Highly Recommended!

Happy Reading!

* red headed book child


Lisa said...

I have this one in my tbr pile. And I've been longing for a book I could love. So I think it just might be time to pull this to the top.

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Never heard of this one before, but it sounds awesomingly creepy and sad. I'll definitely be checking this one out, thanks. :)

Celticlady's Reviews said...

I read this book and i could not put it down. It took a bit to get into it but well worth it.. I will be getting The Likeness by Tana French also

Ryan said...

I should be getting this book any day now..I'm so excited to rad it. Great review.

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Thanks everyone. It is such a good read for this time of year.

Ryan, I sent it out on Tuesday. Soon soon soon for you!

Jessica said...

The cover gives me the heebie jeebies, but the story sounds excellent! I may have to add this one to my ever-growing list of books to read. Thanks!

Jenny said...

I'm reading this for the R.I.P challenge too! I'm very much looking forward to it!!

Unknown said...

I love your blog. You read and review some great books :)

Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

Hmmmm . . . I have only recently made a concerted effort to read Edgar Winner. I adopted the list of main winners, not first novels, but it has put me in an Edgar mood. This one looks very good, but pretty creepy. I'll have to investigate more.