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Irish author French expertly walks the line between police procedural and psychological thriller in her debut. When Katy Devlin, a 12-year-old girl from Knocknaree, a Dublin suburb, is found murdered at a local archeological dig, Det. Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, must probe deep into the victim's troubled family history. There are chilling similarities between the Devlin murder and the disappearance 20 years before of two children from the same neighborhood who were Ryan's best friends. Only Maddox knows Ryan was involved in the 1984 case. The plot climaxes with a taut interrogation by Maddox of a potential suspect, and the reader is floored by the eventual identity and motives of the killer. A distracting political subplot involves a pending motorway in Knocknaree, but Ryan and Maddox are empathetic and flawed heroes, whose partnership and friendship elevate the narrative beyond a gory tale of murdered children and repressed childhood trauma. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
*Starred Review* Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, land the first big murder case of their police careers: a 12-year-old girl has been murdered in the woods adjacent to a Dublin suburb. Twenty years before, two children disappeared in the same woods, and Ryan was found clinging to a tree trunk, his sneakers filled with blood, unable to tell police anything about what happened to his friends. Ryan, although scarred by his experience, employs all his skills in the search for the killer and in hopes that the investigation will also reveal what happened to his childhood friends. In the Woods is a superior novel about cops, murder, memory, relationships, and modern Ireland. The characters of Ryan and Maddox, as well as a handful of others, are vividly developed in this intelligent and beautifully written first novel, and author French relentlessly builds the psychological pressure on Ryan as the investigation lurches onward under the glare of the tabloid media. Equally striking is the picture of contemporary Ireland, booming economically and fixated on the shabbiest aspects of American popular culture. An outstanding debut and a series to watch for procedural fans. Thomas Gaughan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Tana French is an amazing author and this captivating read kept me all the way through the book!Published 9 days ago by Lauren
I have found Tana French and I am enjoying her writing and hers plots.Published 3 months ago by Jane Moriarty
I really wanted to like this book -- the premise sounded great -- the idea of two murders somehow connected but years apart. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Coreena McBurnie
pretty good tana detective story, the tale tends to wind on a bit but good character development,overall a good read for the holidays,whenever they are.Published 9 months ago by lardness
Fallible characters as well as brilliant characterisation. I loved the introspection of the characters. Not your formula crime novel. Well done Tana French. On to the next one.Published 11 months ago by Valentine
I really enjoyed most of this book. There was tons of character development and I really felt a connection to the two main characters. Read morePublished 12 months ago by incurable_romantic
This is a well-written, engaging mystery with characters that draw you in and demand some allegiance. Read morePublished 19 months ago by CM
Though well-written and thought provoking in spots, the author has a tendency to go off on tangental flights of fancy as though she's writing in the midst of delerium. Read morePublished on Dec 13 2011 by Jessica