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In the Woods Hardcover – Large Print, Oct 3 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Large Print, Oct 3 2007
CDN$ 999.11 CDN$ 37.28

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 789 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Pr; Lrg edition (Oct. 3 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786298537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786298532
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 885 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

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.

From Booklist

*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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you like good writing and enjoy psychologically complex mysteries, In the Woods will probably be one of your favorite new books this year. The best mysteries help us enter into the world of the detective, as well as into the world of the criminal and victim. Ms. French accomplishes this balancing act with aplomb while sharing many wonderful metaphors in lines of sparkling prose.

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly . . . ."

In the Woods is the story of two crimes which occur in the same Irish location twenty years apart. The crimes are linked by the narrator, Rob Ryan, who survived the first crime with a case of amnesia. In 1984, three friends aged 12 headed into the woods, and only one was found . . . in near-catatonic condition with blood-filled shoes, scraped knees, slashes across the back of his shirt, and clutching a tree's trunk with bloodied fingernails. The survivor was called Adam Ryan, and his family soon moved away . . . and sent him off to boarding school in England. While there, he learned to speak with an upper-class English accent and started to call himself Rob. His passion? To become a Murder detective.

The new case becomes his assignment because Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, happened to be playing Worms when the body of a 12-year-old girl, Katharine Devlin, was found on a pagan altar stone at an archeological site in Knocknaree where a motorway is about to be built. Ryan decides not to tell his supervisor that he had been a victim at the same age. Later, when potential connections between the cases appear, Ryan and Maddox agree to keep Ryan's secret.
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Format: Paperback
This has to be one of the best written mysteries I've ever read. French's writing is so fluid and lyrical I often re-read lines so I could grasp their beauty.

Prose aside, it's a fantastic plot with a good deal of psychological angst and insight, and once you're involved you'll not want to put it down. Plus, you'll be kept guessing which is rare indeed.

The story is woven with great intricacy and skill and if you're like me, you'll just love Cassie with her edgy, Irish humor. I can't say enough about this book - it's a must read, folks!
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Format: Paperback
The story is narrated in the first person by Adam"Rob" alternates back and forth in time between 1984 and the present day.

One day in Knocknaree (near Dublin), twelve year old Adam Ryan and his close friends Peter and Jamie were playing in the woods when an unexplained event happened, his friends disappeared without a trace to never be found. Adam was discovered pressed against a tree, his shoes filled with blood and no recollection of what had transpired.

Twenty years later, Adam now "Rob" a detective in the Dublin police force is drawn back into the mystery when the body of a little girl is found at the site of the old tragedy. With the help of his partner "Cassie", Rob hopes not only to solve the present case but also the twenty year old mystery of the woods.

I enjoyed this novel even with all its predictability, redundancy and its slow moving plot. It is a long book; the author had a tendency to be a little long-winded. A lot of time was spent identifying the relationship between Cassie and Rob and left us with the old cliché of male/female partnership. The characters are multi-dimensional and dynamic some may love Rob and some may not, Cassie on the other hand is a spunky, smart, witty and likable character. The character driven plot wavers between domestic issues and political issues; it never really finds its footing and ends on a very disappointing note. Nevertheless I found the book to be a page turner and I am looking forward to reading French's next novel.
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Format: Paperback
SOME SPOLIERS: I finished "In the Woods" in the wee small hours of this morning - couldn't put it down. I'm putting Tana French as one of my very favourite contemporary authors. She brings her characters vividly alive - multi dimensional, the dialogue so believable that I could almost hear their voices. While I was away from my reading, I thought about them, their lives, their predicaments, and the woods, as if they and it really existed. Now, I have read the reviews at Amazon.co.uk and many of them talk of a very unsatisfying ending. I, as well, had hoped for an explanation as to the fate of the 2 childhood friends of Adam, but I did feel the 'supernatural' clues along the way were there to suggest a possibility that 'something' (the pooka?) rather than 'someone' was to blame. In all the 67 reviews on the uk site, no-one mentioned what was found in the dig (on the last pages) - a small stone relic which depicted a man with stag antlers. When I read that, it seemed to me that it was meant to suggest paganism - which had already been mentioned - but now it seemed to me to be a final clue as to an 'otherworldly' presence being responsible for the deaths of the children. Thrilling! Engrossing! Highly recommended!!!
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Format: Paperback
For a first novel this is a excellent read!! You can't help but get wrapped up in the two main characters as they investigate a very difficult crime. French does a great job getting you to feel their frustration and pain. The pages fly by and the villan seems to drop out of the blue! A page burner right to the last! In my books this is right up there with Stephen Booth and Ian Rankin! Well done Tana!!!
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