Monday, July 7, 2008

In The Woods

In The Woods by Tana French

In The Woods had me up at night, reading while eating, considering calling in sick to work so I could read, etc. I could hardly stand to put it down! It was just that good. What seems really odd to me is that, once again, this is a first novel for the author. There are some REALLY good new authors out there! Makes me look even more forward to retirement! Good books to read and the time to read them...Heaven!

Anyway, this is a mystery novel...about 20 years earlier in Ireland, 3 children go out to play in the woods, but they don't return home. The police are called and one of the boys (Adam Ryan) is found gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing his blood-filled sneakers. He is unable to remember anything that has happened and his 2 friends are never found. Now enter present time, and that little boy had changed his first name to Rob, kept his past a secret, and went on to become a police detective. A 12 year old girl is found murdered in the same woods, and he and his partner, Cassie Maddox are assigned the case, which has some significant similarities to the case from 20 years ago.

Rob now finds himself back in that part of Ireland that he left years ago and brief memories of long-buried incidents return to him. Through-out the book, Rob is struggling with dealing with memories and/or lack of memories. It is interesting to follow the struggles he has as they begin to affect all areas of his life...personal relationships, work relationships and self-relationship (I just made that word up...but you know what I mean, don't you?).

The writing in this novel is great. Her writing style grabbed me right from the beginning. The end is somewhat different and that has upset some readers. I found the ending to be quite realistic and real-life-ish (another made-up word--no wonder I'm not an author). Some things were resolved and some weren't. There is speculation that the ending was left for a sequel, but I am not sure that will be the case.

Whether there is a sequel to this novel or not, I am definitely looking forward to her next book!

1 comment:

David said...

Not only is there a sequel to Tana French's "In the Woods", but it will be published next week! It's called "The Likeness," and Booklist (in a starred review) says "French has written another winner… The Likeness has everything: memorable characters, crisp dialogue, shrewd psychological insight, mounting tension, a palpable sense of place, and wonderfully evocative, painterly prose." Another chance to read all night and call in sick to work!