Monday, July 12, 2010

In The Woods

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Oh Tana French, you better put up your dukes because you and I are in a fight, and I have a mean left hook!  How can you write such an exquisite book and leave us so unsatisfied?  It really is just unfair!  I mean we read and read this semi-chunkster of a mystery novel and the "whodoneit" is riveting, and extraordinarily frightening, and then as the mystery unravels you leave us with more questions than answers!  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I just need one more chapter please!!!  I am begging you, just give me one more little chapter!!!  Maybe an epilogue, another installment, something I beg you!  Please!!  

I must mention here that I don't really like mystery novels but if Tana French wrote another 429 page sequel, or even added another 429 pages to In The Woods I would have devoured every last word.  French is a beautiful writer, this story was heart wrenching, scary has hell, and so real.  In fact {even though Tana and I won't be on speaking terms for a bit, while I try and forgive her for not satisfying my reading experience} I understand why Tana didn't tie up all the loose ends, because in reality life isn't perfect, there are always dangley bits and bad decisions, and cold cases.  And most of the time you don't expect that from a book.  You can start a book and be pretty sure that there will be a "Once upon a time" and a "Happily ever after", but French takes that theory and stomps on it.  And I guess I'm coming around as I write this because I guess I kinda want to say "Thank you Tana" maybe I'm not as mad at you as I was before.  I understand why you left us with more questions than answers.  I LOVED your book dangley bits and all.

So I guess you are wondering what all that was about so I have to give you a little synopsis here.   Detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox are Murder detectives in Ireland {oh by the way my Irish brogue got really good in my mind}.  They are given a case of a murdered 12 year old girl in a little town called Knocknaree in County Dublin.  The girl was found murdered and sexually assaulted on an archeological dig site in the town right out side of the forest.  However, Detective Ryan secretly has a strange connection to the case, because about 20 years before hand, Ryan and his two best friends went into those very same woods to play and 2 of them disappeared never to be seen again.  The only one that knows about Detective Ryan's connection to the case is his partner Cassie, and as the two detectives unravel the modern case, detective Ryan is trying to make sense of the old cold case that he had been involved in years before.     

If you like mystery novels, if you like Ireland, if you like things that go bump in the night, if you don't like things that go bump in the night, heck if you like to read, you should pick this book up.  Like I mentioned before, the story telling is exquisite, reading this book was a treat, and Tana French is a jewel of an author.  And even though I am still a little sore with her, I would recommend this book to anyone.  I read this for our book club and we had a great time discussing our theories, thoughts, and opinions.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did despite the fact you might want to cry with frustration at the end.  And Tana, if I ever meet you "in the woods" I'm going to tie you to a tree until you give me some answers!!  I'm just joking.  Maybe.  (:      

BOOK vs. MOVIE:  I am really surprised that this book hasn't been optioned for a film yet.  For a couple of reasons, first, the book would make an amazing movie.  The suspense alone would keep people on the edge of their seats.  Second, the author is actually an actor.  You would think that she would want to have this made into some sort of film.  Maybe even play Cassie {I pictured Cassie looking just exactly like French's picture on the book jacket}.

RATING: 4 starts {I just couldn't give it 5 because I wanted so much more}

3 more reviews of In The Woods by Tana French:

In The Woods by Tana French
(Library Copy)
ISBN 9780670038602
Pages 429

If you liked In The Woods then read: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote


  1. Thanks for the review. It sounds interesting but I don't think I'd like the "bump in the night" bit.
    Cozy In Texas

  2. Ok, I really can't decide on this one, Lauren! I don't read a ton of mystery, though I think I could be swayed by a writer as good as you tout this one to be. But I hate cliffhangers. But that cover...enough for me to pick up on that alone. So...umm...something...inviting you to be tangled up?

  3. Great review. I read this and agree that the end was a bit unresolved.
    I blogged about this book when I first started my blog (

    I found your blog via Ning and am a new follower.

  4. Hi,
    I am a new follower - located your blog via Ning!

  5. You know that there's a sequel, right? :)
    Check out The Likeness. I thought it was pretty good stuff.

  6. This is in my library but I'm not crazy about "bump in the night" ... I have a faint heart. Great review... maybe later ...ease my way to it. :)

  7. I am so crazy wanting this book. It's very popular so strange that I am unable to find it anywhere where I live :(

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  9. "Exquisite" story is right, I was pacing with frustration at the end! I swore myself off Tana as a writer over it, but I've been mighty tempted by her newest write. I just don't know if I want to make the investment if she pulls another ending like In the Woods!