In The Woods by Tana FrenchIn The Woods by Tana French

In The Woods

byTana French

Paperback | May 7, 2013

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When he was twelve years old, Adam Ryan went playing in the woods with his two best friends. He never saw them again. Their bodies were never found, and Adam himself was discovered with his back pressed against an oak tree and his shoes filled with blood. He had no memory of what had happened.

Twenty years on, Rob Ryan - the child who came back - is a detective in the Dublin police force. He's changed his name. No one knows about his past. Then a little girl's body is found at the site of the old tragedy and Rob is drawn back into the mystery. Knowing that he would be thrown off the case if his past were revealed, Rob takes a fateful decision to keep quiet but hope that he might also solve the twenty-year-old mystery of the woods.
Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the United States and Malawi. She trained as an actor at Trinity College Dublin. In the Woods, her first novel, was published in 2007; it won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry awards for Best First Novel and the IVCA Clarion Award for Best Fiction. She lives in Dublin with her husband and dau...
Title:In The WoodsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:608 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 0.68 inPublished:May 7, 2013Publisher:HodderLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1444758349

ISBN - 13:9781444758344

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just okay I was expecting great things from this novel. Although the buildup was thrilling at times, I wasn't impressed by the ending. I kept reading the book, hoping for a twist that would blow my mind- but this never materialized. I had predicted the big reveal early on. I was able to finish this in under a week. The latter half of the book was such a let down. Still searching for a crime-thriller that ticks all the boxes :(
Date published: 2017-12-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from So Frustrating!!! I absolutely loved this book. I was on edge, trying to go through it as quickly as possible because I was so interested in it and I couldn't wait to find out what happened at the end. I was prepared to be blown away by the ending and I was so ready to make this my new favourite book that I would recommend to everyone. But the ending was a huge let down and left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant debut An intriguing plot and characters. Not your average suspenseful read with the usual conclusions.
Date published: 2017-08-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved This I find that I'm usually disappointed in the endings of current thriller/mystery novels - they seem anticlimactic or totally unbelievable. I really liked In the Woods because the ending seemed like it could happen, and it was creepy enough to leave you with that "check-over-your-shoulder" disturbed feeling. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes crime/mysteries. I was hooked from the very beginning and never felt like the story lagged at all. This is Tana French's debut novel, so I'm excited to see what her other books are like.
Date published: 2017-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fresh take on mystery I love the character development, eerie feel and pace. Perfect book for a rainy day, curled up with a tea. You may think any book is perfect for that kind of day.. but this Gothic-feel, beautifully sad romance and Irish landscape is even more so. Reading other reviews, many say the ending wasn't enough for them but I found it fitting. I'll be reading more Tana French novels in the near future.
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mad me a fan of this author Read this debut novel many years ago but it has kept me reading this author. Her stories are page turners and often no happy, wrap it up ending. Brings realism to the series. Definitely try this author.
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Wishing I'd liked it more This was my first read of a Tana French novel and I thought I'd start with her debut. It had won the Edgar Award so I was excited, but to be honest, although it kept me reading, I'm not sure I enjoyed the read. Perhaps I was expecting something different. It seemed to lag and take a while to get through it. I didn't mind getting to know the characters and at 600+ pages I wasn't expecting a quick read. I will try another by her, just to see if things change, but I am disappointed. I'd hoped to have found a new writer to explore in the crime fiction genre.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Could be better Great writing but the way the mystery was resolved left something to be desired. Also, I started liking Adam less and less towards the end.
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it Tana French is a rare crime writer in the excellent uses she makes of ambiguity and how strongly they inform her stories. In The Woods is a great example of her genius at work.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Poor ending I found the story very captivating, but did not appreciate the ending. Afte all this time, Adam should have also solved his own personal mystery. I felt let down because it didnt happen.
Date published: 2015-08-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Ambivalent I really wanted to like this book -- the premise sounded great -- the idea of two murders somehow connected but years apart. And the writing was really good, full of rich description and beautiful phrasing. The author obviously did lots of research and made interesting characters. Despite all of this, I found this book hard to get into, and by half way through, I stopped caring about the characters. It was disappointing. I kept reading because I really wanted to see how the whole situation was resolved.
Date published: 2015-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from In the woods Well done. This kept me on my toes. Only thing that would have been better would have been closure for the main character.
Date published: 2014-12-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from terrific mystery When Tana French’s first novel In the Woods was published in 2007, critics and mystery lovers went wild. The book was an Edgar Award winner (no small feat for a debut novelist) and for a while everyone was talking about it. It’s been on my TBR list for ages…and I finally picked up a copy at the library book sale this year. In the Woods is Rob Ryan’s story. Ryan is a Murder detective in Dublin, Ireland. He and his partner, the spunky Cassie Maddox, have been given the task of determining who killed twelve-year-old Katy Devlin and left her body in Knocknaree Woods. As with all good police procedurals, In the Woods offers readers plenty of red herrings and plot twists – all of it anchored by the relationship between Ryan and Maddox. But there’s more. In 1984, three other children went missing in Knocknaree. Two of the children were never found. Ryan was the third. "When I was found I was wearing blue denim shorts, a white cotton T-shirt, white cotton socks and white lace-up running shoes. The shoes were heavily bloodstained, the socks less heavily. Later analysis of the staining pattern showed that the blood had soaked through the shoes from the inside outwards; it had soaked through the socks, in lesser concentrations, from the outside in. The implication was that the shoes had been removed and blood had spilled into them; some time later, when it had begun to coagulate, the shoes had been replaced on my feet, thus transferring blood to the socks. The T-shirt showed four parallel tears, between three and five inches in length, running diagonally across the back from the mid-left shoulder blade to the right back ribs." Ryan doesn’t remember a thing. Nothing from the moment he left the house with the friends to go into the woods – where they had played all the time – until he was found and being examined in the hospital. So when he has to return to Knocknaree, it opens the proverbial can of worms. Are there any parallels between the Devlin case and his own? Will he finally remember what happened all those years ago? The Devlin case is interesting and as Maddox and Ryan knock on doors, ask questions and try to piece together who would have killed Katy, Ryan also wrestles with his own complicated past. All of it makes for page-turning goodness. And the icing on the cake: Tana French can write. I mean, a great mystery doesn’t really depend on stellar writing to be entertaining and fun to read, but French gives you more bang for the buck: a compelling mystery times two, characters who are complicated and human, and writing which forces you to slow down. As you know, I am a huge fan of Thomas H. Cook – a mystery writer who cares about the writing, too. I’d definitely stick French in that category and I look forward to reading more of her work.
Date published: 2013-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! Adam Ryan was 12-years old in1984, when he was with two of his friends in the woods. Both friends went missing, never to be found again. Adam was found terrified, with blood in his shoes, "frozen" to a tree. Twenty years later, Adam has since changed his name to Rob and he is now a detective. He and his family had moved away from the area where it had happened years earlier. He has no memory of what happened. He and his partner Cassie take a new case - a little girl murdered in the same area where Rob's friends disappeared all those years ago. I was drawn in from the start and stayed that way through the entire book. Both cases were very interesting and I loved Rob's interactions with Cassie. This is one book that I did not want to put down. I wanted to keep reading, or if I wasn't already, I wanted to get back to reading. There were a couple of twists toward the end, and I think it ended probably fairly realistically. Loved this book!
Date published: 2012-01-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Never again!! Very disappointing ending. The hook that drew me in was the mystery surrounding Adams (Rob) past. This story never stopped comparing the two crimes and in the end there was no resolution to what happened 20 years ago. If I could sue the author for wasted time, I would.
Date published: 2009-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Multi-dimensional and Dynamic 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.
Date published: 2009-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great First Novel I found this a great read for a difficult subject. The characters seem very real and you can feel their frustration and pain as the investigation progresses. The plot twists keep you guessing and flipping the pages right to the last. She's right there with Rankin and Stephen Booth for British crime novels! Well done!!
Date published: 2009-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING! this book was super! i was completely into it right from the beginning, and couldn't put it down! I loved that it was a long book, kept you thinking, and i absolutely can't wait until Tana French's second novel comes out! i'm definitely a fan!
Date published: 2008-07-05

Editorial Reviews

A splendid, page-turning debut.-She