I first saw In The Woods, by Tana French while on vacation in Denver. I was in the Tattered Cover Bookstore and it was sitting on the bestseller shelf and it immediately caught my eye. BUT, and there is always a but, I was on vacation and did not want a heavy read. So I added it to my TBR list for another day.
After reading Jill’s review, I decided I had to read it and she was nice enough to send it to me! Thank you Jill! In case you were wondering, Jill did not like the book but her comments intrigued me enough to want to read it for myself.
There are two stories here. One centers around the murder of a 12 year old girl, the other centers around an earlier incident where three children went missing, with only one child being found. The child that was found, Adam Ryan who now goes by Robert Ryan, goes on to become a murder detective and has been assigned to the case of the 12 year old girl.Rob Ryan and his partner Cassie Maddox work the case and come to the conclusion that the two cases may be related.
As the case unfolds we learn more about the two friends that never returned and the bond that Adam(Rob) had with them. As you can imagine, any possible relationship between the two cases would naturally force Rob off of his current case, so he and his partner keep it from their superior. This is easy to do for awhile since no one on the force knows of his involvement with the first case except for his partner, Cassie.
I was touched by this book. French does an excellent job of describing what it’s like to be kid. Poor Rob(Adam), besides knowing that there could be a connection between the two cases, really cannot remember anything about what happened to him or his friends. This is something he lives with daily. He holds the key to the mystery yet he is not capable of providing the answers.
Cassie understands this and knows how to be around him…when to step in, when to take a step back. Their relationship can be compared to that of a married couple. Innocent bickering, completing one another’s sentences, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed them and found their friendship to be charming. When a third detective by the name of Sam is added to the investigation, he steps right into the investigation without batting an eye. I don’t know if French intended it but the threesome reminded me very much of the Adam and his two friends that disappeared. I was touched by this.
I won’t go into how the book ended for obvious reasons but if you enjoy a character driven plot and don’t mind a lot of descriptive details, you will enjoy In The Woods as much as I did. I think anyone reading it can relate to summers of years past where friends were everything to you and all you had to do was play and have a good time.
Tana French has a follow up to this book titled The Likeness. It features some of the characters from In The Woods. My copy of In The Woods had the first chapter of The Likeness in it and I have to say, it held my attention. If you want to read more about The Likeness, check out this review posted by Trish over at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?