Monday, February 18, 2013

In the Woods by Tana French



In the Woods
by Tana French
Narrated by Steven Crossley
Dublin Murder Squad, Book 1
Penguin Audiobooks, 2007
20 hours and 23 minutes
source: purchased






Publisher's Summary:
As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children. He is gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox (his partner and closest friend) find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.


My thoughts:
I am Tana French's newest fan. She has been on my 'authors to read' list forever, and our recent trip to Florida seemed like the perfect time to follow multiple recommendations (Staci's, most recently) and get started. Mystery is not usually my genre of choice, but with two under my belt by mid-February, I've now equaled last year's final tally. Perhaps a new reading trend is developing.

As for the novel itself, the plot is riveting, the writing solid, and I especially enjoyed the strong psychological component. Some of these characters have serious issues! The twists kept me guessing right up until the end. Yet even then, the case is not wrapped up neatly and filed away.

I will be reading all of French's novels.

A note on the audio production:
Steven Crossley, narrating from Rob Ryan's point of view, was pitch perfect - slow, deliberate, and at times, almost wistful. Although he has nearly one hundred credits to his name, including many of Ian McEwan's novels (which seems like a perfect match to me), this was my first time listening to him. I was disappointed to learn that he does not narrate French's other books.

My rating:



20 comments:

  1. I'm a big fan of her work too, although I'd have to say this is her best book. Still, not at her best, she's better than a good many others.

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    1. Amy Rea - So many bloggers have different favorites. I'm hoping the detectives remain the same... we'll see.

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  2. I loved this book but apparently not enough to pick up the others in the series. I really don't know why I haven't read them yet. No reason really.

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    1. Ti - I know that feeling! I still haven't gotten back to Maisie Dobbs and I really liked that one, too.

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  3. I wanted to like this one, the series sounds very interesting, but found myself thinking basically the opposite of your review point by point. So it goes.

    Have you seen Single-handed on Hulu.com. It's a police series from Irish television that I think is quite good. It's still in the free section on Hulu.com, too.

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    1. C.B. James - Opinions are far from unanimous on this series, but it seems like I enjoy almost everything I read on vacation. Will check into Single-handed, too. Thanks.

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  4. 1. Read JoAnn's review. 2. Go immediately to Overdrive at library. 3. Find that there are 45 (!!!) people ahead of me waiting for this. 4. See that they are waiting for the e-book; breathe sigh of relief. 5. Be disappointed that Overdrive does not have the audiobook. 6 Go to other library. Only 37 people waiting. See that they only have the ebook too. 8. But see that both libraries have CD version. 9. Be very glad I have a CD player! :)

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  5. This series has been on my list to read forever and every time I see another review and another fan it reminds me once again how much I need to get to them. I have the first one on audio - must get to it!

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    1. Darlene - When I got close to the end, I actually started listening on double speed, lol!

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  6. I don't know anyone who doesn't read her who doesn't get hooked!

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  7. I read her fourth book and have wanted to read the first three. Think my March mystery reading may be all French!

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    1. Lisa - I'm wondering if I need to read them in order. ... have heard that at least #4 stands alone.

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  8. Glad u liked this -- me too. Perhaps I'll try the audio for The Likeness even though I have the print version.

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    1. Diane - And I'm wondering is I should try the next one in print, lol!

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  9. So thrilled that you enjoyed this one!! I have book 3 on audio and am really looking forward to hearing the accent and hopefully the narrator will be able to capture that feeling of suspense!!!

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    1. Staci - Thanks again for inspiring me to FINALLY read Tana French. My next decision is whether to read or listen to book two.

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  10. One of my favorites last year! I'm looking forward to the rest too :)

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  11. I've had her on my list for years now. When I first started the blog I was hearing a lot about her first book and now I think there are three in the series. Sounds like I need to getting around to read it, sooner rather than later.

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    Replies
    1. Kathleen - There are at least three, maybe even four? I want to read them all!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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