In the Woods by Tara French

1st in Dublin Murder Squad series


I have owned this book for several years but never got around to reading it.  Tana French occasionally comes across my radar in reviews of other authors’ works so I finally committed to reading this one.  I listed to most of it on audio and the narrator is pretty good – a little weak with the female characters.  The story is told from the perspective of Adam “Rob” Ryan.  He and his partner, Cassie Maddox, are very good friends but also make a formidable investigative team.  Rob has even told her his biggest secret – that he was one of the three kids who disappeared from a small suburb of Dublin years ago, and the only one who came back.  He has no memory of what happened on the day he lost his two best friends but, when the body of a young girl is found in the same area, Rob can’t help but feel weird about potential connections.  They work the case methodically and there are no shortage of suspects but very little useful evidence.  Tana French’s style of writing is very dense and detailed so the characters are well-developed and the intricacies of a difficult police investigation are fascinating but it’s not a page-turner and the characters are sometimes difficult to like.  Even though Cassie and Rob have a fun relationship, the overall tone of the book is one of impending doom.  The resolution of the mystery and its aftermath is more involved than usual in this genre which some readers will like and others will not.

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