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In the Woods | [Tana French]

In the Woods

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, 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 find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery.

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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.

©2007 Tana French; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.

What Members Say

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4.0 (5048 )
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  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 10-07-13
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 10-07-13 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "What's a Real Delusion?"

    Tanya French has chosen to show rather than tell how it seems when an understanding of the normal abruptly shifts. Perception is reality. Change the former and reality changes for the perceiver. We are the sum of our ideas. Should they shift from a manic trauma, reality will change. Like a rider in a windowless train’s car we depart into a reality that’s seemed to have moved while in fact we were the ones who travelled.

    Tanya French shows rather than tells the psychological horror of someone trying to balance upon a shuddering reality which threatens to blur like the view from a careening vehicle’s window. And she does it with a mastery of detailed research that's hidden from us like the Disney folks hide their critical infrastructure in tunnels and behind soothing facades. The clues are here from the first pages, but not until well into the end do we realize how important those dark tunnels and backrooms of psychosis are.

    I have a mega quibble. This book promised an Irish tale. Yes, there’s good reason to explain why the narrator Steven Crossley’s accent for the protagonist is British. Pity though that Crossley was unable or unwilling to find a trace of Ireland in the voices of the rest of the Irish cast of French’s characters. I wish that perhaps Gerard Doyle, the masterful Irish voice of Adrain McKinty’s powerful novels had told us this story. Even though I easily recommend the challenge and imagination of “Into The Wood”, Crossley is miscast as this novel’s reader.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Denver, CO, United States 11-23-10
    Ann Denver, CO, United States 11-23-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Good writing but a lot of dead air"

    Tana French wrote a good novel, but Steven Crossley, normally a proficient narrator, narrates this audiobook way...too...slow. While the audiobook is about 20 hours long, Crossley could have easily cut down the time by at least two hours by merely reading in a consistent conversational pace. There are inexplicably many, many long pauses, leaving the listener with a lot of dead air, and painfully slow-paced reading as if the narrator thinks he is reading to an audience who doesn't understand English very well. Nevertheless, Steven Crossley is blessed with a great vocal quality, and Tana French knows how to write a good story. If Crossley had had a speed-up button I could have pushed, this might have been a great audiobook.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheryl 07-07-10
    Sheryl 07-07-10 Member Since 2006
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    "Either love it or hate it."

    It looks like people either love this book or hate it. It took me over 8 hours of listening to decide I'm part of the second group. The writing is excellent, even if it does have some language (for those of you who listen in the car with kids!) I just didn't like the ending. I gave it a 3 because it really is a well-written book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Snoodely 08-04-09
    Snoodely 08-04-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Slow, quiet, cerebral, sad"

    I prefer more action, humor, and excitement in the books I listen to; but I had to give "In the Woods" five stars, because Tana French wrote it so beautifully. It proceeds slowly and quietly, without thrills and chills, to the ultimate solution of the murder mystery. The solution does not provide the happy ending that I wanted, but probably more accurately depicts real detective work in the real world. I like the reader, Steven Crossley, but it puzzled me that he never used an Irish accent, since the story takes place in Ireland. Also, it disappointed me that the protagonist -- the detective solving the murder -- never solved his own twenty-year-old mystery that had propelled him into police work in the first place. I recommend this book to people who value exquisite character development and lyrical writing, but maybe not so much to fans of the mystery-thriller genre.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Birdsboro, Panama 02-19-09
    Christine Birdsboro, Panama 02-19-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Deliciously Flawed and Bittersweet"

    Don't be afraid to listen to this book! I vehemently disagree with the reviews which make this book sound like an empty, slow, unsatisfying read.

    It is beautifully written, with just the right amount of character flaws, dry humor, ironic twists, and bittersweet resolve peppered over a masterful crime novel.

    The lack of Irish accents is not a problem, and the lack is, in fact, often referenced in the novel itself.

    I would not be surprised, as this book seems to be the first in a series, that the mystery of "In The Woods" will resurface, and may ultimately be resolved.

    The main crime portion of the plot *is* completely solved, and that is more than enough to keep me coming back to this author every chance I get.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. W. LARSON north florida 05-20-08
    L. W. LARSON north florida 05-20-08 Member Since 2006
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    "how can such a great book be so disappointing?"

    This was such a great read, I was dying to get to the end but not wanting to let the characters go... and then with a quarter of the book left the author decides to make the protagonist act totally out of character, to make his fiesty love interest run away and to never answer the mystery the book started out with! I was sooo disappointed. It could have been soo terrific!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Gig Harbor, WA, United States 11-17-07
    Monica Gig Harbor, WA, United States 11-17-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Will it ever end"

    A great thriller, well read and acted, but the book should have been abridged. I could/would have skimmed through parts if I were reading the book, but this isn't easy to do when you are listening.
    My husband and I listened to this on a road trip, and the first half was great. My husband gave up after 16 hours.
    I give it 4 stars because the story and reader were good, but would recommend it only to those that like lots of description and words, not those who like suspense and get eager to know how it will end!

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe K. 08-10-08
    Joe K. 08-10-08
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    "The ultimate page-turner!"

    Not since Laurie R. King's "Folly" have I encountered such a page turner. Once this book pulls you in, you're likely to spend more time reading it then you planned. The flawed characters are complex and interesting and the mystery is engrossing. I'm one of those readers who can't help trying to figure out the outcome of a story before the author is willing to provide it. Sometimes I'm right early on and sometimes I change my mind as I continue reading. With this novel, even though the clues were there and I dutifully noticed them, the author cleverly diverted my attention so that I ended up with so many possibilities running around in my mind I couldn't latch onto one for very long with any real conviction. I do have one grip, but it's a spoiler so I will keep it to myself.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bluebelle 01-19-13
    bluebelle 01-19-13 Member Since 2008

    When I clean, drive or exercise I listen to romance. The steamier the better but it must have a great story as well!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Took my breath away!"

    This book is not in my usually genre for audiobooks but I decided to try something besides romance. I was amazed most of all by the narration! Steven Crossley was absolutely amazing! He brought all of the characters to life for me, the expression was perfect. The story had wonderful twists and turns. I was never quite sure whom had committed the crime and how it connected with the old case. Wonderful! I will definetly be listening to more books written by Jana French and narrations by Steven Crossely!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie Cotton Valley, LA, USA 07-10-07
    Melanie Cotton Valley, LA, USA 07-10-07
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    "Good book"

    I was really interested in the book and started to go ahead and give it a rating of 5 until I got about 3/4 through it and everything started to get just too depressing. It could have been a really great story if the writer had finished the second storyline. It had a really great premise but too much was left hanging.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
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