11. In The Woods by Tana French. 429 p. Published May 2007.
Detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox have been called to Knocknaree, a Dublin suburb, where the body of Katy Devlin, a 12 year old local, is found in the middle of an archeological digsite. On top of an old druidic sacrificial alter. Of course, most of Ireland remembers a similar case in Knocknaree 20 years prior, where three children went missing and only one returned, found soaked in blood. What no one knows is that Ryan was that boy. Now the two detectives must burrow through suspects and motives both old and new in an effort to find who murdered Katy and whether they’re linked to the dissapearance of Ryan’s childhood friends.
As French’s debut novel, In the Woods is a spectacular achievment. Normally, text so descriptive quickly loses the reader’s attention. But instead, French manages to captivate, using quick unabashed wit to maintain constant interest in the narrative. As the novel progresses and Ryan and Maddox comes closer to solving the case, French’s depiction of their actions and relationship reflect the vivid changes each are going through.
All in all, I enjoyed this book, even if the ending left me feeling unfulfilled. But then again, I believe this reflects French’s efforts to portray the reality of the situation, where the case concludes with certain questions unanswered.
An amazing excerpt from In The Woods can be read here.
Rating: 3 out of 5