In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1) by Tana French

In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1)

A gorgeously written novel that marks the debut of an astonishing new voice in psychological suspense.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 si...

Details In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1)

TitleIn the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1)
Release DateMay 17th, 2007
GenreMystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

Reviews In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1)

  • Matt
    If I could, I'd probably rate this at 1.5 stars-- it ultimately pissed me off, and annoyed me throughout, but it was good enough to keep me reading and I suppose that should count for something.Maybe my opinion has been influenced by reading THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO immediately prior to this one. That book wasn't perfect, but it had characters you rooted for, didn't wallow too much in pop culture references, and most importantly IT SOLVED ...
  • Khanh (the meanie)
    Some wounds will never heal, and there will forever be a Rob Ryan-shaped scar in my heart.Some books are written deliberately to provoke sadness. It's fucking easy to induce someone to tears when the book is about a dying cancer patient with a labrador retriever whose leg has been amputated, with one ear missing. The most effectively emotional books are the ones where you least expect it. The ones that sneak up on you.There are differing degrees ...
  • Nataliya
    "What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this - two things: I crave truth. And I lie."This book is brilliantly cruel - a story of deep and painfully real psychological f*ckery masquerading as a murder mystery. There's nothing "feel good" about it. If you like a book to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy at the end, it's not for you. If you like neat resolutions - it's not for you (and if you already read this book, you know exactly wha...
  • Emily May
    Though the isbn is the same as the one pictured, my edition of this book has a much creepier cover and tagline:Needless to say, I was completely expecting something a bit dark and twisted, a creepy psychological murder mystery with an outcome I never would have seen coming. And I got that. But I never expected this book to leave me feeling so... sad. And you know why? Because I cared. Ms French carefully builds up a complex personality for each o...
  • Monique Bos
    I was disappointed in this novel, which seemed so promising at the beginning. The central mystery not only remains unsolved, but a disproportionate amount of the plot is spent on what seems, in the end, a total red herring.The narrator appears at the beginning to be a sympathetic, introspective figure, but by the end of the novel he's revealed himself to be whiny, a lousy and disloyal friend, and an inept detective. I found nothing redeeming or e...
  • Fabian
    This book is amazing... really truly excellent. I took a risk at the UTEP library just picking this out at random... & what true serendipity it was!! This particular week was rife with parties & late nights (daytime reserved for sleep) and all throughout "In the Woods" was a faithful companion... it was a pleasure to get back into it, for it's a dense and meticulous, brilliant piece of literature. It kicks "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"'s ass... p...
  • karen
    it must be really hard to write convincing mystery novels. you can't have your killer be too obvious or no one will bother reading past the third chapter. but you can't have them be too unexpected, without textual support, or you will be accused of cheating. the super-saturation of police procedurals in all their manifestations: literary and film and teevee, sets the genre up for failure - it just adds up to a steaming bowl of repetition and a de...
  • Dera Weaver
    This was an Edgar Award finalist, and that means a mystery, right? Well, we get a tease at the beginning--little boy survives some sort of mysterious mischief in the local woods, the two friends with him are never seen again, and when he's found his shoes are filled with blood and he's unable to speak or recall anything. Cool, huh? I would go along for a ride that works out that story (how'd the blood get IN his shoes, not just on them, etc.), ev...
  • Justin
    Seriously, man, I wanted to rate this book higher than two stars. I almost went with three, but I just can't do it. This book felt like it ran this long, exhausting marathon only to collapse into a heap, huffing and puffing just before it crossed the three-star line. Right now it's laying there lifelessly. It might get up slowly and crawl across that line later, but I doubt it.The protagonist of this book really, really annoyed me. It felt like a...
  • Matt
    After much waiting and some significant 'biblio' peer pressure, I have finally decided to take the plunge into the world of Tana French and the Dublin Murder Squad. In the summer of 1984, three children went missing in the woods on the outskirts of Dublin. When authorities arrived, they found one boy, Adam 'Rob' Ryan, delirious and unsure what had happened to him. The other two were presumed dead, their bodies never found. Flashing forward two de...
  • Lyn
    Very, very good.Tana French’s 2007 introduction to her Dublin Murder Squad series eschews “normal” detective prose for a more literary and artistic approach. Hers is not the terse and journalistic objectivism of hard-boiled literature, nor the overly technical and post-modernistic dialect of more recent crime writing. French’s language is rich and erudite, blending the best of many genre’s into a style that is fresh, unique and intoxica...
  • J.D.
    I will agree that this book is gorgeously written, and the characters are well crafted and sympathetic. That's what kept me reading through the various absurd plot points. An example: the narrator, as a child, is found in the woods, his shoes full of blood, with his two best friends mysteriously missing. He comes back years later as a detective to investigate another murder in the same small estate, and no one recognizes him including the mother ...
  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)
    "Not any more. In ways too dark and crucial to be called metaphorical, I never left that wood." I know that I ought to gather my thoughts to organize them or whatever I usually do before writing a review, especially when the last page let me shell-shocked as In the Woods did. But I can't. I'm leaving tomorrow and I'm not one for writing reviews weeks after having read the damn book. I'm actually in awe of people who manage to do just that. I thi...
  • Kemper
    This book is tricksy.Rob Ryan is a veteran homicide detective with the Dublin police along with his best friend and partner, Cassie Maddox, and the two start working a case involving a young girl found murdered at the site of an archaeological dig. Sounds like it could be the cold open of an episode of CSI: Ireland, right? Ah, but that’s only part of the story. Rob is actually from the area where the girl is found, and 22 years before he and tw...
  • Raeleen Lemay
    *4.5/5*This took me ages to read, but I loved it! There was one small plot point that annoyed me a bit, but other than that it was perfect. I barely ever read murder mysteries, but after this I definitely want to read more!
  • Samadrita
    It's been a while since I have read a book that has left me so utterly devastated, a book entailing such a profound emotional investment that having finished it I feel a gaping emptiness within, a sense of loss. It feels like my heart has been simultaneously crushed into pulp under the weight of the tragedies that descend on the lives of a handful of characters and blown to smithereens. And I would never be able to pick up the pieces and glue the...
  • Maxwell
    A very well-constructed and impressive debut novel. I had a bittersweet moment near the end when I realized that my theory from near the start of the book was correct; happy to be right, but also a bit bummed that I had figured it out. It wasn't much of a twist for me, but I honestly don't know how I solved it so early on. Don't let that keep you from reading this book. There were still quite a few surprising moments that didn't deal directly wit...
  • Dan Schwent
    When a twelve year old girl is found murdered at an archaeological dig, Detective Ryan and Maddox are on the case. But what does this case have to do with a similar case twenty years earlier, a case that saw an adolescent Ryan as the only survivor?As a veteran of detective fiction, riddles, and brain teasers, I'm a big fan of mysteries that keep me guessing. In the Woods was one of those sorts of mysteries.In the Woods is the story of two detecti...
  • Tatiana
    As seen on The ReadventurerIn the Woods reminded me a lot of Gillian Flynn's novels (Sharp Objects and Dark Places). All these books are very dark mysteries/psychological thrillers and they all are as much about particular crimes the narrators investigate as they are about the narrators themselves, a disturbed bunch.Rob Ryan, a detective on the Dublin Murder squad, and his partner Cassie Maddox are assigned to investigate a murder of a pre-teen g...
  • Carol.
    I started this series out of chronological order, which only increased my appreciation for French. By some odd chance, I happened upon a new copy of her second book, The Likeness, in the library just waiting to be checked out, while In the Woods had a wait list of at least 100 people. I followed with Faithful Place, immersed myself in Ireland of forty years ago and promptly forgot to get on the waiting list for Woods. Nataliya's lovely review rem...
  • Joe Valdez
    I've heard about readers who become so absorbed in a good book that they stay up late to finish them, or talk to the characters, or turn the pages hoping that something bad doesn't happen to them. I rarely if ever have reading experiences that primal; I'm usually analyzing the character development, narrative, even the margins and the design of the book, all from a safe remove, sort of like a naturalist perched in a camouflaged blind, studying.In...
  • Catie
    This is going to sound silly (this book did win the Edgar Award after all), but don’t read this for the mystery. Although suitably disturbing, the murderer is fairly obvious. And, I won’t lie to you – the phrase “Munchausen by proxy” is thrown around a few times. Also, there’s the fact that the alternate title for this book could be: Complete and Utter Lack of Closure In The Woods. Don’t read this if you need everything explained.Re...
  • Chantal (Every Word A Doorway)
    What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this - two things: I crave truth. And I lie. 4.5 starsIf I ever hear anyone say that murder mysteries are never well-written or literary I will shove this book in their face. I devoured this rather large gem within a couple days and found myself thinking about it long after I had finished.I can see how this book will only be enjoyed by a certain type of reader. If you’re annoyed by metaphors,...
  • Nandakishore Varma
    Well, at the beginning I thought this book would be five stars. An intriguing premise: a great opening: beautiful evocative language that you usually don't see in a mystery. The story also had great characterisation and moved at just the right pace.Then, about 80% into the story at the time of the great revelation, everything went phut! for me.Adam "Rob" Ryan is part of the Dublin Murder Squad. He is partnered with Cassie Maddox, a resourceful fe...
  • Marya
    Despite not finishing this book, I could not reconcile what I had read with the blurbs on the back cover. It was almost as though the review authors and I were reading entirely different books.True, the author is prosaic, but that does not automatically translate into "beautiful and brilliantly evocative prose". I found her prose to be long-winded, and used exclusively for atmospheric descriptions, rather than to further the plot.Secondly, the bl...
  • Diane
    I swear I don't know where to start with this book. Do I talk about how beautifully it's written? Should I wow you with its compelling story? Do I mention the novel's insights into human nature? Or maybe I should warn that you won't know who to trust?Of course, I probably don't need to tell you anything. I am years behind in reading Tana French's acclaimed series of the Dublin Murder Squad, so you likely already know that this book draws you in, ...
  • Loren
    From ISawLightningFall.blogspot.comThree-and-a-half starsYears ago, one of my father’s clients -- a man from the Emerald Isle named Cosgrove -- dropped by our place and, during the evening, got an insatiable hankering for the hard stuff. So my mother (who was essentially a teetotaler) found a bottle of small-batch scotch someone had given her as a gift and poured him four fingers’ worth. My father began to rib him about his prodigious thirst,...
  • Greg
    I've just finished reading through some reviews on for this book. It had been awhile since I read Karen's review of the book, and I had forgotten what she said about it, but I was surprised that this book inspired rage in her. Especially because she forced this book on to me, really. She pretty much shoved this book into my hands when we were at the library telling me to read this. I might be a bit more forgiving about some of the weaker elements...
  • Councillor
    It is impossible to even attempt to record the number of crime/mystery/thriller novels out there, and nearly all of them follow a similar pattern - something horrible happens, maybe an assault, maybe a rape, maybe a murder, and relatives/(police) detectives/whoever have to solve the mystery. This procedure has been applied thousands of times, and although exceptions to the usual pattern can, of course, always be found within the genre, they are r...
  • Stacia (the 2010 club)
    It took me a lot of thought and some discussion with a friend before I got to the point of understanding as to why people gave this book 5 stars. I think I sort of get it now. The entire last section of In the Woods rolled through as a slightly unexpected mind twist, unsettling the foundation of the story, and leaving the reader in a bit of a haze. There is definitely some talent in writing shown through the manipulation of reader emotion.That sa...