Saturday, 5 April 2014

Sister Reads | Review: In the Woods by Tana French

Book: In the Woods

Author: Tana French

Pages: 429

I read this in: 5 odd hours (in one sitting)

Plot 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 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 twelve-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.

What I Liked: This seemed like a really interesting book! I mean, the protagonist is someone who has a traumatic past and was a part of a crime that he remembers nothing about- that in itself gives his character and the way he approaches this particular case a whole new dimension! 
The crime itself was very intriguing, though I did expect the body count to rise because I was hoping this would be a serial killer case, but even that notwithstanding, the crime was intriguing. 
There was a good mix between the events of Ryan's past and the present case, which is always a good thing. 
Also, there was this whole thing about an archaeological dig and an element of mystery and other-worldliness about the woods where Ryan's friends went missing when he was a kid and where this new body was found. 
There was a twist-in-the-tale type ending, which was interesting but not satisfying! 

What I Didn't Like: I didn't like the way Cassie and Ryan's relationship evolves (or rather devolves) as the case goes on. I also didn't like the big mystery and how the story ended. I would have preferred to see some punishment because the crime (it involved the death of a twelve year old!) was so heinous! 
The book could have been crisper, though. There was too much time spent on trying to get inside Ryan's head and dealing with his past and associated feelings. In the end, all of this was kind of pointless because (spoiler alert!) his past had nothing to do with this new crime. So, it seemed a waste of pages to have so much context about his past and his life before and after the disappearance of his friends. 

Will You Like It?: I am not sure, really. This is a well-written book. The mystery is pretty decent and there is a twist-in-the-tale aspect, which is nice. So, if you come across this book and want to give it a try, please do. 

Rating: 2.5/5 

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