Author: Tana French
Title: In the Woods
Description: When he was twelve, Adam Ryan and two friends went into the woods for an afternoon of adventure. All three disappeared, but Adam was later found, shoes covered in blood, and completely unable to remember anything that happened. After changing his name and leaving the area, Ryan is back some twenty years later as a homicide detective investigating another murder of a twelve year old in the same woods.
Review source: Penguin
Plot: The parallel mystery convention works well here.
Characters: Adam/Rob is the narrator and main character. He tells us up front that he lies, so it’s up to the reader to out what is going on with Rob and his relationships. The center of the book is Rob’s relationship with his partner, Cassie, but his other past and present relationships affect the unfolding of events as well.
Writing style: I was entranced by this book; French weaves a tapestry of clues and hints that left me eager to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Audience: It’s ostensibly a mystery, but French has been very well-received by critics and most readers of literary fiction would probably enjoy it as well.
Wrap-up: I was really frustrated with the ending of the book in several different ways. It was one of those reads that keeps you totally involved for 80%, then lets you down and stomps on your fingers. I was pretty mad after I turned that last page, but I’m still giving it 4/5* for the first 80%.