Review | In the Woods by Tana French

Contains Spoilers

237209What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this-two things: I crave truth. And I lie. 

Published: May 17, 2007

Publisher: Viking

Pages: 429 (Paperback)

Series: Dublin Murder Squad #1


2 Stars


This case was too full of skewed, slippery parallels, and I couldn’t shake the uneasy sense that they were somehow deliberate.


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.


Yikes, this book royally pissed me off. Prepare yourself for a long and loud rant, because that’s all this review will be. And, as you noted from the photo at the top, this review contains spoilers. Beware!

So, thriller and mystery books are a newer genre to me. I just started reading them last year or so, I was never into them before but now I’m on the hunt for the best mystery books out there! I love the way they make your brain work a little harder than my usual reading selection, but it seems I haven’t been able to get an exceptional one, yet.

I was excited to read this book because the synopsis sounded so good, the reviews for this were pretty good, and she has multiple other books in this series that all sound good too. However, this was a huge let down. Let’s break it down, shall we?

We start off by learning about Detective Ryan’s past. It’s a really compelling story, sets up this book in a great way, leads us to have questions right off the bad, and is a generally spooky story. I was digging it. Then, we get to know about how close him and Cassie are. I loved this, too; they had a really dynamic relationship and I loved getting to ‘work’ with them. Then we get Katy’s case and my mind started spinning with all the crazy things that could be tied into this case and how this related to Ryan’s past. The set up for this book was phenomenal, I was hooked, and that’s what was saving this from a one-star review, honestly. However, it goes all down hill from here.

First of all, Rob is a douche. I think he’s so annoying and he was such an unprofessional jerk I couldn’t even get past it. First he sleeps with Cassie and then treats her like a total ass, and then once she’s happy he calls her up, crying, saying he loves her? Get a grip. I hated the fact that their relationship fell apart in the end, it broke my heart. Second, Ryan basically falls in love with Rosalind despite the fact that she’s a teenager and its completely inappropriate and a threat to the case. I couldn’t stand Rob by the end. I’m glad his career fell apart.

Second, and this is the one that really got me, we NEVER learn what happened to Ryan’s friends who disappeared! WE. NEVER. KNOW. I can’t describe how angry this part made me, ya’ll. You spend this whole book trying to wrap your brain around how these cases are connected, who could have done it, what happened to Peter and Jamie. Its a major part of the book; its the cause of Rob’s downfall, but again, we never know what happened. Like what was the point of even bringing up the past and making it seem like the cases are connected if we don’t get any closure? After I got to the end and we figured out what happened to Katy I thought, great, now we can find out what happened to Peter and Jamie, but nope. Never.

Third, the killer got away with it. Well, kinda. Rosalind, the closet psycho, is actually under 18 and so the wire that they wore to get her to confess to having her sister murdered and sexually assaulted didn’t count for shit. She basically got away with murder and I’m so mad about it. I did, however, never see this coming and so I have to give the book the two stars because Rosalind’s guilt saved this for me. It was so twisty at the end and I got all caught up in the interview and learning the intricacies of her.

I’m so mad about this, guys. It started off so well and crashed and burned so hard. The characters in the beginning were on point, I really liked her writing style and how detailed the author is, and I thought the mystery was compelling and dark. I just can’t get past that ending. I can’t.

Happy reading

Book Links  GoodreadsAmazonB&N       BAM


Dublin Murder Squad Series





One thought on “Review | In the Woods by Tana French

  1. Pingback: My Worst Reads of 2018 | Tonkin About Books

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