Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In The Woods

I loved this book like I haven't loved a book in a long time. I stayed up way past my bedtime because I literally could not put it down. I finished it around 11:40 last night and was left satisfied, confused, a little creeped out, but mostly really impressed.

In The Woods was recommended to me first by a family friend, Cheryl in August. I promptly forgot about it until it was mentioned again by my friend Heidi a few weeks ago. Then last week, I was leaving my friend Jessie's house when she ran back inside to grab two loaner books for me (she is a human reading machine and always loans me winners) - one of these books was In The Woods by Tana French. I was dubious at first, having just finished a creepy book about a dead kid I wasn't sure that I needed to start another one right away. But I was sucked in by the book's description -

Three children leave their small Dublin neighborhood to play in the surrounding woods. Hours later, their mothers' calls go unanswered. 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, Detective Rob Ryan - the found boy, who has kept his past a secret - and his partner Cassie Maddox investigate the murder of a twelve-year-old girl in the same woods. 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.

Creepy, right? Except it's so much more than just creepy! It's smart, funny, and craftily written. Plus, it's almost Halloween and a murder mystery is the perfect read for this time of year. I don't want to give too much away because I really want you to go read this book and I don't want to spoil it for you. But I will tell you that the mystery is not one of those lame ones where you know what's going to happen all along, in fact even after I finished the book, there were things I was still dying to know. There are so many plot twists and red herrings, but also, there is character development. So often, thrillers and mysteries rely too heavily on plot and you never get to know anyone in the story, but this is not so in this book!

I guess Tana has a new book out (is it out yet?) called The Likeness and it also looks creepy and fantastic. I read the first few pages because they were printed in the back of In The Woods and from what I can gather, the new book is told by Cassie Maddox - Rob Ryan's partner from In The Woods, presumably about another case. Now, this may leave you wondering - Sell out? Series? But it leaves me wondering - do I know anyone who will loan me this book?


Amanda said...

O yay! I just got this in the mail. I'll be reading it soon because yes...this is the perfect season to be reading spooky books. Thanks for the recommendation!

mari said...

This sounds really good. Must read!

avisannschild said...

Great review! I'd already decided I wanted to read this book, but your review has cemented it for me. I must find someone to lend it to me!

Michelle said...

That does sound really good, and now is definately the right time of year to read something creepy and mysterious!

raych said...

Man, everybody in the blogosphere has been all up ons this book. It just came in to the library for me, and I'm pumped to get my hands on it. I skimmed your review because I didn't want to ruin things for myself, but I'm sure it was great.

trish said...

The Likeness is EVEN BETTER. And I'm giving away a copy this coming week. Seriously, I'm STILL thinking about The Likeness and I've read like three books since I finished it. But it lingers. Oh, how it lingers.