In The Woods By Tana French


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 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 12-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.

This is the Urban Legends book I choose for the Halloween Read-A-Thon and I couldn’t be happier with picking a Thriller! I have read 4 books on my Halloween TBR so far and have atleast 4 more books I’d like to read before the 31st but we’ll see if that happens XD

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This story is so much more than a detective tale. It’s the story of a broken boy who grew into a broken man.
It’s not a story of revenge as it could have been, nor a complete and utter story of detective out to get the bad guy no matter what although it is a part of it.

In The Woods a 12 year old girl has been murdered and dumped in an excavation site. She was the star of the small town of Knocknaree. Bound for an elite dance school with the whole world at her feet. All that snatched away by an evil she wasn’t able to comprehend.

Detective Ryan and Maddox have been given the case. One, the youngest on the Murder Squad another the only female, with a background in psychology and criminal profiling. Together they set about finding a suspect and a motive that sticks to get justice for Katy. During the case memories that Rob has suppressed start to re appear, he starts to remember himself as a little boy with his two best friends who went missing so many years ago. Left only with a pair of runners soaked from the inside out with blood and no memories, will he be able to cope with a case so close to home or will it break him even more than it already has?

This story as I already said was so much more. It was absolutely beautifully written with lines like:

“My memories of them had rubbed thin with overuse, worn to frail color transparencies flickering on the walls of my mind”


Rob and Cassie’s relationship at the beginning of the book was just everything for me. I’m all for platonic best friends and finding soul mates in the form of a friend. Those people you meet for a minute and can talk like you’ve known each other your whole life. This is what Rob and Cassie had and I enjoy every silly moment of friendship:

“How can I ever make you understand Cassie and me? I would have to take you there, walk you down every path of our secret shared geography. The truism says it’s against all odds for a straight man and woman to be real friends, platonic friends; we rolled thirteen, threw down five aces and ran away giggling. She was the summertime cousin out of storybooks, the one you taught to swim at some midge-humming lake and pestered with tadpoles down her swimsuit, with whom you practiced first kisses on a heather hillside and laughed about it years later over a clandestine joint in your granny’s cluttered attic. She painted my fingernails gold and dared me to leave them that way for work…We climbed out her window and down the fire escape and lay on the roof of the extension below, drinking improvised cocktails and singing Tom Waits and watching the stars spin dizzily around us.

Cassie is one of my favourite characters, while Rob is refreshing from all other male leads I’ve read in a long time. Cassie is seemingly carefree, easy going, smart, funny, outgoing. Rob is not your brooding asshole don’t need no girl typical character that we see oh too much, yet he also is?

Rob is seriously messed up from his childhood and can be an asshole but never A asshole if that makes any type of sense to you. I can’t quite describe his character other than he’s brilliant but broken.

I don’t think this was ever meant to be a ‘sad’ book but the ending nearly broke my heart, not for a character in particular but for the case and everything these detectives worked for in their lives.

4/5 stars! 

I really enjoyed this story and Tana French’s writting, can’t wait to read some more of this series!

Have you read this yet? Do you like detective stories? Have you read the other Dublin Murder Squad books? Are they just as good or better? 

I love Detective stories, there my favourite type of Thriller. Especially the Partner relationship or the Cop and Victims relationships. One of my favourite Authors is Karen Rose and I love all of her books and the relationships that intertwine throught out all of her novels. 


Let’s discuss it below !


34 thoughts on “In The Woods By Tana French

    1. I enjoyed it but I know a lot of people thought it was disappointing, I liked that everything wasn’t magically fixed and perfect and thought the characters still had a lot more to learn and room to grow 🙂
      Definitely recommend next time your looking for a good Thriller!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah…! I have hopes it will possibly get solved in the other books but if it doesn’t I think I’d be disappointed to.

          I guess I just automatically thought it was a set up to some of the other stories but if the answers never show up I’ll be pretty disappointed too :/


          1. I didn’t think it would get solved because I thought every book was about a different character… But I don’t know! I want to continue with the series though😃


  1. Thanks so much for reviewing this! I love mysteries and recently checked it out but didn’t get a chance to start it because I was busy. After reading your recommendation, I’m definitely going to make a point of reading it now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope you enjoy it! I love Cassie and Robs friendship it was one of the best things in the book, plus the writing is truly beautiful. I just ordered the rest of the series so I can’t wait for those to arrive and I can binge read them 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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