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Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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The Dark, Dark Woods

In the Woods  - Tana French

What a compelling read. I finished this thing in about a day and a half. I will say that at first I found myself somewhat bored. But this book ends up being a nice slow burn of a read. I wanted even more by the time I got to the end. I already put a hold on the second book in the series. I have to say that I am really glad that French didn't try to solve the overarching mystery for the main character, Rob Ryan. I know that some readers ended up loving this character and I had to say that in the end, I didn't feel love, but just outright pity for him. 


"In the Woods" plays around with two time periods. Dublin in 1984 and in 2004. The main character for "In the Woods" is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad. You found out about his life growing up and how he went from having the best two friends in the world, to being found when he was 12 in the woods all alone, with his friends missing.


From there we go to Rob telling you how he became a detective and his general thoughts about lying and what it means to him. I think at first you may feel a bit put off by Rob, but believe me this book is worth a read. The writing and the development of Rob sucked me in.


When Rob meets his partner Cassie Maddox (Cass) you start to see how she has helped changed Rob for the good on some things, but not all things. These two are closer than partners, they are also friends, and as you are reading you start to dread anything happening to either one of them.


When Rob and Cassie are called into a case involving a dead girl found in the same woods where Rob's two friends went missing, there are several connections to 1984. 


This book has what I call "if only" syndrome. I maybe re-read certain parts and wished for a different outcome than what I already knew was coming my way. I don't want to spoil other readers, but dang it, the reveals along the way and my frustrating with Rob were paramount by the time I finished this book. 


Other characters are so good. French does great work with developing Cass. We see her through Rob's eyes, but we also at times get enough details about her to make you wonder if Rob is being entirely truthful with us at times. I ended up questioning a lot of things by the time I finished.

We get some slight insight into other detectives on the Murder Squad as well as characters important to both cases. 


The writing was lush. I don't how else to describe it. At times French made me scared to even read without a light, and other times she is able to recall sunny happy days in a wooded area with friends and how nothing bad can happen. 

The flow was a bit off at first. Once the book gets going, it goes off in a nice little groove.

I am realizing now that I don't think I have read a mystery series taking place in Ireland before. I have read other types of genres where the setting was Dublin or Ireland, so this was a nice departure for me. 


The ending is going to tick you off. Just be forewarned. Not everything gets wrapped up in a pretty bow. And I honestly am happy that it didn't. 



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