Review: In The Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) ~ by Tana French
Penguin Books/464 pages (paperback)
2008 – Mystery, Detective Genre
My Rating: 4/5
In general, I think that I am pretty tough on most mystery novels. They have a tough job- they have to present just the right amount of detail about the case to be solved, they have to introduce suspects without clueing us into the “who done it,” they have to keep our interest in the case as well as in the lives of those surrounding the case, and they have to surprise us in the end. This is really difficult, which is why I am so rarely blow away by most mysteries.
“In The Woods” definitely ticked all of these boxes for me, and, more importantly, it ended up being a really insightful and fascinating story outside of the murder plot. Rob and Cassie were such complex and interesting characters – I could have read a book that just focused on their relationship and their individual pasts. French really shows the intricate working relationship between these two flawed detectives and how their pasts have colored every case that they come to. She also shows the unique relationship with the truth that most cops struggle with, and really gets into the mind of our lead detective (Rob). French’s writing is incredibly detailed, complex, and so so insightful.
So why didn’t I give it 5 stars? Without giving anything away, I will just say that the ending was slightly anticlimactic. I didn’t have a problem with the direction that the ending went plot wise, it just didn’t have the same punch that the rest of the book did.
If you are a fan of detective crime dramas, and specifically dramas that get into the mind of the detective, you should definitely give French’s work a look.
There is also a brand new Starz series of ‘In the Woods’ that begins on November 10th. I looks amazing – watch the trailer here
For more information on Tana French, you can find her here on Goodreads