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In the Woods

by Tana French

Library Journal Three children wander into some woods near Dublin, but only one is found, hysterical and bloodied. Some 20 years later, he's a detective investigating a child's murder in the same woods. Lots of in-house excitement, though one wonders whether Coben (see The Woods, above) and French have talked. With a reading group guide. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Irish author French expertly walks the line between police procedural and psychological thriller in her debut. When Katy Devlin, a 12-year-old girl from Knocknaree, a Dublin suburb, is found murdered at a local archeological dig, Det. Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, must probe deep into the victim's troubled family history. There are chilling similarities between the Devlin murder and the disappearance 20 years before of two children from the same neighborhood who were Ryan's best friends. Only Maddox knows Ryan was involved in the 1984 case. The plot climaxes with a taut interrogation by Maddox of a potential suspect, and the reader is floored by the eventual identity and motives of the killer. A distracting political subplot involves a pending motorway in Knocknaree, but Ryan and Maddox are empathetic and flawed heroes, whose partnership and friendship elevate the narrative beyond a gory tale of murdered children and repressed childhood trauma. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, land the first big murder case of their police careers: a 12-year-old girl has been murdered in the woods adjacent to a Dublin suburb. Twenty years before, two children disappeared in the same woods, and Ryan was found clinging to a tree trunk, his sneakers filled with blood, unable to tell police anything about what happened to his friends. Ryan, although scarred by his experience, employs all his skills in the search for the killer and in hopes that the investigation will also reveal what happened to his childhood friends. In the Woods is a superior novel about cops, murder, memory, relationships, and modern Ireland. The characters of Ryan and Maddox, as well as a handful of others, are vividly developed in this intelligent and beautifully written first novel, and author French relentlessly builds the psychological pressure on Ryan as the investigation lurches onward under the glare of the tabloid media. Equally striking is the picture of contemporary Ireland, booming economically and fixated on the shabbiest aspects of American popular culture. An outstanding debut and a series to watch for procedural fans. --Thomas Gaughan Copyright 2007 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Tana French's debut Irish mystery, In the Woods (Viking. 2007. ISBN 978-0-670-03860-2. $24.95), is a tightly woven police procedural that carries a huge psychological punch. When he was a boy, Det. Rob Ryan was found in the woods, clinging to a tree, shoes soaked in blood, and his two best friends were missing. Fast forward 20 years, and the detective and his partner, Cassie Maddox, catch the case of Katy Devlin, a 12-year-old who has been murdered in the same woods. As he investigates, Ryan hopes to solve his own cold case. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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