Rating: 3 Stars
Title: In the Woods
Author: Tana French
Published: May 2008
What would you do if you two best friends died a horrific death and you couldn’t remember a thing? If given the chance 20 years later, would you continue to try and solve their murders? After being one of three to survive a horrific attack, Adam Ryan grows up not remembering anything about what occurred previous to the death of his two best friends. After moving and changing his name, Detective Rob Ryan comes across another case, one that may be the key to solving the 20 year question, what happened to his two best friends, Peter and Jamie. Detective Ryan teams up with his partner Cassie Maddox to hopefully bring closure to the small town Knocknafree, Dublin.
I so desperately wanted to give this book 4 stars. I heard such great things about it and I love psychological thrillers. As much as I wanted to, I could not bring myself to do so. The premise of the story was very interesting. We have a new murder and an old murder that may be linked. There is a big mystery surrounding the murder that took place in 1984, and the key to solving it is Detective Ryan. I loved his relationship with Cassie, I thought they were a great team and seemed to truly understand each other which allowed them to do their job so well. During the reading, I found there was a lot of unnecessary explanation. In some places I felt there was unnecessary description on things that we would pick up from the dialogue or characters. I was able to over look this, except that I began to truly dislike Detective Ryan. Granted, as the narrator, he does say that the story does not place him in a favorable light, but I found him to be selfish, immature, and all around self centered. He could not see past his own issues or discomfort to empathize with others, including his best friend and partner, Cassie. The one good thing about his behavior was that the author used his failures to allow Cassie to shine.
I loved that in the end it was Cassie who stepped up and proved the all male squad wrong. She was able to put together pieces that the others, especially Ryan, could not see. The author allowed her to step in and be the hero. It is not very often that you see heroines in psychological thrillers. If they do appear, there is generally a man there who takes the lead, but not with Cassie. I found that to be refreshing. All in all I think the book was good. I would definitely like to change the ending, I think for a psychological thriller we got a bit ripped off in the end with the solving of the first case, but I would still recommend the book.