In the Woods by Tana French – A Book Review

You know I find it funny how many books have branches on the covers these days but damnit if they don’t make me want to read them! I found In The Woods last year and it was the kind of book that you just don’t put down until it’s done. I thought that it was time I actually did a review for it! So let’s dive in! This will be a spoiler free review so don’t worry about that. 

Goodreads Description:

A gorgeously written novel that marks the debut of an astonishing new voice in psychological suspense.

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.

Goodreads | Amazon*

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In the Woods is a mystery thriller book that follows two police officers in Dublin that arrive at the scene of a murder in the woods in his hometown. I enjoy thrillers but I don’t read a lot of murder mysteries. I enjoyed this one because the current mystery was laced with the mystery of Rob Ryan, one of the the detectives, past. The suspects were well placed, where even I was looking in the wrong place or thinking that it was someone that it wasn’t. 

“What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this — two things: I crave truth. And I lie.”


The main characters, Rob and Cassie are wonderful. They are close friends but the tension and attraction between them is subtle enough that I didn’t cringe but rooted for them to be together. I thought that they played well as detectives while solving the case. And the case was actually really compelling. Not only because I’m a mother and it involved the death of a child but because it was written in a way that I really wanted to know who did it. 

Honestly I wasn’t expecting who did it, but it was obvious once the story got to that point however it was so well played that I really enjoyed the choice in the murder. I, however, didn’t like how the book ended overall. It was so unresolved to me, what happened with Cassie and Rob felt like so wrong but I also understood why. I felt for them. I felt for Rob and his past but there were unanswered questions that I didn’t like. 


“I am not good at noticing when I’m happy, except in retrospect. My gift, or fatal flaw, is for nostalgia.”

Overall this was a wonderful book and I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend it and I hope that more read it because it deserves all the love. 

I didn’t know that it was a series though, I have the second book and I hope to be able to read it but my TBR is ridiculous. I want to put books written by POC ahead of other books on my TBR. I read horror and thrillers, I have some recommendations but if you know any other books by POC that are in those genres please let me know so that I can give them love as well because they totally deserve all the love!

Check out other reviews this month at Lovely Audiobook’s Monthly Link-Up!

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