In the Woods - Tana French

In the Woods

By Tana French

  • Release Date: 2007-05-17
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4
From 1,652 Ratings


The debut novel of an astonishing 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 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 twelve-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.

Richly atmospheric, stunning in its complexity, and utterly convincing and surprising to the end, In the Woods is sure to enthrall fans of Mystic River and The Lovely Bones.


  • Incredibly beautiful language.

    By Dogsbody67
    Incredibly beautiful use of language. French describes the natural world it a purely poetic manner, makes it integral character. Her human characters have warmth, humor and heartbreak and we live them all through her words. The is easily the best book I have read in a long time. More than a mystery, this is literature at its finest.
  • Poetic and suspenseful

    By whodunnit gal
    Tana French is that rare combination of skillful writer of memorable scenes and characters as well as an expert at spinning the web of a murder mystery. And you will be caught in that web until the very end.
  • In the Woods

    By Georgie2018
    Excellently crafted
  • Best book I’ve read in a long time...

    By ShaisyDay
    I read this book in a day in and a half while camping. The writing is incredible and luxurious, the characters are rich and believable, and I didn’t want to leave French’s world when it was over. The end, as well, impressed me and upset me so much I couldn’t stop talking about it for the rest of the camping trip.
  • Amazing book

    By Sarah_Ashleyxox
    One of my all time favorite books. The show doesn’t do it justice in the slightest.
  • In the Woods

    By rennyaz
    This is a story that can definitely get to one. Early on, I found myself liking the characters and especially the investigators in our mystery. Yet there was something infinitely immature, wounded and fragile about them with terrifyingly evil presences... real? Imagined? ...lurking in the shadows that one could only wish could have been seized and plucked out. But, faithful to and typical of the nature of grief, we readers could only go through it one step at a time until we reached the other side. It is a sad story in the way that life is something sad with the realization the some things cannot be changed nor some things undone. And, though life goes on, some choices destroy potentials as well as brighter paths. Our task? Keep our eyes focused lest we, living yesterday, lose the life that remains.
  • In the Weeds

    By House of Windsor
    Promising story though it could have been told in half the words. In this murder/thriller genre, I’m reading to find out ‘what happens next’. The author gets way too bogged down in description rather than forwarding the plot. I found myself skimming chunks of the book to get to the stuff that mattered. A generous red pen would have made it a much better story. Wouldn’t recommend.
  • Couldn’t finish

    By misslop
    Couldn’t get into this at all. I normally can read a book in about two days. In three weeks I barely am 20 percent through. I give up.
  • Irked

    By lanesmithk
    The story had me all the way until the end....SO disappointed.....
  • Three times the charm

    By Bookworm7755
    This is a slo burn of a novel which is more about the psychological outcome for Detective Rob Ryan. His past has significant impact on the current situation in Knockaree. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting; it thought it would be more of a police procedural. Despite the rough entry to this much loved series, I’m willing to continue reading the Dublin Murder Squad.