2 February 2018

A Good Read

In the Woods by Tana French
Twelve year old Adam and his friends Jamie & Peter were playing in woods near their homes when something terrible happened. Adam was found with his back to a tree clawing the bark, he had blood on his shoes and slash marks on his back. Jamie and Peter were never seen again and Adam’s amnesia holds to the present day. 
Twenty years on Adam has changed his name to Rob and is a detective in Dublin. The plot circles around the murder of a twelve year old girl, Katy Devlin, whose case Rob and his partner Cassie Maddox are assigned to investigate. The body was found in the same woods where Rob’s friends disappeared, at an archaeological dig site, and the coincidence is enough to make him nervous. 
Cassie and Rob have been work partners for a few years and get along famously. Cassie is one of the few people who knows the truth about Rob's past. There are many rumours that they are romantically involved, though both deny this they live almost like a married couple, spending a lot of time at Cassie’s cooking dinner, drinking wine, and Rob crashing on Cassie’s couch. 
Katy’s murder takes the pair along many lines of investigation. Could her death be related to her father’s protests against the new motorway, could one of the students on the dig have had a reason to attack her. She might have been abused by her father or another family member. Or could it be related to the disappearance of Rob’s friends, as a hair clip worn by Jamie appeared near the crime scene. Rob discovers where Katy was killed and arrests and confessions follow. The conclusion is chilling. 

Described as breathtakingly brilliant, close to perfect and a superior novel about cops, murder, memory, relationships, and modern Ireland. mmm well I wouldn’t go quite that far, I don't recall much mention of modern Ireland. It was a good story with good characters and very good description of police procedures, and relationships, but there was far too much dialogue about the working and social relationship between Rob and Cassie, some of which was quite infantile. Page after page of what they were drinking, eating, thinking, talking about and crashing out at Cassie’s place. About a third of it could have been edited out without losing any of the plot.  

Have a good weekend


~Be warm and well ~

Polly x 


  1. Obrigada pela partilha. Feliz fim de semana.

  2. A good honest review Polly, if I didn't have a stack of books by the side of my bed already, I might be tempted 😀

    1. Thank you Grace. Most of what I read are book club choices. I also have shelves of my own books that I hope to read - one day!

  3. I don't read a lot of crime novels these days, I found they were getting a bit samey. Judging by your final remarks, I can safely overlook this one! I think one of the best crime novels ever is Therese Raquin by Emile Zola, which I've re-read several times. The way it depicts a couple who commit a heinous crime and suffer the consequences is brilliant.

    1. oohh that sounds intriguing, I've just looked it up on Goodreads and I think I will suggest it to my book group. Thank you.


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