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In the Woodsby Tana French
Synopses & Reviews
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 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.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[French] sets a vivid scene for her complex characters, who seem entirely capable of doing the unexpected." New York Times
"A mystery? Yes. But In the Woods is much more than that.... It is as exquisitely told as it is wondrously plotted. Why does one read? To experience novels like this. Not to be missed." BookReporter.com
For readers who like their hard-boiled police procedurals with an international flare ("USA Today"), this thriller marks the debut of an astonishing new voice in psychological suspense.
An absolutely mesmerizing read. . . . Tana French is simply this: a truly great writer.” —Gillian Flynn
Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to join Dublins Murder Squad when sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey arrives in his office with a photo of a popular boy whose body was found at a girls boarding school a year earlier. The photo had been posted at The Secret Place,” the schools anonymous gossip board, and the caption says I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.” Stephen joins with Detective Antoinette Conway to reopen the case—beneath the watchful eye of Hollys father, fellow detective Frank Mackey. With the clues leading back to Hollys close-knit group of friends, to their rival clique, and to the tangle of relationships that bound them all to the murdered boy, the private underworld of teenage girls turns out to be more mysterious and more dangerous than the detectives imagined.
Quick-witted and fast-paced, this debut mystery should be a hit with Gone Girl fans.” —People magazine
"This is an all-nighter . . . The best debut mystery I've read in a long time."—Tana French
A really gutsy, clever, energetic read, often unexpected, always entertaining. I loved Janie Jenkinss sassy voice and Elizabeth Littles too. In the world of crime novels, Dear Daughter is a breath of fresh air.” —Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life
A sensational debut thriller featuring an unforgettable heroine who just might have murdered her mother
Former It Girl” Janie Jenkins is sly, stunning, and fresh out of prison. Ten years ago, at the height of her fame, she was incarcerated for the murder of her mother, a high-society beauty known for her good works and rich husbands. Now, released on a technicality, Janie makes herself over and goes undercover, determined to chase down the one lead she has on her mothers killer. The only problem? Janie doesnt know if shes the killer shes looking for.
Janie makes her way to an isolated South Dakota town whose mysteries rival her own. Enlisting the help of some new friends (and the towns wary police chief), Janie follows a series of clues—an old photograph, an abandoned house, a forgotten diary—and begins to piece together her mothers seemingly improbable connection to the town. When new evidence from Janies own past surfaces, shes forced to consider the possibility that she and her mother were more alike than either of them would ever have imagined.
As she digs tantalizingly deeper, and as suspicious locals begin to see through her increasingly fragile facade, Janie discovers that even the sleepiest towns hide sinister secrets—and will stop at nothing to guard them. On the run from the press, the police, and maybe even a murderer, Janie must choose between the anonymity she craves and the truth she so desperately needs.
A gripping, electrifying debut novel with an ingenious and like-it-or-not sexy protagonist, Dear Daughter follows every twist and turn as Janie unravels the mystery of what happened the night her mother died—whatever the cost.
About the Author
Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the United States, and Malawi. This is her first book.
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