Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, January 03, 2011

In the Woods

- Dublin Castle, where the detectives in the book I'm reading have their offices

My latest book from the library is In the Woods by Tana French, which won the Mystery Writers of America 2008 Edgar Award for best first novel. I wanted to read it because of the good reviews but my library didn't have it in audio, so I got it through LINK+, another library outside our system, and now I have just six days in which to listen to 20 (I think) i hr long CDs :) So far, I like it very much ... it takes place in Ireland, where a child's murder ends up being investigated by a detective who himself was the lone survivor of a similar crime. The writing is good and it's really interesting to learn about life in Ireland through the lens of the story's characters. Here's part of a review from The New York Times .....


Repeat Offenses

Published: May 20, 2007

Tana French promises two whodunits for the price of one in her harrowing first novel, IN THE WOODS (Viking, $24.95), by linking the contemporary homicide of a 12-year-old girl from a small town near Dublin with the misadventures of three children who vanished while playing in the same wooded area 20 years earlier. While French resolves only one of these twinned mysteries, the intricate design of her storytelling is something of its own reward — although that might not appease readers who, having been lured into these thickets, find themselves hanging from a limb.

In the view of Rob Ryan, a Dublin detective assigned to investigate the rape and murder of Katy Devlin (whose body is found on the site of an archaeological dig, draped across a Bronze Age sacrificial altar), “this case was too full of skewed, slippery parallels.” If anyone has a right to that opinion, it’s Ryan, who, unknown to all but his homicide-cop partner, Cassie Maddox, was one of the three playmates who disappeared from the town of Knocknaree in the summer of 1984 — and the only one who returned. Since Ryan never recovered his memory of the ordeal, he’s less the omniscient narrator of the story than its flawed subject, a man tormented by a secret he can’t recall ......



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