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.
In The Woods was an atmospheric novel that kept me guessing until the end. As you can see from the summary, there is a mystery that is slowly unwinding and intertwined with the current case of a murdered girl. Not only was this a mystery though, in my opinion it was also a character study on Rob Ryan and the person he used to be, is now, and will become all being shaped by the events of the summer of 1984. Wow, for this being a debut novel it was awesome! French's main character, Rob, is simultaneously likeable and unlikeable as well as being a complete mystery for me as the reader. I never quite knew what he was going to do next as well as what his thought processes were with some of the choices that he made. I was instantly caught up in this tale and the author's writing. I knew all along that she was leading me somewhere but I didn't see the ending coming whatsoever. And while I was a bit disappointed (those of you who have read the novel will know why), I still realized that I really enjoyed this book. I HAVE to read more by this author and soon :) Highly recommended in my opinion!
My Rating/Recommendations: 4.5 out of 5 and recommended!
Challenge: Book Awards II Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge, 100+ Book Challenge, New Author Challenge, A-Z Challenge