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.
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"[E]mpathetic and flawed heroes...elevate the narrative beyond a gory tale of murdered children and repressed childhood trauma." - Publishers Weekly.
"When not lengthily bogged down in angst, a readable, non-formulaic police procedural with a twist. It's ultimately the confession of a damaged man." - Kirkus Reviews.
"Starred Review. Intelligent and beautifully written An outstanding debut." - Booklist.
" [French] sets a vivid scene for her complex characters, who seem entirely capable of doing the unexpected. Drawn by the grim nature of her plot and the lyrical ferocity of her writing, even smart people who should know better will be able to lose themselves in these dark woods." - The New York Times.
"The books plot and pacing are rock-solid, but its tender characterizations particularly the deepening relationship between Ryan and his brainy, tough female partner are what set it apart. Strong stuff." - Seattle Times.
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Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the US and Malawi, and has lived in Dublin since 1990. She trained as a professional actress at Trinity College, Dublin, and has worked in theatre, film and voiceover.
Her novels include In The Woods, which won the 2007 Edgar Award for Best First Novel; The Likeneness (2008), Faithful Place (2010), and Broken Harbor (2012).
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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