In the Woods, Tana French

I read about In the Woods on Trish’s blog as well as the other Jenny Claire’s, and it sounded very intriguing, and it was.  In the Woods is a twisty murder mystery – lots of interesting detail and inexplicable things.  Detective Rob Ryan, who as a child was one of three children that disappeared in a case that was never solved, and the only one who returned, gets put on to solving the murder of a child in the very same forest where he vanished as a kid.

It was a really good book.  I couldn’t quit reading it, and I stayed up late a couple of times to carry on reading it, and there’s a chance I’ll read Tana French’s other book The Likeness.  Just – it wasn’t my thing at all.   In the first place, I like my murder mysteries much more bloodless than this.  Something about murder mysteries has to set them one remove away from me or it’s too scary – it’s helpful to have them set in another time.  Unpleasant child murders occurring in the present day are disturbing to me, particularly when they include autopsies and postmortem rapes.  So if I hadn’t really, really wanted to know what was going to happen in the end, I’d have stopped reading it because it was disturbing (see?  Good book!).  However, I did really want to know what happened, and this gave rise to the other thing in this book that stopped me from liking it.  Which is that I get very frustrated when I am only reading a book in order to see what happens, and peeking at the end doesn’t help me.  In this case, I wanted to know what was up with Ryan’s two friends, and I couldn’t figure it out from peeking at the end of the book.

Spoilers now.  I was so, so, so disappointed when we didn’t find out about Jamie and Peter.  I really wanted to know what happened with Jamie and Peter.  But Tana French got all Stella Gibbons on us.  Poo.

Still, it was an excellent book.  If you are not bothered by gruesome details, you should definitely read it.  (I mean not gruesome.  The author didn’t dwell on them at all.  But the story’s about detectives, and they have to have details about the body and where it was found and what happened at the autopsy, and that’s too specific for me.  I have a low tolerance.  I am easily grossed out.  Hence my chosen career path of anything-but-a-doctor.)