Book review – “In the Woods” by Tana French – thrilling start to a mystery series

into the woods

Format: ebook, hard cover, paperback
Series: book 1 of The Dublin Murder Squad series
Rating: 18+ for language, sensual content, dark themes
Genre: Mystery
Goodreads page:

In the first book of the series, we follow Rob Ryan, a new detective in the Dublin Murder Squad, as he tries to solve a murder that may be linked to the disappearance of his two best friends that happened when he 12.

Rob Ryan was on his way to have a good life with his two best friends but when two of them disappear, it changes everything and now he’s eternally lost as he doesn’t know what happened to them. As the story progresses, he starts to get some of his memories back that he lost. But the question is does he want them back?

And as you read the book, you wonder if he really doesn’t want to remember what happened because he did something. Right in the first chapter, he admits himself that, ‘he craves truth and he lies’. That is something that stuck with me throughout the book as I tried to figure out not only what happened with his friends but what happened to the little girl that was murdered.

Cassie will quickly become a fan favorite. She is working in man-dominated world and doesn’t let that stop her from doing her job. She surprises them day by day, especially Rob, and makes her impression on the department.

The best part of the book is the relationship between Cassie and Rob. The way that these two work off one another and the way that they communicate made me think of Benson and Stabler from Law and Order SVU. They talked to each other like one with a sibling, but there is that underlying sexual tension that keeps things interesting. You are always wondering from chapter to chapter when it’s going to happen.

The resolution is the downfall of the story for me. You have this giant build up in the story between Rob and Cassie and it is kind of left unresolved. Of course, there is another book with the two so it could get resolved them, but for me, after reading what happened it made me like Rob and Cassie a little less. Not only that, we don’t get the answer to what happened with Rob. After all the build up that we get from the story, I thought that we would at least get SOME insight to what happened. But nothing. Not even a possible suspect. It is very frustrating.

While we may not get the whole resolution that we want, it still is worth the read for all those who are fans of mystery. You will be reading page to page wanting to figure out who killed little Katy Devlin and not only that, but why.

Rating: B

To stay up to date on news from Tana French, you can go to herwebsite or Follow her on Goodreads.

The Dublin Murder Squad series

dublin murder squard series

In the Woods
Amazon |Barnes and Noble| Amazon UK

The Likeness
Amazon |Barnes and Noble| Amazon UK

Faithful Place
Amazon |Barnes and Noble| Amazon UK

The Broken Harbour
Amazon |Barnes and Noble| Amazon UK

The Secret Place
Amazon |Barnes and Noble| Amazon UK

What did you think of In the Woods?


5 thoughts on “Book review – “In the Woods” by Tana French – thrilling start to a mystery series

  1. In the Woods is one of my favorite books of all time, because of the beautifully drawn relationships between the characters (and the beautiful prose). I’ve read it a few times over, and I have theories on what actually happened–take a look and let me know if you think this is plausible:

    The following book, The Likeness, is my favorite book of all time. Have you read it? If not, do so immediately!

    • Kris D says:

      I just got it from my library so I am going to be reading it this weekend. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes us. I hope there is more Cassie and Rob in the future. I love them together

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