The debut novel of Tana French. French’s works were suggested by my sister and with the help of Goodreads and the local used book store, “Booked for the Season”, I was able to find “In the Woods” the first of the series of Dublin Murder Squad books.
If you have not read this book I will try not to give away too many secrets. But this is not a “HEA” (happily ever after) one screw up after another leaves the characters lives all changed after this criminal investigation. I found myself emotionally exhausted at the completion. The main character , Adam (Rob) Ryan, is definitely messed up mentally and has his own problems. His problems put him and everyone that is associated with him in a bad position.
In 1984 two children are missing and a third child is found in near catatonic state. The child is found holding onto a tree so hard that he has broken his fingernails on the bark. Also there is blood in his shoes that is not his and he has tears across the back of his Tee shirt. This child is Adam Ryan. Ryan has blanked everything that has happened to him and his friends from when they entered the woods until he is in the hospital being checked out after being found. The other children have never been found and the only trace is the blood in Ryan’s shoes could possibly be one of the other children.
It is now twenty years later and Detective Rob Ryan takes a call from the rotation in the Murder squad of a body found at a archeological dig in the same area. Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, head to the site and start the investigation. Although a definite conflict of interest, Ryan thinks that he may be able to find out what happened 20-years prior and investigate the current case at the same time. What ends up happening is everything and everybody that is involved in the investigation is compromised by Ryan and his self-serving ambition to figure out what happened to himself and his friends “In the Woods”.
Considered psychological suspense Tana French had me putting down the book just to take a breather and get myself ready for the next turn or twist. I did not personally care for the ending but like life, stories don’t always end the way you like. I found the book emotionally draining. I personally was upset with Ryan and what he did to everyone involved. If the book can draws me into it so much that I have feelings for fictional characters, I guess she has done her job very well.
Now I will look for the second in the series, Dublin Murder Squad, to see if she has kept with the same characters or moved along to others.
Next up; “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt, copyright 2013. A book loaned to me from Hilary Burns, my wife’s good friend and metal smith. Hilary is always good to recommend a book. We will see if we agree on this.
Until next time, take a look at all your jobs that need to be accomplished, pick one and do what you can to complete it. Then scratch it off the list. Now look at the list, its shorter.