In the Woods
Dublin Murder Squad: 1
WINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD 2008 FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL
'You're twelve years old. It's the summer holiday. You're playing in the woods with your two best friends. Something happens. Something terrible. And the other two are never seen again.'
Twenty years on, Rob Ryan - the child who came back - is a detective in the Dublin police force. He's changed his name. No one knows about his past. Even he has no memory of what happened that day.
Then a little girl's body is found at the site of the old tragedy and Rob is drawn back into the mystery. For him and his DI partner, Cassie, every lead comes with its own sinister undercurrents. The victim's apparently normal family is hiding layers of secrets. Rob's own private enquiries are taking a toll on his mind. And every trail leads inexorably back . . . into the woods.
Irish author French expertly walks the line between police procedural and psychological thriller in her debut. When Katy Devlin, a 12-year-old girl from Knocknaree, a Dublin suburb, is found murdered at a local archeological dig, Det. Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, must probe deep into the victim's troubled family history. There are chilling similarities between the Devlin murder and the disappearance 20 years before of two children from the same neighborhood who were Ryan's best friends. Only Maddox knows Ryan was involved in the 1984 case. The plot climaxes with a taut interrogation by Maddox of a potential suspect, and the reader is floored by the eventual identity and motives of the killer. A distracting political subplot involves a pending motorway in Knocknaree, but Ryan and Maddox are empathetic and flawed heroes, whose partnership and friendship elevate the narrative beyond a gory tale of murdered children and repressed childhood trauma.
I downloaded the book, because it appeared in the list of recommended thrillers in the Telegraph. I enjoyed reading the first half. The setting is quite interesting, although the characters stay indistinct stereotypes that I couldn't relate to. Another aspect is that the male protagonist just acts like a prototypical male rather than an actual person. Male writers are often criticised that they can't write believable female characters. The same seems to apply vice versa. At least I couldn't understand why this tough detective guy thinks so much about clothing.
The most disappointing things it the end though. I don't want to spoil anyones reading, but I'm sure it won't be what anyone expected or wanted to read.
Love these set of books!
Extremely authentic feel of the Irish police service.
So upset I have finished them. Hurry up and write another
Really good book!
I recommend! Hard to put down, very well written!