In the Woods by Tana French (here be spoilers)

I looked for a discussion thread specifically on this book and didn’t find one, but I did see it in people’s lists of what they were reading.

I thought this book was tremendously well written, and in a style that makes it well suited to be adapted for a movie.

I loved the characters, the story, the scene descriptions and so on. I found the ending frustrating, though. I really wanted Cassie and Adam to make up and somehow maintain a friendship. It made me sad for him to end up so lonely. I also REALLY wanted Rosalind Devlin to get what was coming to her, dammit.

Thoughts? Comments?


I was disappointed in it. What’s the point of a mystery story if you don’t reveal what happened? I’m referring to the earlier mystery. The second murder was not particularly interesting. The first mystery was kind of the point of the whole book, and it was never solved/resolved.

I have to disagree. It would have deflated the entire book to reveal what happened in the first murder. That unknowable mystery is what generates all the power of the book. Otherwise, it’s just another whodunnit. I compare it to the TV show LOST. Once the mystery is revealed, all the magic goes out of it.

In short, I loved this book, but I haven’t gotten around to reading the next two Tana French books. They’re not sequels but have some of the same characters, but I have heard they weren’t as good as In the Woods.

Well, I paid for a whodunit. The book was promoted on the basis of that first whodunit. I read the whole darn thing to find out whodunit. Why write a whodunit if you’re not going to reveal whodunit?

Honestly, if I wanted to read a supernatural book, I’d have gone to the vampire section of the store.

I read it years ago. I didn’t enjoy it precisely because there was no closure. The “real” mystery was never revealed.

I have decided to not read the others.

Yeah I would have liked to know what happened in the earlier murders…I did think part of the story would be him finding recovering the memories and having it actually tie to the newer murder. And now that I’ve realized I didn’t get that piece of it, I do feel a little disappointed.

I needed another book to read after so I’ve just started reading Lookalikes, also by French, which features Cassie Maddox. Seems okay so far, for about 10 pages’ worth of reading heh.

Well, you got a whodunnit, just not an everyonewhoeverdunnit. Also, I’d disagree that the lack of resolution was supposed to point to “supernatural” explanation. French is playing with that ambiguity, sure, but it seems that an unknown naturalistic explanation is the most likely.

Unless you disliked any mention of the supernatural at all, which I can understand.

Jeez, now I can’t even figure out why I wrote that about supernatural. I think what I was trying to say was that I wanted the mystery solved, not kept unexplained.

Thank goodness! I couldn’t remember a darn thing about a supernatural aspect of the book and was feeling pretty old - my memory isn’t what it was.

Either is my brain.

Well, to be fair, the author does hint at an unseen malevolent force concealed in the woods, one that may or may not have made the loud noise that interrupted and scattered the rapists. I seem to remember it being tied to the artifact found at the end, a kind of Irish woods demon with horns. Again, I don’t think the readers are meant to take it literally, but there are definitely some small hints of the supernatural.

I read her book “Faithful Place” first. Similar writing style, even has an old crime to solve but more resolution this time.