I read a review for something somewhere, and it sent me to the library catalogue to place a hold on In the Woods by Tana French. When it finally showed up for me, it was ratty, the pages were falling out, and it was LONG (like 592 pages long). And, to top it all off, I couldn’t remember what I had read that made me think so desperately that I needed to read it.
I took it home with me this past weekend, and promptly disappeared completely from family life for a day and a half! To be fair, I checked on Goodreads, and I am one of many people who felt that once the book got going, it had to be read to the end – the story was those grab-you-and-it-won’t-let-go kinds. Thankfully for my marriage, I did finish it early on Saturday morning, so I was able to get back to being there for my family!
Tana French’s debut novel is narrated by Rob Ryan. He and his partner Cassie Maddox are inspectors with the (fictitious) murder squad of the Garda (Ireland’s National Police Service). Young and talented, the up-and-comers happen to be in the office when a call comes through about a body found in an archaeological dig not far distant in Knocknaree. Ryan and Maddox score the investigation by being the only ones around, but Ryan knows that he cannot allow anyone else to take this case.
When Ryan was a schoolboy, he went into the woods behind the estate at Knocknaree with his two best friends. He was later found, back to a tree, shoes filled with blood, catatonic and suffering from amnesia. Ryan sees this case as a chance to go back to where it all started – where he became the new boy, the one who became the man he is now. And he knows that if anyone besides Maddox realizes that he is that boy, he will be pulled from the case .
Twelve-year-old Katy Devlin is found, head bashed in and bruising on her neck, on a Bronze Age sacrificial stone at the archaeological site behind her home. She had been missing for a couple of days. The age and location are enough to set alarm bells clanging for Ryan. He sees Katy’s murder as his chance to finally reclaim his past, and perhaps even capture a predator who has been neither seen nor heard from for 20 years.
I cannot say anything more because I don’t want to spoil one iota of this story! But there are two subsequent titles, both of which we have in the catalogue (I have already placed my holds, so go for it!).
I have also been reading up on some of the series I have written about here before. Finished The Ottoman Cage by Barbara Nadel – the next book we have featuring Inspector Ikmen. Perhaps not quite as good as Belshazzar’s Daughter, but certainly good enough to keep me moving on to Deep Waters. Breezed through Death of a Maid by M.C. Beaton – one of her Hamish Macbeth mysteries. Still want to move up into the Scottish Highlands and will be taking Death of a Gentle Lady home with me as well. I am carrying Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason around in my backpack now, where Erlendur is vying for my attention with Harry Hole in Jo Nesbø’s The Devil’s Star.
Is now a good time to mention that I also finished two non-fiction books this weekend? It was a good weekend for reading!