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In the Woods: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad)

(Book #1 in the Dublin Murder Squad Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The bestselling debut, with over a million copies sold, that launched Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Hunter and "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years"... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

23 ratings

Not what you think

This is probably the only book I’ve ever thrown across the room at the end, giving me a cliche book moment. The book was long winded… the characters weren’t likeable. It blatantly comes off as a supernatural story and was just not. I agree with the other review, I was mad I wasted time reading this book.

So far so good! :)

I have to give it a great review. I haven't made it for but I'm starting to love it.

Would Not Recommend

This author is exceptional with the development of the characters and the plot. It wasn't until the end of the story that I realized that only one of the mysteries (there were two) would be solved. Up until the last 25 pages, I thought this was one of the best books I had ever read. But the ending is unsettling and depressing. I would not recommend this book.

Great start, rough finish

This book started off great and I was completely engrossed. But some where in the middle it lost its footing. When I finished I couldn’t help but feel like none of my questions were answered. I gave it to the thrift store.

Nice plot, but...

Too many words, Tana French! The many pages of the main character's emotions are tedious and totally unnecessary. I will not buy a Tana French book again. However, she knows her English and writes prose well.

Potential to be a good thriller, but overall disappointing

The concept of the plot is cool, but the narrator is annoying and self-centered, and the ending is quite unsatisfying.

Best novel I have read it years

So captivating and true to life

Do Not waste your time!!!

Very anti climatic and disappointing.

Just bad

I had high hopes for this book, but was disappointed. The characters are static and boring; the plot reads like a bad csi episode with an extremely underwhelming ending and large parts of the plot are just dropped. It just felt like she wrote herself into a corner and didn't known how to finish it. An easy pass.

Couldn’t put it down

Absolutely loved this book! I would read it again.


Could not put this book down. It’s Been awhile since I have finished it, but remember the thrill when reading.

So disappointed!

This book started out really intriguing, I thought the plot was good. But it made me think that what happened to him as a child was connected to what happened to the girl that he is now investigating and it wasn’t. There was never any resolution to what happened to him and his friends when they were kids so I don’t really see why that part of the story even mattered when it had nothing to do with his current investigation! Such a disappointing book, it ended so terribly! I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. I kept stopping multiple times because it was so slow but then I’d pick it back up telling myself I “had to try and finish it”. What a waste of time...

I loved this book

The author’s language was very descriptive and painted beautiful pictures (think “The Goldfinch”). This book was perfect to read in late September because it gave me total fall vibes! Very well thought out, a great read, I didn’t want it to end. Highly recommend.

Started well, turned bad quickly, ended horrible.

When I finished this book, I looked at my husband and said, "that was a giant waste of my time that I will never get back." He was shocked. Having been married 40 plus years he had never heard me say that reading anything was a waste of time.

In The Woods keeps you up!

Tana French's novel IN THE WOODS is a story that keeps you drawn in. I really liked the main characters. The female detective shows an understanding of human nature that belies her age and life experience. Similarly, the lead male protagonist embodies a tortured soul, the soul of the survivor. I would have preferred to see a follow up to this novel that answers the unanswered question of what actually happened in the woods. I was excited to see that a cable network chose to create a series based on Ms. French's novels, though, in my opinion, it does not live up to the written works.

I had to reorder this book because the first one I recieved was in such poor condition I was unable

Cover was almost gone, & the inner binding so poor that chunks of pages were falling out.


This story was the first I read by Tana and I loved it the whole time! The story kept evolving but I was able to keep up and I just wanted to read more! The team had great dynamics and she’s a great writer!

I love Thrillers but this book was not!

I could not stand this book. I did not like the characters or care about them. The plot was stupid and you could figure it out pretty easily. Save your money.

Enigmatic literary mystery thriller--don't expect genre!

After reading numerous reviews, I am compelled to counter a lot of the remarks by frustrated reader reviewers expecting more of a resolve than is served up in the story. This is the kind of mystery that feels organic. Language, imagery, poetry, sensuality, metaphor, emotional density, visceral fear--that is how the story is revealed. This isn't exposition and a lot of declarative sentences. It is not formula. It performs a vivisection on genre. As much as it is a mystery of the present murder of a young girl and an unsolved past mystery of the main protagonist's boyhood (he is now a detective who as a young boy survived a violent attack on himself and two friends, who were never found), it is much, much more. The story is allegory. It is about the enigmatic quality of relationships, the complicated enmeshments glued by dysfunction, the underbelly of fear that keeps people from leading full lives, and the question of survival in a life of elliptical events. Detectives Cassie and Adam were characters that haunted me around the clock, even when I was not reading the book. The characterizations were meticulous. The inner dialogue was fresh with deep, psychological insights, and the minor characters were not drawn for convenience or contrivance, either. Not one character seemed cardboard. The book was unputdownable; the story was a generous mix of harrowing and romantic and wry and witty and dramatic and tragic. I might even consider the word epic as an apt description. And it was this epic quality that makes it stand apart from your prosaic thrillers that flood the marketplace. This is not Stephen King. It is way too literary, layered, full of allusion, and linguistically lush. The author makes it both accessible to the reader while also challenging the senses. She has a grasp of comic timing and dramatic irony. She loves her characters. It is evident in every beautiful sentence that Tana French writes. She did not use a cookie cutter to write this. This came from the marrow of her bones, the center of her heart. The unfolding of the story never feels forced or artificial. If you are looking for a dues ex machina, or if you are inflexible about having all your ducks in a row, then this is not a novel for you. I was initially frustrated at the close of the novel because all the answers were not forthcoming. But as I chewed on it for a night and a day, I realized that my reaction is also a part of the story. I do not want to reveal too much, but the reviewers who criticized the author for essentially cheating them out of a certain kind of ending remind me of the characters in the story also working out their personal demons through this mystery. I do believe that the author slyly and discreetly puts the reader right there in that Irish berg. It forces the reader to reflect on personal issues concerning resolution.I am one of the characters by the time it is over--I am part of the town. It is plausible, also, that Tana Frenc

Beautiful writing, gruesome murder, terrific story....

This is a murder mystery/suspense thriller written in a graceful and beautiful style that I've never seen in a book of this genre before. I felt I'd truly read something original and out of the common mold. The characters, especially the two protagonists, Rob and Cassie, are complex, vulnerable, yet still manage to be believably steely detectives. The mystery itself is as complex and compelling as the characters. This book creates an eerie spell that stays with you after you finish it. The ending is not what you expect, and maybe not what some readers will be hoping for, but it leaves you wanting to know more about Rob and Cassie and their lives, both past and future.

A great read

First of all, beware that the review from K. Schlotterback (baaaad ending) contains a spoiler!!! So don't read it if you don't want to know one of the ending points. On to the story, really compelling! The interaction of the partners as they investigate the murder, was great reading. I hope we haven't seen the last of these characters! As an aside, the Ireland setting is fun too, as is deciphering the Irish colloquialisms. Terrific first outing!


This is a terrific NOVEL that happens to be a murder mystery as well. It is one of the best books I have ever read - interesting plot that gradually and naturally unfolds, complex and interesting characters, realistic dialog, and a theme that raises (and resolves) larger issues. First-rate; I only hope the author will write many more books and live forever!

Is There Something Out There?

Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the United States and Malawi. She has lived in Dublin since 1990. She trained as an actress, at Trinity College in Dublin and has worked in the theatre and film. In the Woods is her first novel. I don't know if it is because this book is the first novel of the author or just a coincidence, but the book just seemed to have a "fresh" feel to it. Taking it out of the run of the mill mystery/suspense/thriller. Even the cover of the book seemed more like a work of art than many of the brash book covers that are supposed to leap off the shelf at you. The book begins when a young boy of twelve went playing in the woods with his two best friends. The boy, Adam Ryan never saw his friends again. The bodies of his two friends were never found and Adam himself was discovered with his back pressed against a tree and his shoes were full of blood, but Adam has no recollection of what has occurred. Twenty years on and Adam, using his second name Rob is a detective with the Dublin police force. None of his colleagues know about his past. When the body of a young girl is found at the site of an archaeological dig, Rob and his partner Cassie are given the case. It is only when they arrive at the crime scene that Rob realises that it is the exact same spot where his childhood nightmare took place. Rob knows that if his past came to light he would be thrown off the case, so he makes a decision to keep quiet. Is there a connection between the old unsolved crime and the recent one of the young girl, called Katy Devlin . . .

In the Woods Mentions in Our Blog

In the Woods in Sink Into a Series™ for Sleuths
Sink Into a Series™ for Sleuths
Published by Amanda Cleveland • August 27, 2023

Looking for a new crime to solve? Full of twists, turns, surprises—and a few cats—these twelve beloved detectives and amateur-sleuths will have you binge-reading all night. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about them to pick the perfect next mystery series to sink into.

In the Woods in 13 Book Releases We're Excited About This Month
13 Book Releases We're Excited About This Month
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • April 02, 2021

Our TBR piles may be weighing down our bedside tables, but that doesn’t stop us from perusing (and purchasing!) new books! Here are fifteen April releases that we can’t wait to pick up, along with suggestions for books you can read right away.

In the Woods in 10 Great New Series For Adults
10 Great New Series For Adults
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • August 28, 2020

There’s nothing like finishing a great book and having another volume ready and waiting for you. So we decided to spend a few weeks spotlighting some of the best new series in a variety of genres. Here are some of the best series for adults published in the past twenty years.

In the Woods in 31 Things of October: From Adopt a Shelter Dog Month to Chili Week
31 Things of October: From Adopt a Shelter Dog Month to Chili Week
Published by Beth Clark • October 18, 2018

In choosing which National Days and holidays to promote here at ThriftBooks, the goals are usually reading, humor, learning, awareness, and/or having fun, with an undertone of acceptance and diversity, because books are for everyone. But as much as we wish we could include anything and everything, it's simply not possible, at least until quantum physics advances and we can post in alternate universes. Below are 31 (out of 114 possible) October monthly observances worthy of giving more love to, plus eight weekly ones (bonus!).

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