Summary

When he was twelve years old, Adam Ryan went playing in the woods one day with his two best friends. He never saw them again. Their bodies were never found, and Adam himself was discovered with his back pressed against an oak tree and his shoes filled with blood. He had no memory of what had happened. 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. Then a little girl's body is found at the site of the old tragedy and Rob is drawn back into the mystery. Knowing that he would be thrown off the case if his past were revealed, Rob takes a fateful decision to keep quiet but hope that he might also solve the twenty-year-old mystery of the woods.
©2007 Tana French (P)2008 Oakhill Publishing
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Carol on 19-10-14

Strange & pointless

Was In the Woods worth the listening time?

Not really.

Any additional comments?

The premise of the story is promising, and draws you in, but then it just goes on and on, goes nowhere, and dribbles out. Although the crime is solved, the back story for the central character - i.e. the child who survived - is left hanging. While the author probably had a reason for this, it is very unsatisfying as a listener as this what hooked me in the first place. Also, the narrator is awful. Even though the plummy BBC accent is explained, it really spoils the story. Generally, the strange intonations & inflections of the narrator change the meaning of sentences, and often leaves them hanging or as if they were meant to be questions. Specifically, his characterisation of the main suspect makes him sound like a moron.This is the second Tana French book I've listened to - I kept living in hope as it went on, but I should have learned the first time. I don't think I'll listen to any more.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Josephine Murray-Smith on 31-05-12

I could not put it down

This was a refreshing book - seemingly ordinary and yet very intricate. The relationships are very believable and when it was finished I missed the characters. I also played in the woods when I was a child and it took me back there. I have just ordered another Tana French book to read on holiday.

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11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 21-08-12

Don't miss this one, literary crime lovers...

Where does In the Woods rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

In the Woods is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to - partly because I love the story & the writing (I've actually read it before) - but also because it's very well read.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The protagonist's back story is gripping & informs the present-day plot & main character's actions. Without giving anything away, the main character starts to lose the plot as past & present come together...

What does John McCormack bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

I usually prefer reading books but love to listen to audiobooks while driving or walking the dogs. One thing I don't like when listening to an audiobook is the (more old-fashioned) over-the-top storytelling style that quite a few readers have - almost like they're reading to children.

John McCormack reads in a more realist style, more like he's telling you the facts in a one-sided conversation. It draws you in. At the same time his voice is very clear & pleasant to listen to.

At first I thought his BBC accent was some sort of horrible mistake, as the character (told in first person) is Irish, but it emerges that he in fact (for an important reason) does have an English accent. It's a brilliant element of John McCormack's reading that his accent very subtly slides into a more Irish one as events unfold.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Many moving moments - & John McCormack doesn't overplay them - he's a subtle reader. Very effective.

Any additional comments?

The ending was almost ruined. As the narrator says his last words - voice low, atmospheric - a loud voice comes almost over his voice & intones 'Audible hopes you've enjoyed this program'. I needed a few beats to process what the ending was telling me - frustrating, & completely at odds with the style of book & the reading.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 06-08-12

A nice start to the series

If you could sum up In the Woods in three words, what would they be?

Well worth listening.

What was one of the most memorable moments of In the Woods?

The quality of writing continued to impress me.

Did John McCormack do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

John McCormack was a good, not great, narrator (but I am fussy). Make sure you get this version rather than the one narrated by Steven Crossley if chronic mouth clicks and whistles give you the creeps.

Any additional comments?

The lovely Marian Keyes (via Twitter) often heaps praise on Tana French, so I thought I should give her a go. I wasn't disappointed. BUT although this is a series, the next books are about different characters, so there isn't an on-going story arc as such. The second book lost me with its rather far fetched story. This one, though, is very enjoyable, but beware, not every loose end is tied up.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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