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Extended Audio Sample In the Woods, by Tana French Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (65,433 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tana French Narrator: Steven Crossley Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Dublin Murder Squad Series Release Date:
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As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

Richly atmospheric, stunning in its complexity, and utterly convincing and surprising to the end, In the Woods is sure to enthrall fans of Mystic River and The Lovely Bones.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Tana French promises two whodunits for the price of one in her harrowing first novel. Drawn by the grim nature of her plot and the lyrical ferocity of her writing, even smart people who should know better will be able to lose themselves in these dark woods. Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
  • [An] ambitious and extraordinary first novel...rank it high. The Washington Post Book World
  • [In the Woods] plies dark, shuddery suspense to a breaking point...[a] thoroughly taunting suspense novel. New York Daily News
  • [An] ambitious and extraordinary first novel...rank it high. The Washington Post
  • “Part whodunit, part psychological thriller, and wholly successful...French’s plot twists and turns will bamboozle even the most astute reader...A well-written, expertly plotted thriller. NPR
  • In the Woods is as creepily imaginative as it gets. USA Today
  • Drawn by the grim nature of her plot and the lyrical ferocity of her writing, even smart people who should know better will be able to lose themselves in these dark woods. The New York Times Book Review
  • When you read Ms. French — and she has become required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting — make only one assumption: All of your initial assumptions are wrong The New York Times
  • Tana French is the most interesting, most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years. The Washington Post
  • "[Tana French] inspires cultic devotion in readers…most crime fiction is diverting; French's is consuming. The New Yorker
  • To say Tana French is one of the great thriller writers is really too limiting. Rather she’s simply this: a truly great writer.”­ 
    —Gillian Flynn
  • French is a poet of mood and a master builder of plots.” ­
    The Washington Post
  • One of the most distinct and exciting new voices in crime writing. The Wall Street Journal
     
  • French does something fresh with every novel, each one as powerful as the last but in a very different manner. Perhaps she has superpowers of her own? Whatever the source of her gift, it’s only growing more miraculous with every book. Salon.com
  • Winner of the Anthony, Macavity, and Barry Awards for Best First Novel, and the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author
     
    Finalist for Los Angeles Times Book Prize
  • Tana French’s intense debut novel, In the Woods, is part whodunit, part psychological thriller, and wholly successful...French’s plot twists and turns will bamboozle even the most astute reader...A well-written, expertly plotted thriller. Nancy Pearl, NPR’s Morning Edition
  • Readers who like their hard-boiled police procedurals with an international flair will love Irish author Tana French’s debut novel...In the Woods is as creepily imaginative as it gets. USA Today
  • “[French] sets a vivid scene for her complex characters, who seem entirely capable of doing the unexpected. Drawn by the grim nature of her plot and the lyrical ferocity of her writing, even smart people who should know better will be able to lose themselves in these dark woods.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[An] ambitious and extraordinary first novel...rank it high.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Readers who like their hard-boiled police procedurals with an international flair will love Irish author Tana French’s debut novel...In the Woods is as creepily imaginative as it gets.”

    USA Today

  • “[In The Woods] plies dark, shuddery suspense to the breaking point...[A] thoroughly taunting suspense novel.”

    New York Daily News

  • “An auspicious debut...The theater-trained French clearly knows a thing or two about drama...The book’s plot and pacing are rock-solid, but its tender characterizations, particularly the deepening relationship between Ryan and his brainy, tough female partner, are what set it apart. Strong stuff.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A terrific debut...French’s psychological insights into the damaged policeman’s torment combine grippingly with the clammy atmosphere that surrounds the lethal woods. As an example of a novel in which the past returns to haunt the present, this scores very high marks.”

    Times (London)

  • “This is a wonderfully assured and beautifully written debut novel, a multilayered psychological thriller that digs beneath the surface of ordinary lives and delivers excitement and insight in large helpings.”

    Irish Independent

  • “A masterpiece.”

    Evening Herald (Dublin)

  • “A stunning debut that examines the complexities of the human mind and the cost of discovering the truth.”

    Barnes & Noble editorial review

  • “Irish author French expertly walks the line between police procedural and psychological thriller in her debut.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This is an amazing piece of work, taut, persuasive, and intricately constructed to stunning effect...Steven Crossley does an expert job...A dazzling performance.”

    AudioFile

  • In the Woods is a superior novel about cops, murder, memory, relationships, and modern Ireland. The characters of Ryan and Maddox, as well as a handful of others, are vividly developed in this intelligent and beautifully written first novel...Equally striking is the picture of contemporary Ireland, booming economically and fixated on the shabbiest aspects of American popular culture. An outstanding debut and a series to watch for procedural fans.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A readable, non-formulaic police procedural with a twist.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American Author
  • Selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Winner of the 2008 Barry Award for Best First Novel
  • Winner of the 2008 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel
  • Winner of the 2008 Anthony Award for Best First Novel
  • A 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Mystery/Thriller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Stacey | 2/17/2014

    " This book was just "ok". It seemed to be bogged down in detail and drawn-out. I finished it because I wanted to see if the mystery of the narrator's childhood friends' disappearance was solved. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Suzanne Bigler | 2/15/2014

    " I am drawn to these books by Tana French because I enjoy the Irish settings/descriptions but I feel like the main character of the Irish police detective is always the same, only the family history/details change. I thought it was an interesting premise with the detective in a current child murder investigating a place of childhood trauma where he had been terrorized and his friends went missing. I was disappointed though that the older mystery was never solved and the romance in the book fizzled. Just not very satisfying in that regard. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Eileen Lennon | 1/31/2014

    " Okay, could have been shorter. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Cjhall | 1/28/2014

    " I couldn't put this book down, it was very compelling. But, in the end, it left me vaguely unsatisfied. It was well written and engrossing, but I'm not actually sure I "liked" it. "

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