by Rana Asfour
Re-reading “In the Woods” by American Irish writer Tana French for a book club next week. This debut psychological thriller released in Jan 2007 cemented author Tana French’s mastery of the genre. Combining a character driven plot with captivating storytelling, this is one book that most readers find hard to put down. It’s also one I personally found hard to forget, years after I’d read it. Going back to it now, I find I can still remember it to its tiniest detail. And it’s still atmospheric & magical & bloody creepy.
Three children leave their Dublin neighbourhood & venture into the woods to play. Only one is found hours later gripping a tree trunk in terror wearing blood filled sneakers & unable to recall a single detail. Twenty years later, that boy, now detective Rob Ryan of Dublin Murder Squad, is back at the scene to investigate the murder of a 12-year old girl. Having kept his past a secret, he now finds he’s got a chance at cracking what happened to him in the past as he unravels the mystery of the murder at hand.
This debut, released by @penguinukbooks was to become the first of 11 books in the Dublin Murder Squad series, the last of which was released in 2016. There has already been an 8-episode first series adaptation released in 2019 entitled “Dublin Murders” on STARZ based on the first two books “In the Woods” & “The Likeness”
Other personal favourite books of French that stood out for me include “The Witch Elm” & “The Trespasser” - I’ve got her new standalone novel ‘The Searcher’ (2020) on my TBR pile for 2021!