In the Woods
By Tana French
(Viking Books, Hardcover, 9780670038602, 429pp.)
Publication Date: May 17, 2007
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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, and 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.
- What do the woods represent symbolically in Tana French's novel? Does their significance change as the story progresses?