In the Woods. Finished 12-26-12, rating 4.5/5, mystery, 464 pages, pub. 2007
Book 1 in the Dublin Murder Squad series.
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.
Ryan narrates the book with humor and enough foreshadowing to keep you reading well past bedtime (at least it did for me). He has his problems. At the best of times he’s cool and fun, at the worst he’s a real piece of work who I wanted to pour a beer on. He’s best friends with his partner, Cassie, and their brother-sister relationship was one to be envied, by their fellow detectives and the reader. I loved Cassie. Loved her more than Rob, especially by the end.
The old mystery of what happens to Rob as a child and the new case of who killed little Katy have a few pieces of connecting evidence and Rob is stuck in the middle of his own hell, one he stepped into willingly. The mystery was very good, if not totally surprising. I loved the characters and the history of the village. French did an excellent job of making me feel right at home in Dublin. Now I need to visit!
I really, really liked this one. Yes, by the end I was fairly disgusted with Rob, but I am so looking forward to reading the next of this series. I know that a lot of bloggers were upset by the loose ends but I was okay with it. But that could have been because I was expecting it, who knows?
I bought this for my Nook and if any other Nookster wants to borrow it for 2 weeks, let me know!