In the Woods by Tana French

‘In the Woods’ is the 1st novel in the Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French. It introduces detectives Rob Ryan, Cassie Maddox and Sam O’Neil.

Rob Ryan has a past that is buried so deeply that he can’t remember what happened. When he was 12 years old, his two best friends went missing in the local woods and were never found. Rob, then named Adam, was found with his shoes full of blood and no memory of what happened. He changed his name and kept his past secret from all but his partner and best friend Cassie Maddox.

Now 20 years later Rob and Cassie have been assigned the case of 12 year old murdered girl Katy Devlin. Her body was found on an ancient alter in an archaeological dig in the Knocknaree woods. Rob should step away from the case, after all, how likely is there to be two child murderers in Knocknaree?

Instead, he keeps his secret and presses ahead with both the case and the gradual recovery of his lost memory, trying to find a link between the past and the present. Needless to say, his judgement is impaired and his life starts to unravel.

Rob, Cassie and Sam follow various leads before stumbling in the right direction. But, for all of them, their lives are irreversibly changed.


The thing I loved most about this novel was Rob and Cassie’s relationship at the beginning – fun, like a childhood summer that you hope will never end. The change was almost painful to read.

I found some parts of the story a bit slow moving. It was a long book and not always totally riveting.

But, Tana French’s writing was beautiful and I’m looking forward to reading more of it and spending more time with her excellent characters.

The next novel in the series is – ‘The Likeness’.


Book Published 2007


See a full list of books by Tana French


Filed under Book Reviews, Crime, Detective, French, Tana, Series Fiction, Thriller

3 Responses to In the Woods by Tana French

  1. Reading Tana French for the first time and I believe the story couldn’t be more realistic through the anxiousness of Rob. I’m eager to read this book.

  2. Pingback: Tana French Profile and Books | Written Gems

  3. Pingback: The Likeness by Tana French | Written Gems