Title: In the Woods
Author: Tana French
Genre: Mystery / psychological thriller
Rating: 4.5 / 5
I don’t read much in the way of the “mystery” genre (although I do read some), so I’m not sure how this compares to your standard mystery fare, but I think it’d be favorably. It has much more to offer than just a mystery–and in fact, the mystery itself may be the weakest part of the whole thing.
This is a multifaceted story with a compelling narrator (who, yes, did piss me off at times). The writing was what drew me in initially–French is definitely a skilled writer. What really impressed me by the end, though, was the depth of the characters and the complexity of it all–commentary on relationships, memory, and habits. My favorite type of thriller/horror/mystery are ones that deal with a trust/mistrust (like Rosemary’s Baby or The Thing). I was pleasantly surprised to find certain aspects of that theme here.
Although the story has obvious elements of violence, and covers especially violence against women in the form of domestic violence, murder, and rape, with a focus on the murder of a girl child, it does not sensationalize the violence.
Overall it was more than I was expecting and I’d be glad to read the next in the series.