April 21, 2008
French has a grip around setting that reminds me of David Mitchell’s “Black Swan Green” (of course, this is Ireland and that was England, please don’t think I have the two confused–but we are talking about coming of age in the 80′s here): looking back on puberty with winsomeness and confusion.
(Minor spoiler point following)
The plot is both sinuous and absolutely maddening: discovering today that there is a planned sequel makes me feel duped by the ambiguous ending. There were things that the protagonists did to each other that made my heart sing with regret–but now that I know it is undoable by a continuing story, I’m let down.
French takes on a story that is at the same time suspense, police drama and modern literature. It works, and you care, perhaps too much. The murder of a young girl is the connective center of the novel, with detective Rob Ryan’s tragic past interwoven. I admit that I want to see what happens in the next book. I’m hooked. But I do feel exploited. ( )
[...] In the Woods, Tana French — Simultaneously a page-turning whodunnit, a well-written piece of debut literature, and a window into contemporary Irish culture. Highly recommended. My review. [...]
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