This book, Tana French's debut novel, is a mystery set in a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. Most of the story takes place in the present, but there are important references to an event that happened in August 1984. That 1984 event happened to the book's main character, Adam "Rob" Ryan, who is now a detective partnered with Cassie Maddox. The complex relationship between Cassie and Rob is at the heart of the story; indeed, I think it IS the story. All the mysterious subplots about the crimes against children, opposition to a road that is proposed to come through and change their Dublin suburb, deception within families, trust and disappointment, drive the story and drive both the personal and professional relationships between the two detectives. Stories that take place "in the woods" or refer to the woods often have an eerie atmosophere and high level of suspense and this book is no exception. This one was actually somewhat slow to "grab" me in the beginning, but because a friend recommended it highly I stayed with it and it eventually kept me rapt and involved to the very end, an end that I found most unsettling. I am now looking forward to reading Ms. French's next book, The Likeness, which focuses on Cassie Maddox.
Jan 22, 2010