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In the Woods: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
May 2007
20 hours 30 minutes
The bestselling debut, with over a million copies sold, that launched Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Hunter and “the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years” (The Washington Post). 

“Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting.” —The New York Times

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.

Richly atmospheric and stunning in its complexity, In the Woods is utterly convincing and surprising to the end.
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Linda M.

This is often rated to be Tana French's best novel, and I can honestly say that it was one of the best mystery novels that I have ever read/listened to. The plot is interesting, the writing wonderful, the character development excellent. A really great book. The narration was just as good.

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Rosana V.

Probably the most senseless book I've ever heard. Wasted 20 hours of nothing.

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Judy S

I loved this book! It was a mystery/thriller that kept me interested in finding out "who did it" and what happened next - but it also had a wonderful, detailed, evocative writing style that is far superior to most murder mysteries. I highly recommend it - it set a mood that I can still recall when I think about it weeks later. I can still recall the interesting characters - made very clear, and I can see the woods.

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Bob Stewart

Not your standard murder mystery, this one. Beautifully written, with complex character development...I felt as though I was a part of each of the main characters in the story. It is very long (791 pp. in the written version, I believe), but well worth the time and effort. It takes a little while to get used to a book which takes place entirely in Ireland being narrated with a British accent (explained in the beginning, though), but the reader is excellent. This book is probably not for everyone...if you're looking for a detective novel in the style of James Patterson or David Baldacci, then look elsewhere. If you're looking for a finely wrought novel with very real people at the center of the story, this might be for you.

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Jill W

Wish there were more! Loved all books in series. Excellent narrator!!

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Susie Pryor

Tana French is a great storyteller. I found the book riveting. The author doesn't create fall into the trap of predictability (even when you actually wish she would!)

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lauri Preston

tana french does a superb job of developing her characters, brilliantly making them so human as to render me frustrated and annoyed at rob's ridiculous decision-making. other reviewers have written about their dissatisfaction with the ending. i think the ending merely highlights the genius that is ms french. she writes truth in the fiction, and it's so believable, we're as upset by unacceptable outcomes as we would be with the kinds of crazy heard on the news. i loved it, even though i had no resolution or relief from the ending, the narrator was a wee bit too expressive, making most of the characters' dialogue sound rather excitable, with nowhere to go. if he'd tone down the phrasing, it would be nice.

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Peggy Stortz

I'm not a fan of formulaic murder mysteries so I was uncertain about ordering "In the Woods." But from the very beginning I was spellbound--convincing characters, fascinating story: for 18 CD's I didn't want to get out of my car.

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Kevin R.

Clear indication that this was an early audiobook production when they noted "This is the end of Disk 3; Disk 4 Begins". Nonetheless, the narrator was excellent, as was the book itself. Best of the Dublin Murder Series in my opinion.

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Brenda S.

Good story most of the time but some places became tedious

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Lauren C.

Gripping thriller and authentic feeling police procedural. 7/10

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Linda H.

l didn't care for this book

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Too violent. Discussing details.

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Carol I.

What an infuriating whiny obnoxious character. I stopped reading halfway through when I realized he was a foolish self sabotaging idiot who made everyone miserable for no apparent reason. Also the ending was predictable, so much so that when I read spoilers after I stopped reading the only surprise was that the author had expected the ending to be a surprise.

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20 hours to tell a not so great story..

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Shawn P.

just not following it

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Butch Brodie

I found this a pretty riveting mystery - heady but not a high action piece. Maybe that is what some reviewers miss? I listened over the course of a couple of weeks during runs and a book has to hold together to work in that context. Very importantly, the narrator is excellent He strikes the right balance of acting the book out without going so far as to take over.

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Wanda Musgrove

This could have been a great book, but instead it was extremely disappointing.

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Holli Fotch

Gosh this book was so boring. It's 20 hours and barely anything happens during the first 10 hours. I'm so disappointed I used a credit on this book because I heard it was an exciting mystery book. One big mystery went unsolved in this book which is frustrating and the other just dragged on so much. The narrator also talks a little quickly and it made it hard to pay attention to him since I was just bored listen anyways. I would skip this one.

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Eric Blevins

Overall, I really liked it BUT.......we never find out what happened to the kid strapped to the tree!! I needed more of the relationship between the two detectives. There was no closure.

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I really loved the way Tana French got into the characters' minds and relationships - it was unbelievable and I was enthralled from the beginning. I was disappointed in the ending, however, so only gave it 4 stars. I do recommend this as a good read though!

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I'm torn. I loved the characters, how they interact with one another, the relationship between the 2 dectectives was interesting to listen to. On the other hand I was disappointed with the ending and kind of felt like it was all a big waste of time. I love mysteries and I usually don't try to figure out who did it...I like to be surprised at the end. This is probably the only mystery I read where I had the murderer pegged almost from the beginning.

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I had a hard time getting into this and only listening during commutes, made it hard to follow all of the time. I kept waiting for it to pick up but it didn't. I also got very depressed by the story and characters. If you are habitually stuck in traffic going to a job you don't care for....don't choose this book. Bottom line...slow and depressing.

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Enjoyed this book. The mystery starts when we learn the survivor of a previous incident in the woods is the inspector on the new case. The main character was neurotic but generally likeable. The ending was slightly unsatisfying but still worth a read.

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I rented this based on previous reviews but was sorely disappointed. It dragged on and on and on! I wouldn't recommend this one at all...!

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Kathy B

The book took me by surprise since I wasn't expecting to like it so much. The reader and characters grow on you, pulling you into the story. I love procedural crime novels that also have interesting detectives/investigators who have a personal connection with the case and with each other. If that type of suspense/mystery is for you, this is your book. It is one of those books that immerses you completely.

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