In the mid-1980s in a small suburban Dublin neighborhood, two boys and a girl enter the woods surrounding the neighborhood on a warm summer day. As dusk approaches and their mothers call them home, the woods remain silent. The Police are called in and all that is found of the children is one of the two boys, grasping at a tree trunk in a catatonic state, wearing blood-filled sneakers. Adam Ryan can’t recall a single detail of what happened that day and the case of his missing friends goes unsolved.
Twenty years later, Detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox, newbies on the Dublin Murder Squad, fall upon a case that is much more exciting than their usual fare of cases involving Dublin’s homeless dead. Their boss explains that the body of a 12-year-old girl has been found in the woods outside of Knocknaree, the very neighborhood Ryan lived in as a boy.
As Ryan and Maddox begin their investigation, it is revealed that Detective Ryan was the found boy, Adam Ryan, of the unsolved 1984 case. As his interest and involvement in the murder case grows, he begins to recall snippets of memories from 1984 that he had been unable to recall since. As evidence and interviews are collected, there is the very real possibility that the old case is somehow linked to the new one and that Ryan will be released from his haunting past.
Richly atmospheric, stunning in its complexity and utterly convincing and surprising to the end, IN THE WOODS marks the arrival of an astonishing new voice in the psychological suspense genre.
IN THE WOODS won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 2008.
IN THE WOODS © Copyright 2011 by Tana French. Reprinted with permission by Penguin. All rights reserved.