I was thrilled when Tana French’s The Likeness finally came into the library for me; I’d seen it praised several times. I was less thrilled when I realized it was a sequel, when I started it anyway, and when some critical points from the first one were divulged. So off I went to Target for In the Woods, since it still has a wait list at the library, too.
In the Woods is narrated by Rob Ryan, a homicide detective in Ireland. He and his partner Cassie volunteer to investigate the murder of a pre-teen girl. The case bears suspicious resemblances to a missing children case from twenty years before, one in which Rob was involved.
What I want you to remember is that I’m a detective. Our relationship with truth is fundamental but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies and concealment and every variation on deception…
This is my job, and you don’t go into it–or if you do, you don’t last–without some natural affinity for its priorities and demands. What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this–two things. I crave truth. And I lie.
This is an engrossing procedural, with excellent psychological characterizations. Dark and grim, though, it’s not fun or escapist, if that’s what you’re looking for. For those who have read the book and want to know more about an item mentioned at the very end, see here.
Will I be able to finish both books by the time I have to return The Likeness, which is non-renewable? We shall see. But judging by In the Woods, which I finished in about 5 days, I think I’m gonna make it.