I found In The Woods on sale at Costco and decided to give it a try. I had seen it on numerous book club lists and the cover showed that it was an Edgar Award Winner. I enjoyed the idea of the novel and “the voice” it was written in was unique. The story is told after the mystery and murder happen. It is a reconstruction of the main detective assigned to the murder of a little girl, Rob/Adam’s, memories of the big events the story focuses on and the events surrounding those. The reader has to rely on what he remembers, focuses on, thinks is important and what he thinks he remembers to piece together the mystery.
At the beginning of the novel, Rob tells the reader that there are two things we need to know going forward: “I crave truth. And I lie.” (In The Woods, pg.4) I wish I had paid more attention to this. I will recommend to future readers that they do. At one point I realized that it was a plot device for figuring out the mysteries and almost started the book over. Rob will give hints to things throughout his reminiscing that he thinks in hindsight were a mistake; we didn’t know how important this was until afterword, etc.
I did not feel like I needed to re-read the novel when I finished, discover what clues I might have missed. The two main characters, Rob and Cassie, have a tenuous relationship that appears to work but has huge overlooked cracks in it that seem obvious to the reader but are not to them. There is a lot of drinking and depression scenes and I got very annoyed with the poor decisions Rob and Cassie were making. I just wanted to pull Rob out of the book at one point and smack him. That being said, it was an interesting psychological mystery but did let me down in a few parts.