WELCOME to the Small Book Blog! I am a voracious reader. I love losing myself in books and cannot wait to read myself into my next adventure. It is because of this love for books that I created this blog. I want to share my passion of books with you! I hope you enjoy my recommendations and reviews. My goal is that they will lead you to a new book, series or author, that you can fall in love with and recommend to others as well.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tana French's In The Woods

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.


  1. I recommend not giving up on Tana French. Now that you've worked your way through her first book, I highly recommend the second, titled The Likeness. Rob, a character I didn't care a lot for, is not in the 2nd book. Cassie is the main character. I think it's interesting the way each book French writes builds on a character introduced in the last book she wrote. I'm working on the 3rd book now!

  2. Thanks for the recommendation. I wasn't sure if I should try the next in the series. I did like Cassie and how her story ended so I'll have to give The Likeness a try.

  3. Just a quick follow up now that I finished French's third book, Faithful Place. Stop after you finish The Likeness! I was extremely disappointed in the third book after enjoying the second so much. Frank Mackey was the protagonist in the third book. French seems to do a great job with female leads, but not so much with males (in my opinion).

  4. Thank you so much for the follow-up!