Sunday, August 31, 2014

Into the Woods

The cover to this book is what attracted me to it to begin with.  The branch like design made me wonder what it was about and what woods or trees could do with the story I read on the back cover.  I was drawn in based off the cover.  I did not expect the story that I found when I opened the book and began to read.

The story follows Detective Rob Ryan as he works on a case of a murdered child.  The case takes place in a town he grew up in.  He struggles with his own obsessiveness over this case and the possible link to another unsolved case involving 2 missing children, from the same area.  Could the cases be related, could this be a murder of convenience, or is someone trying to get a message across to the leader of a protest group.  There are so many questions that arise with this case including the possibility of cult related sacrifices because she was found placed on an ancient druid alter by an archeologist. 

The story opens up on the background of the missing children case.  Three children go into the woods and don’t return.  Once a search party is assembled they find one of the boys clinging to a tree, with blood in his shoes and brusies, and cuts.  The other 2 children are not found.  The young boy grows up hiding from the media and unable to remember anything that happened that day in the woods.  He grows up and becomes successful as a detective.  He is none other than Detective Ryan.  As our detective investigates the murder in his home town, he begins to remember little things about that day and the days leading up to it.  But he cannot remember what exactly happens.  As he becomes obsessed with the case, he throws himself at various different angles trying to find a solution to the case, even if it means grasping at straws.  Detective Ryan gets swept up into his own world that he makes mistakes and doesn’t pick up on subtle hints about the case.  He makes minor mistakes that come back to bite him in the butt. 

Once the detectives begin their investigation you as the reader find yourself trying to figure out who the murderer is as well.  There are numerous hints throughout the novel, that if you pick up on them you can figure out who committed the crime and why it happened.  Throughout the novel French drops little hints leading to the murderer while also leading away from that person.  The way French describes things is exceptional.  I was able to picture the small Irish towns and the places the detectives visited.  It was a great imagery based novel.  A lot of the time when a novel focuses a lot on images, the story gets lost, but this is not one of those novels.  This is one of those novels that makes you want more from the story, makes you want to know what happens next.

The backstory with the missing children seemed like it would be more important to the story line other than Detective Ryan’s connection to it.  I was a little let down the nothing progressed with it, such as them finding out some more information or even finding out where the children could have gone.  That is the only thing I would have to complain about this novel.  It let loose ends linger.  Maybe she addresses that in another novel, I might have to see.

Pros:Compelling story, great characters and imagery.
Cons: Questions linger on some of the storyline

Bottom Line: I would highly recommend this to anyone who needs a good read

Rating 4 out of 5 stars

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