Detective Rob Ryan and his partner, detective Cassie Maddox, have picked up a case of solving the seemingly ritualistic murder of a young girl in the woods of a small community. The site of the murder is a much-argued-over piece of land. Some in the community wish to preserve the land as a historical site including the team of archeologists currently completing an excavation. Others want to use the land to build a freeway. Complicating things even further is the fact that Detective Rob Ryan experienced trauma as a young boy in these very same woods: the violent disappearance of his two best friends.
I picked up this book because many other Cannonballers sing the praises of author Tana French frequently. I can understand why now. I don’t often read mysteries because I often find the that case and mystery take precedence over the characters: plot over people. French has found a lovely balance between the two. Cassie and Rob’s dynamic together feels very natural. French captured all of those small moments between two people that seem like nothing but reveal how comfortable and close they are.
There is some issue with editing. I felt this book was longer than it needed to be. There’s a little too much wallowing over past events and over the stagnation of the case for my liking. And some people are going to have an issue with the ending; I myself did not care for how French ended things at first. However, the more I sit with the ending, the more I appreciate what French did. Sometimes, that’s just the way things go.
In The Woods is the first in a series which I look forward to continuing.