Author: Tana French
Series: Dublin Murder Squad, #1
Published: May 2008, Penguin Books
Format: Paperback, 429
Source: Personal copy
A gorgeously written novel that marks the debut of an astonishing new voice in psychological suspense.
As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children. He is gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.
Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox (his partner and closest friend) find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.
My thoughts: So once again, I am coming to another series late...but better late than never, right? I've heard about Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad for years, and even managed to pick up one of the later books at my first ever BEA back in 2014 - The Secret Place - but I knew this was a series I was going to have to start from the beginning and it was a series I wanted to read in print as opposed to audio, so I just needed to find the time to pick up the first book...and I'm so glad I did as I really liked it.
The characters and story line will draw you into this book right from the start. I loved Rob and Cassie and their back and forth banter. The secrets and mystery - it will leave you scratching your head and thinking about this book when you have to put it down...you won't be able to think about anything else. Just what is going on...what happened to the 12 year old girl and, more importantly, what happened to Rob's friends when he was little. How are these tied together, if they are at all?
What I found so intriguing by this book is that you get so wrapped up in the characters, most especially Rob, and even to some extent, Cassie at times. You almost become consumed with them, more so than the case itself. I even found myself wondering just how much I could trust Rob...quite unnerving at times considering he was the lead detective on this case. And yet, I wanted to believe in him, I wanted to see the good in him and see that he come out on top, if that makes any sense? After all, we are relying on Rob's memories from his childhood...could they be distorted after all this time?
I really liked this book and am definitely looking forward to continuing on with this series. My only complaint, and it's minor, is that this was a bit of a slower read than I had anticipated. But sometimes that happens. It wasn't that I wasn't hooked or wasn't enjoying the book, but it definitely wasn't a speed read by any means. I don't know if that's how it's going to be with the rest of the series, and to be honest, I'm ok with that...some books are just slow books, they just take longer to read. Do you find that?
Books in this series:
- In the Woods
- The Likeness
- Faithful Place
- Broken Harbor
- The Secret Place
- The Trespasser