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 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 twelve-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.
It’s probably not a huge secret that Tana French is one of my favorite authors, with The Dublin Murder Squad being one of my favorite series. While this is technically the first book in the series, as I have already read the third, fourth and fifth of this series, you do not have to read them in order.
I started this book after DNFing a book that I was looking forward to and wished so bad to be good. I’m so glad I picked this up to pull me out of that WHAT AM I GOING TO READ NEXT moods.
Starting from the beginning of the novel, I feel that you can tell this is French’s first, and I was scared that it might fall to a four star because of that, but about half-way through, it was redeemed.
This novel is so interesting, in that you can see how to French got her beginnings, and that she has truly had this talent that carries through her other books from the start of her career.
French’s character building makes you think that you could so easily ring up any one of these characters, and they would answer. Her sense of dialogue, suspense, and story craft is phenomenal. One moment she can have you at the edge of your seat, and the next she can have your reeling from emotion, curling your toes from feeling.
This novel is not an exception.
If you haven’t read French’s work yet, what are you waiting for?
What’s your favorite detective mystery? Let’s chat in the comments!