I love writing mysteries and I love reading them, too. The ones that send me to new places around the world are some of my favorites and The Dublin Murder Squad has quickly become a fascination. IN THE WOODS is the first in the series.

French, who is from Dublin and has a background in theater, writes as if she is narrating a play as the character of her main protagonist. In this case it is Adam Ryan, who now goes by Rob and is a detective on the fictional but fabled Dublin police Murder Squad. The reason for the name change is complicated: when Adam was a youngster, he and his two best friends went into the woods near their village outside Dublin. Two of the kids never were seen again, while Adam/Rob was found in shock, covered in blood, shirt torn, no memory of the trauma he’d survived. The case became a national outcry and investigation. To hide it, his family moved, he went to boarding school and college and changed his first name.

But the past catches up in an odd way; a girl is killed in the woods, in the same historic village. Ryan and his partner Cassie investigate without letting on that this is Ryan’s Waterloo.

The entire book is narrated by Ryan; his nightmares of the past, his piecing together of evidence, his relationship with Cassie, his drinking to dull his pain. The voice is deep inside his head, it’s relentless and addictive. The case is similar: relentless yet intangible; too many stray threads, people who are afraid yet manipulative. And then there are those who have been manipulated and they aren’t pretty. The story bogged a bit close to the end, but only for a few pages of complications. Otherwise it was engrossing and well paced. The slang is very Irish, good thing I already knew what a git was.

The undercurrent running throughout the book is what happened to Ryan and his friends when they were children. Why were the two other children never found? So there are really two crimes here, one in the past and one in the present. No spoilers, here, however, just a strong recommendation to read IN THE WOODS if you like your mysteries tall, dark, and Irish.

FYI: Carmenamato.net uses Amazon Affiliate links.

0 Comments

The creative process according to Tolkien (and me)

Last week I sat down with fantasy author Vee James to talk about the creative process. He’s the author of NECCABASHAR, the tale of a young demon climbing the corporate ladder in Hell with hilarious results. (Comedy Channel, take note. This is your next...

read more

Book Review: Blue Light Yokohama by Nicolás Obregón

BLUE LIGHT YOKOHAMA by Nicolás Obregón is a dense and layered police procedural set in contemporary Japan. The title is that of a song which keeps playing in the mind of the main character; like the song, the book is one I won’t soon forget because of...

read more

5 Excellent Phrases to Sound Busy and Important

Some time ago, I took a break from mysteries and read BRIDGET JONES: MAD ABOUT THE BOY by Helen Fielding. It was time for some mind candy and Bridget Jones--books or movies--always delivers. The book was written in the same diary/inner dialogue familiar from the first...

read more

Be an Influencer

Learn to write fast, influential reviews with my 5 Sentence Book Review Cheatsheet

Get the downloadable PDF Book Review Cheatsheet, complete with simple outline, instructions, and an example to follow.

You'll also receive my twice-monthly Mystery Ahead newsletter with book reviews, author interviews, and sales and book release news.
I never share emails addresses and never send spam.

© 2018 Carmen Amato.

Hello

I'm author Carmen Amato. I write mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco. Expect risk, power, corruption. And relationships with heat.  More

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This