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In the Woods

Written by: Tana French
Narrated by: John McCormack
Length: 18 hrs and 58 mins
4 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The inspiration for the major new BBC drama series Dublin Murders.  

When he was 12 years old, Adam Ryan went playing in the woods one day with his two best friends. He never saw them again. Their bodies were never found, and Adam himself was discovered with his back pressed against an oak tree and his shoes filled with blood. He had no memory of what had happened. 

Twenty years on, Rob Ryan - the child who came back - is a detective in the Dublin police force. He's changed his name. No one knows about his past. Then a little girl's body is found at the site of the old tragedy and Rob is drawn back into the mystery. Knowing that he would be thrown off the case if his past were revealed, Rob takes a fateful decision to keep quiet but hope that he might also solve the twenty-year-old mystery of the woods. 

©2007 Tana French (P)2008 Oakhill Publishing

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  • Overall
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2012-08-21

Don't miss this one, literary crime lovers...

Where does In the Woods rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

In the Woods is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to - partly because I love the story & the writing (I've actually read it before) - but also because it's very well read.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The protagonist's back story is gripping & informs the present-day plot & main character's actions. Without giving anything away, the main character starts to lose the plot as past & present come together...

What does John McCormack bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

I usually prefer reading books but love to listen to audiobooks while driving or walking the dogs. One thing I don't like when listening to an audiobook is the (more old-fashioned) over-the-top storytelling style that quite a few readers have - almost like they're reading to children.

John McCormack reads in a more realist style, more like he's telling you the facts in a one-sided conversation. It draws you in. At the same time his voice is very clear & pleasant to listen to.

At first I thought his BBC accent was some sort of horrible mistake, as the character (told in first person) is Irish, but it emerges that he in fact (for an important reason) does have an English accent. It's a brilliant element of John McCormack's reading that his accent very subtly slides into a more Irish one as events unfold.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Many moving moments - & John McCormack doesn't overplay them - he's a subtle reader. Very effective.

Any additional comments?

The ending was almost ruined. As the narrator says his last words - voice low, atmospheric - a loud voice comes almost over his voice & intones 'Audible hopes you've enjoyed this program'. I needed a few beats to process what the ending was telling me - frustrating, & completely at odds with the style of book & the reading.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret
  • 2012-08-06

A nice start to the series

If you could sum up In the Woods in three words, what would they be?

Well worth listening.

What was one of the most memorable moments of In the Woods?

The quality of writing continued to impress me.

Did John McCormack do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

John McCormack was a good, not great, narrator (but I am fussy). Make sure you get this version rather than the one narrated by Steven Crossley if chronic mouth clicks and whistles give you the creeps.

Any additional comments?

The lovely Marian Keyes (via Twitter) often heaps praise on Tana French, so I thought I should give her a go. I wasn't disappointed. BUT although this is a series, the next books are about different characters, so there isn't an on-going story arc as such. The second book lost me with its rather far fetched story. This one, though, is very enjoyable, but beware, not every loose end is tied up.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Darja
  • 2012-11-19

very suspensful story, annoying voice

Where does In the Woods rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best criminal thrillers, definitely. Keeps you on the edge of your chair and does it by elegant psychological means, not by resorting to guns and chases

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John McCormack?

pretty much anyone. He takes some getting used to so that you even concentrate enough to understand what he says - Text-to-Voice in Kindle would be about as good. It gets better later in the book, though, so bear with him. The story is worth it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tess Beck
  • 2019-03-31

Incredible writing, poor ending


I truly enjoyed the delightful literary style of this author. But I became slightly tired of building out the relationship of the two main detectives and the too-cuteness of it, and then that it fell in a heap in the end. I put up with the slightly cloying character and relationship building, almost for nothing it seems. But the writing itself was poetic and beautiful and imaginative and made it worth it for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mackenzie
  • 2013-02-04

Give this a berth -- a wide one

Who ever wrote the blurb needs to be retired. Looked interesting but far too long and the dialogues are insulting to the Irish (they couldn't be that primitive). I fast-forwarded to the end to find out who did it and even that was a let down.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jaydeep
  • 2016-09-17

An overly stretched short story

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Chapters 20 till end (25) is the entire mystery and the whole read.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Predictable and undramatic.

What three words best describe John McCormack’s voice?

Dull and monotonous. Needs lessons in pronunciation. Calling Urdu (oordu) Erdu????? Really? So high handedness and disregard

Did In the Woods inspire you to do anything?

Change the book

Any additional comments?

I'm thoroughly disappointed and completely misguided with Audible's recommendation of this book.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful