I use Goodreads to keep track of what I’m reading, set goals, and find new books. Anyone else use it? Well honestly, I love it. It gives me the ability to actually put books on a list that I want to read without any hassle. I can search by title, author, and if I am holding the physical book (say, in Barnes Noble) I can scan the barcode and just like that, it’s on my list! It’s a fabulous app/website and I encourage anyone of my followers who’s an avid reader to use it. Aside from all those great perks, Goodreads does giveaways for books that on your list! I’ve entered about 10 giveaways, but a few weeks ago, I actually won! I won this book: In the Woods by Tana French. Tana is in the midst of releasing a new book, The Trespasser in October and to promote it, her publishing house, Viking Books, partnered with Goodreads to giveaway this book and I was one of the lucky winners!
Tana is the author of several books, but this book was my first of her collection. I won’t lie, this book had a very difficult start. For at least 100 pages, I thought about quitting. The main character, Detective Adam Ryan, is unlikable to say the least. Ryan is arrogant, self loathing, and strangely emotional because his character seems to define emotion as weakness yet he often feels emotions that are not weakness? Tana struggles in self describing her character at the start, but does well in the development and description of characters perceived by Adam Ryan. As the book goes on and the plot develops, Ryan becomes more understandable. You learn that his self loathing is derived not only from his past but from the incidents that occurred during the investigation of the death of Katy Devlin.
I thought the plot of this story was impeccable. Tana wove a plot line in detail that I didn’t see coming. Coming from reading the ever so awful, Girl on the Train, whose characters are all unlikeable idiots and the plot is as predictable the finale of a grilled cheese sandwich, this book would be a mastermind to those who enjoyed that. Tana weaves in a story about Detective Ryan’s past, a case where his younger two friends had disappeared into the wood, a scary story, but not the main plot. I know from reading reviews that a lot of people were upset that Tana did not wrap up that case. The truth is, that case exists solely for you to understand Detective Ryan and not only his current state of mind but the way in which that case caused him to unravel and ruin his life as it begins in the book. Tana does tease you with bits and pieces that make you feel like the death of Katy Devlin and Ryan’s missing friends are intertwined but again, this is only to develop Detective Ryan. In the end, the case of Katy Devlin is sick and twisted with a manipulative killer that can’t be predicted.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I wish the beginning had been a bit different so that you could get on an even playing field with Adam Ryan. Perhaps telling it from his point of view was the problem, but at the end of the book you completely understand why he was so horrible for an initial 100 pages. He self destructed everything and he is blame for the ending of the book. For anyone who enjoyed the novels of Cormoran Strike by Robert Galbraith or generally enjoys murder mysteries, I highly recommend this book.
P.S. Look for me on Goodreads, lets be friends!