My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s been a while since I’ve read a mystery this well-written. I’d tried a couple of other spooky-horror type books that were touted as being as good as In the Woods. Those books weren’t much, but I figured maybe it was Gone Girl syndrome, wherein every new thing is proclaimed “The next Gone Girl!” and is nowhere close, and maybe those not-that-thrilling thrillers wanted to be In the Woods when they grow up, so maybe I’d better read In the Woods. And I’m glad I did.
So very, very well-written. The prose is full-throated; the dialogue is snappy and realistic and brings the characters to life; the sense of place (Ireland) is wonderful; the characters are exceptionally well drawn. The crime and investigation, intertwining with the twenty-year-old mystery it echoes, are tightly plotted and move right along. More than a police procedural/whodunit, this is also a creepy thriller and a study in psychology and human nature.
I see some reviewers were less than pleased with the ending, but I liked it just fine. Kinda like real life: We don’t always get all the answers, tied up in a pretty bow.
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