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In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1) - Tana French It's been a while since I've read a good mystery, and I really enjoyed this one. The case is anything but straightforward and there's a nice twisty plot. I also found French's writing really beautiful and there was a surprising realness to it. The characters' actions and dialogue were very authentic, especially Ryan's inner monologue and chatty little asides. I found it very refreshing, though occasionally I wanted him to stop going on tangents and get back to solving the damn mystery!

I want to talk a little bit about ending, so here be spoilers:

I loved Ryan and Cassie's relationship, so that just made me even more irritated when Ryan turns into a giant self-obsessed dickface just after the halfway point. He had seemed like such an admirable person, the only one on the force who accepted Cassie as "one of the guys" even though she was a woman, and then goes and turns into a walking chauvinist cliche by sleeping with a girl and then completely ignoring her afterwards? Are you serious? He seems somewhat aware of how much of a jerk he's being so maybe that makes it a little better, but that shit really rubs me the wrong way. I guess I'll have to wait and see if he redeems himself in the next book. I'd assume he and Cassie reconcile, since I can only imagine they're back to being partners in the next book.

I had suspected Rosalind from fairly early on, and it drove me crazy that Ryan was in such denial about her. The fact that she got away with her crimes was frustrating--I wanted that psycho bitch to get what she deserved!--but I'll generally take a complicated, haunting ending over a neat happy one any day, so I have to give French some props. A lot of authors would have pulled some evidence out of their ass to convict her and wrap the whole story up tidily, so I kind of admire that she had the guts to leave things that way. Ditto on Ryan's childhood mystery--I totally thought the cases would be connected and we would have the whole disappearance solved in the end, so the fact that it wasn't was supremely irritating, but I liked the unexpectedness of leaving it up in the air. I guess there's always room for that mystery to be solved in a subsequent book.

So, certain personalities aside, I liked this a lot and will be reading the rest of the series--sooner rather than later.