Mining the Depths

I'll read almost anything and love what captures my imagination. Best of all is responding to books in the larger cultural sense, loving or loathsome. Literature should have a place in the wider world.

 

And I'm another GoodReads refugee. 

In the Woods - Tana French Almost, almost gave this five stars.Five for the suspense, definitely, which kept me reading until I'd finished instead of getting anything else done. Five for the foreshadowing that made me sick—in anticipation. The foreshadowing is so unnerving, in fact, that I nearly reverted to my childhood habit of reading the last page to make sure my favorite characters survived (I restrained myself).But I had to go to four because, while the novel is beautifully crafted, there was something unsatisfying about it. Too much pretty language for a rather familiar set-up, at least in the beginning. Once Rob got in the swing of things, the mystery picked up, but the characters otherwise aren't particularly strong or convincing.You know those prime-time crime dramas? I watch a number of them, and this novel really fits in that kind of pathos construct. Suspenseful as In the Woods is, it isn't very original—which is in no way a bad thing, and I'd say this is a brilliant example of the genre, so I won't take away any points for the predictably. Especially, since unlike acting, French really plumbs the depths of her detective's psyche, which is delicious.However, beware. As many great points as there are, the end is bloody depressing.**The worst is the inevitability of the depressingness, really. At the point you know for sure it's coming and he can't make it out&#8212that's how I got so far, hope—everything's built to the climax and you can't stop.

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