In the Woods by Tana French

In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1)

In the Woods by Tana French

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the Woods by Tana French happened to be one of those books that felt ‘pushed onto me by the universe’ (meaning the promotion was pretty good, I guess), because I kept seeing mentions of it everywhere, beginning with pictures from unrelated people on different sites and ending with reading a mention of it in fiction.
I gave it a shot and it was very… strange. It’s a very strange work, which is difficult to hate and difficult to love, felt like a battle to read and left me very suspicious.
I couldn’t make up my mind how I feel about this book for it’s entirety, and I still don’t know how I feel about it and that’s what bothers me about it.
I also learned a few things about myself:
– I still have trouble reading stuff in 1st person POV. (Especially when the protagonists is an idiot.)
– It’s worse when protagonist keeps talking to the reader in every single chapter, and, most importantly, assuming something about the reader. (There was one paragraph towards the end about ‘she fooled you too’ which was especially bad.)
– I really don’t like it when authors keep using ‘hooks’ to keep people reading, like ‘much later I understood that this was my biggest mistake of all’ to make them wonder what will go wrong in the very end, while you’re still about half way through, and such. It felt like the book was full of them – little mentions of strangest things that are designed to keep the reader interested, but hardly ever connect anywhere (at least not in the fist book), and the use of these techniques irritates me to no end.
– I don’t know how I feel about works that are not being clear about their genre. On one hand, it’s might be more interesting that way, when you literally have no idea in which direction it’s going to take you and have to keep guessing… On the other hand, if you want to read a mystery, but get only a psychological human clusterfluff, it’s rather frustrating. But this is something I noticed about many latest UK police dramas – a lot of them tend to feature hard-to-sympathize-with main characters that keep fluffing up as actual human beings can be expected to, and their personal lives make more of the story than actual police work and mysteries.
Overall, since I liked the writer’s language, I decided that I’ll let myself get ‘baited’ and read the second book to see there will be any change or progress, before I can decide if I like it or hate it… but I can’t say that it left a pleasant aftertaste at all.

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