The back-cover says: "Three children leave their small Dublin neighborhood to play in the surrounding woods. Hours later, their mothers' calls go unanswered. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a sinlge detail of the previous hours.
Twenty years later, Detective Rob Ryan - the found boy, who has kept his past a secret - and his partner Cassie Maddox investigate the murder of a twelve-year old girl in the same woods. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him, and that of his own shadowy past."
I picked this first novel of Tana French up because of a review of her second book The Likeness by the Book Whisperer. This one made me want to read both and as I'm a lucky child which was born on a Sunday I found both books in the used book store I raved about in my London posts.
It is said to be part psychological thriller and part murder detective story, both genres I don't pick up very often. But I got surprised by characters already deep and mysterious but still developing during the process of the story. Rob Ryan tells us the story from his point of view and he is honest with the reader. Not only about the things happening but also about his person. He is the boy who lost his best friends in the wood and he can't remember any detail of his past which lay before that day. But he tries and he is going to take us with him on this often unsatisfying trip. Cassie Maddox is his female counterpart. I took her in my heart immediately. She is brave and she has the ability to assert herself, but she is also tender somehow.
Nothing was given away which could have led the reader to an earlier solution of the murder investigation than detective Ryan himself. I liked that, one really felt the pain of an investigation which can also get stuck at a certain time and one feels the uproar too when important clues come in.
I've got the second one already lined up and can't wait to read it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ for my possibly favorite read this year!