In the Woods
I think this is a great example of a psychological thriller.
I remember a few years back when everyone was going to see Shutter Island because the ending was a shock to people, but I figured it out about half way through. Not trying to sound arrogant or anything, it's just when you've taken as many psychology courses as I have (which is a lot, way too many programs & having to take basically the same course multiple times), you start to see signs of insanity everywhere.
This was almost the same case. I didn't know who killed the girl, but I knew the motive about halfway through. I wasn't fooled by this character as Ryan/Adam was, it actually seemed pretty obvious to me but I'll have to see other people's reactions.
I'm really excited to see the next book is from Cassie's POV, because I really liked her. She was the shining star of the whole book for me. I didn't really like Adam, not sure why he was just giving me a really bad vibe and definitely had some mental issues as well. As multiple people mentioned to him, he was a bit selfish and didn't really think about others' feelings. It's understandable given his past and the case he was working on, though. It also takes a messed up person to take that case and cover everything up.
There was also one thing that bothered me a bit. This may be the way that some cops think, but the way that the insanity plea was represented in the book was a bit uninformative and plays into what the media/people think. When they finally catch the killer, they start talking about how they thought he would plea insanity and how horrible it would be (because it was clearly a lie). Most people have no case for insanity and the thought that people will 'get out' of jail time or consequences of their guilt by using the plea of insanity is just ridiculous. If someone uses the plea, more often than not the lawyer will bring in a psychologist as an expert witness. They'll do their thang and testify whether they believe the person is insane. If they do believe this, more often than not the person is hospitalized or still brought to jail for sentence, just with the assurance that they will get proper treatment for their mental illness. Most times, if people are found guilty and insane or not guilty by reason of insanity, they still end up with more time in institutions than if they were just found guilty. It's not some walk in the park or some excuse that people use to try to get out of jail, it's there for a reason for people who are not aware of their actions at the time of the crime (schizophrenic hallucinating, etc.).
I did like the feel of the book. The woods were a mystery, you didn't really know how you felt about them. I was also really curious as to whether the two cases were linked and felt like I had to keep reading, so it was entertaining as well. I wish we found out about the prior disappearances, but I also like the fact that the author kept it hidden, not everything has an answer. I also really loved the emotion in this book. Once you know what took place, it's actually pretty depressing. You feel really happy when Adam does, and miserable when he does. French hooks you.
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