Let's start with all of the reasons I thought I would hate this book. (Actually, most of these reasons still apply after reading the book.)
1. I hate murder mysteries. I go out of my way to avoid TV shows that start with a dead body in the first five minutes. I close my eyes or skim over the pages if I come across murders in shows or books.
2. I get mental images really easily. And nightmares. Hence my avoidance of books like this.
3. The language. Not a fan of that, either.
4. This book is about kids who get murdered. Incredibly sad.
I could go on, but it's pretty repetitive. Crime, murder, detectives, blood - all things I avoid. You get the picture.
But my book club chose In the Woods as our March selection, so I didn't want to skip reading it, even if it wasn't my sort of book at all. I gritted my teeth and began reading. I only read during daylight (after dark would freak me out too much), and I set myself a goal of 50 pages minimum a day, so I could get through it in a timely fashion.
So I must admit that I was completely shocked as I read to find myself enjoying the book against my will. Tana French's writing is amazing, and her characters are incredibly alive. This book broke my heart over and over. It terrified me, and yet I had to keep coming back for more.
This is the last book I ever expected to give me a book hangover. I'm actually considering reading more of Tana French's books because I loved her characters so much, even though the plot horrified me. That is the sign of a truly great writer.