In the Woods (2007) introduces the Dublin Murder Squad. The main characters are detective partners Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox. They are tasked with investigating the murder of a child on the housing estate where Rob grew up. Rob has a secret childhood trauma of his own that might or might not be germane to this current crime and his involvement in the investigation may even put the whole case in jeopardy.
Even though the crime here is certainly distasteful, the writing and plotting are terrific. I rolled through the book's 600 pages which gave me plenty of time to get to know the main characters. (Not sure I was crazy about Rob the narrator.)
Once I finished, I immediately went online to my library's ebook collection to check out the second in the series. Imagine my chagrin when I saw the message that my account was blocked!
My first thought was that my card had expired. No, that wasn't it. I called and someone at the library told me that I had an unpaid overdue fine of 20 cents and my access to ebooks was now blocked. Busted.
Apparently, this is an automatic process so I didn't take it personally or feel as if I had been singled out. I mean, I know libraries are in dire financial straits, but really?
So a trip to the library to pay my huge fine and all is well except that there is a wait list to check out Likeness, the second in the Murder Squad series.
In the meantime, I started reading Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. I have had it on my Kindle for a long time and while I have many times watched and enjoyed the television series that is based on three of Ms. Gaskell's novels about the fictional village, I have yet to read this first book.
After the not-so-nice goings on of In the Woods, the ladies of Cranford offer a welcome and gentler version of life with a sufficient amount of tea and cakes.