Totally Forgot: In The Woods by Tana French, 2007. Overdrive.com download.
Regular readers of this blog - which means no one - will recall I had to stop listening to this novel because my damn phone broke. I was unable to recover the audio files off the SD card and had to quit the novel.
Well, a few months ago my renewed hold for this book finally came in. After a lot of fast forwarding and rewinding I was able to find close to the last place I was listening and I could finish the novel.
Recap: Irish copper is called to the scene of a teen girl's murder. The murder is near the woods where the same copper went missing about 20 years previously with two childhood pals. Copper was discovered catatonic with terror, his shoes soaked in human blood, and his two pals missing and never found again.
Copper recalls little to nothing of his time before his childhood abduction and the probable murders of his mates. But, the current day crime scene location has a couple clues suggesting a possible connection to the Copper's kid case. There is a big problem though: Copper has told no one but his close partner that he was that missing child 20 years ago. After Copper was found his parents moved away and, for Copper's safety, sent 11-year-old Copper to an English boarding school with a new name.
We follow Copper around in his search for the modern day murderer. The search turns into a parallel search for answers from Copper's childhood. To determine a link to the past crime Copper has to try and figure a few things out. He remembers almost nothing from before the abduction. Copper has lived as if he was born a full grown 11-year-old. He has not questioned his past because his memory was buried or lost. His memories start to resurface as he re-investigates his own abduction.
Copper's personal and professional life start turning bad as he works to keep his secret from the police - his career could go straight in the garbage - and facing up to the memories and feelings that he begins to recall. He also starts to understand himself much better. How irrevocably his life was changed 20 years ago and the things he had taken by that crime: a normal childhood, possible lifelong friends, the ability to maintain a loving and romantic relationship, his emotional distance from his parents, so on, so forth.
Copper does live his life fairly well. He is, after all, working successfully in a demanding job, has friends, works well with others, manages his finances, visits with his parents. But, Copper is also only half-formed.
Things happen and we discover the killer of the recent killing and are left with plenty of questions about what happened 20 years ago. A very good novel. Good narration.