Laura Gonzalez


13 Jan 2019

In the Woods by Tana French ****

Reading dates: 16 December 2018 – 10 January 2019

This is a fine, well-rounded thriller. Tana French cares for all the elements that make up a good novel: language, character (especially the narrator) and plot. She crests every single one of them with flair and attention. The plot is unexpected and, like most crime in real life, takes you somewhere you don’t want to go to but is still credible. Motives are strong in her story and the psychological aspects of the characters’ decision making are well thought out. She writes well and often the descriptions of landscapes and settings are evocative and poetic. She gets the kind of despair in words Ellroy gets in the Black Dahlia and she also reminds me of my favourite Denise Mina, in her descriptions of Glasgow at night. This is high praise from me! My criterion for 5 stars is the certainty that I will re-read it, and I don’t have this feeling with this book (as I want to read the next, and the next). Re-reading is not the default wish after finishing a crime novel, I must say, so I wonder if my criterion is working against the genre itself — although I do want to re-read The Black Dahlia and Garnethill. If it wasn’t for that, I would have given her all the stars.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading

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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.