Study Guide

In The Woods Chapter 5

By Tana French

Chapter 5

  • Rob goes home to the apartment he shares with Heather, a girl he moved in with because he "fancied her" (5.2.).
  • They don't get along that well, though, and she annoys him.
  • He pretends to be sick so she'll leave him alone, and Rob goes through his old case file, which was handled by detectives Kiernan and McCabe.
  • Turns out that Jonathan Devlin grew up with Rob. He's mentioned in the witness statement, alongside names of his friends, Cathal Mills and Shane Waters.
  • It doesn't look like he was interviewed about Jamie and Peter's disappearance, though.
  • Rob wracks his brain to remember them, and he thinks they were the teens they called the bikers. He often saw them in the woods, and they wore Metallica and Anthrax shirts every day. He can't remember which was Devlin, though.
  • The next morning, Rob picks Cassie up because it's raining.
  • He gives her the old case files and she flips through them, catching a statement by Mrs. Pamela Fitzgerald, saying that the boys were "courting" (5.32). Who were the girls being courted?
  • Rob thinks one of them may have been named Sandra.
  • They grab a newspaper and see that Katy is front-page news.
  • At the station, they ask Sam to investigate the motorway angle, and they call a conference with all the floaters. Operation Vestal, the name assigned to the case, has begun.
  • Next step: time to watch the autopsy. Hope you haven't had lunch yet.
  • Dr. Cooper gives them the rundown: Katy was hit twice, first lightly, but the second blow likely knocked her out; the killer was probably left-handed; Katy struggled; she was suffocated with a plastic bag; and she was raped after death with a wooden implement, maybe a broom handle. Yikes.
  • They decide to proceed by interrogating Mark Hanly (the guy who gives tours), but unlike most people, he is not happy about being taken away from work.
  • Cassie manages to finagle a cigarette off him on the ride to the office.
  • And while Rob thinks Mark might be the killer, he also thinks that would just be too easy. Since we're barely one hundred pages in, we'll have to agree.

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