Study Guide

In The Woods Lies and Deceit

By Tana French

Lies and Deceit

A mystery novel just wouldn't be a mystery novel without lies. Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot would have no problem solving cases if the guilty party just fessed up to it—but it also wouldn't be any fun. In the Woods is no different. There's lies in them thar' woods, and it's not just the suspects lying, either. Rob and Cassie have to be equally deceitful in order to get to the truth, so while two wrongs don't make a right, two lies might make a truth. And then, of course, there's Rob's personal struggle with telling the truth. Yup, this is a book where the detectives lie almost as much as the criminals do.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. Why does Rob lie? Why does he tell us that he lies? Do you ever believe anything he says, even when he's supposedly telling the truth?
  2. Do you really believe that Rob doesn't remember his past? Or is he lying about this, too?
  3. How do the police lie in order to get what they want from suspects, such as during interrogation?
  4. Why does Rosalind lie? Are her lies more unethical than Rob's lies?

Chew on This

Rob is a terrible detective because, while he's really good at lying himself, he's terrible at knowing when other people are lying and he thinks people are lying when they're telling the truth.

Cassie is a much better liar and human lie detector that Rob is, perhaps because she chooses to be honest most of the time. She really knows the difference.

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