Study Guide

In The Woods Manipulation

By Tana French


Almost all stories try to manipulate you in some way, whether it's a book with an unreliable narrator or a movie where Haley Joel Osment gets stabbed at the end. The good ones are the ones where you can't see the strings that are tugging at you, making you laugh or cry.

The same could be said for serial killers, actually, although those strings you can't see are the ones slowly restricting your air supply.

Man, this theme just got dark. But In the Woods is a pretty gruesome murder case where everyone is being manipulated in some way or another. Even you.

Questions About Manipulation

  1. How do Rob and Cassie manipulate their suspects during interrogation?
  2. What tactics does Rosalind use to manipulate Damien into killing Katy? Does she use similar techniques to manipulate Rob during his investigation?
  3. Cassie was manipulated by a creepy old man in elementary school and by a psychopath in college. How do these events affect her during the investigation?

Chew on This

As an unreliable narrator, Rob is a master at manipulating the reader.

Turnabout is fair play, and the only way to catch Rosalind is to out-manipulate her.