Having now read both Borderlands and In the Woods, I can heartily recommend them both.
Borderlands reminded me of the early Ian Rankin Inspector Rebus books, which I'm currently re-reading. The story opens with the discovery of a murdered teenager in the borderlands region, between the North and South of Ireland. Both the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic's An Garda Siochana respond. Jurisdiction is determined to fall in the hands of Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin after he recognizes the girl as a local named Angela Cashell. Despite evidence that her death might be drug related, the girl’s father has definite ideas about who has harmed his daughter, and his own idea of how justice should be served. Devlin finds that he’s got his hands full keeping the peace, especially when a second teenager is found murdered. As the investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that these two deaths are somehow connected to the unsolved murder of a prostitute twenty years ago. This book has it all: murder, revenge, politics, secrets, love affairs, family drama, police corruption, and enough twists to keep you guessing to the end. A very satisfying read!
In The Woods combines a straightforward police procedural with a look at the psychological impact of a case on Dublin Detective Rob Ryan. He and his partner Cassie are investigating the murder of young Katy Devlin who was found laid out on an altar stone at the edge of a wooded area. The death has ties to a horrific experience Ryan went through as a child. When he was twelve, he and his two friends disappeared while playing in this same woods. He was the only one found- standing with fingernails dug into a tree, shoes filled with blood, with no memory of what happened to either himself or his friends. Next to Katy's body a hair clip belonging to Detective Ryan's missing friend is found. Rob and Cassie have to figure out if there is a connection between the two crimes. The writing is very tense, and in retrospect, probably not the best book to read while in the middle of a forest when camping (as I was). There is a scene out in the woods at night that will give you goosebumps!