Monday, December 28, 2015


Tana French

            I recently grabbed an unknown audiobook from a library shelf – The Secret Place, by Tana French – not knowing that it was the most recent of French’s five book Dublin Murder Squad series. I absolutely loved the book, see review October 11, 2015 So, standing in front of that same shelf weeks later, I grabbed the only other audiobook from the series that was available, Faithful Place, the third book in French’s series.

            To my delight, I discovered that the centerpiece of Faithful Place is Detective Frank Mackey and also involves his daughter, Holly Mackey, and Detective Stephen Moran. All three are characters I had met in The Secret Place.

            In Faithful Place, we learn Frank’s backstory. He grew up in a poor, dysfunctional family, one of five kids. When he was 19 years old, he planned to run away to London with his girlfriend, Rosie Daly. When Rosie failed to show, Frank concluded that she had dumped him. He left home alone and later joined the Guard.

            Twenty-two years later, Rosie’s suitcase was found. Frank finally discovers what really happened that night, what happened to Rosie, and much more. The discoveries hit close to home and upend Frank’s life. French gives new meaning to “you can’t go home again.”

            Faithful Place is very well written. Tana French is not only insightful, concerning the human psyche, but she is a master of conveying that insight through her character development. She can capture complexities in a manner that is rare for many writers.

            And, I am actually happy that I read The Secret Place before reading Faithful Place. I think that knowing what later transpires between these characters helped me better appreciate the nuances of the backstories and how they engender the later events.

            French is a true literary master – and, I cannot wait to read the rest of the Dublin Murder Squad series!


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