Tana French

A friend recommended the crime/mystery novels of Tana French. I’ve read two so far – In the Woods, and The Likeness. I’ve enjoyed them both, although I found them both rather hard to start. Each one begins with a sort of prologue that gives hints to the rest of the story, but I found each prologue less than helpful. Neither made me want to continue reading the book! Because I totally trust the recommendations of my friend, I kept going and was rewarded both times with wonderfully complex and profound stories. And the writing is really good.

The books follow the Dublin Murder Squad, and I like the way she presents the detectives and others in some depth. I like most of the characters and, when they screw up (which they do) I cringe right along with everyone else in the story who is feeling the effects of the errors in judgment.

In the Woods is a particularly frightening story about families and loss, told in such a way that we’re sure we know these people. The Likeness begins with the main detective seeing a body that looks exactly like her. Part of this story requires a little suspension of disbelief, I think, but it’s still gripping and engaging.

These are big, dense books, so they’ll keep you occupied. I’m looking forward to reading them all. And my friend loaned them all to me! Thanks, Pamela!

Here’s the list: In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbour, The Secret Place, and The Trespasser.

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