2016 was a shit year, no doubt about it. But perhaps the least shitty thing to come out of it was my love of Tana French. I won’t even apologize for gushing about her so much guys. If you haven’t read her books, you can’t understand. I read her first book way back in January and finished up her last one in December. It’s a tough call, but The Trespasser is the best of the bunch and that’s really saying something. Reallllllly saying something. I don’t give out a lot of true 5 star ratings, but this one deserved it.
The Trespasser revisits detective Antoinette Conway with a mystery that will keep you guessing right up until the end. We learned in The Secret Place that Conway is a bit prickly with a chip on her shoulder. To be fair, her attitude and outlook on life is understandable. It’s not easy growing up mixed race in Ireland and being the only woman on the Murder Squad. She’s a great detective who rose through the ranks quickly, but she just can’t catch a break as a murder detective. At least she finally got a partner she likes and works well with, Stephen Moran.
The two of them work a lot of night shifts and get a lot of domestic murders as the youngest detectives on the squad. They’ve just worked a long night and are about to head home when they’re given another murder that looks like another run of the mill domestic squabble gone bad. Aislinn Murray is a pretty blonde found dead in her apartment. The place was set for a romantic dinner for two so the murder must have been committed by the boyfriend right? Unfortunately things don’t fall so neatly into place. The two of them have been assigned a seasoned detective to “help” them with the case and he’s pushing to have the boyfriend charged, but Conway and Moran aren’t so sure the facts fit. They’re already on the outs with the rest of the squad so relationships start to turn sour when they push back.
French made Conway her most fascinating character yet. Conway has reason to be paranoid but the case and her relationships with the other detectives take the paranoia up a couple of notches. She’s an unreliable narrator and you can’t quite tell if she’s being reasonable or if the paranoia is unwarranted.
The Trespasser is everything I ever wanted in a mystery and I have serious doubts that anyone, even French herself, can top this one.