A spring evening in 1985, nineteen-year-old Frank Mackie is waiting impatiently outside for his girlfriend Rosie Daly, as they plan to elope and move to London, making a new life for themselves away from the hard life of the Dublin working poor. When she doesn’t show, Frank goes looking for her in the abandoned house a few door down, and finds a note that suggests she’s gone off without him. As Frank’s father is a violent drunk, his mother is neurotic and shrewish and his siblings aren’t exactly anything to write home about, Frank’s not really surprised, but he is heart-broken. He leaves Faithful Place, intending never to return.
Twenty-two years later, Frank gets a hysterical phone call from his youngest sister. They’ve found a suitcase behind the fireplace in that same derelict house where Frank found Rosie’s note, and signs suggest that Rosie didn’t in fact leave to go off to London to make a life for herself by her lonesome. Frank, now a detective on the Dublin Undercover squad, has to return home, even though every instinct tells him it’s a bad idea. Soon he is back in the middle of his highly dysfunctional family’s drama, determined to do right by Rosie Daly, whether the investigating murder detectives want him around or not.
Frank Mackie was a supporting character in the previous book in this series, The Likeness, and not necessarily a likable one at that. As with the other books in the Dublin Murder Squad series, this book can be read entirely independently and stand alone from the others, and frankly, only tangentially actually involves the Dublin Murder Squad detectives, because Frank is clearly ignoring them to conduct his own investigation into the decades old murder of his ex-girlfriend.
Full review here.