Unfortunately, I think I might be changing my mind about Tana French. I loved The Secret Place, but nothing since then has held up. I know my literary tastes tend to be a little on the pedestrian side, but I would like a few more loose ends tied up, and a little bit more of a happy ending.
Detective Kennedy and his newbie partner Detective Curran (I listened to the audio book, sorry if I’m misspelling things) are assigned a case, the brutal slaying of an entire family. The crime took place in a spooky, half-completed subdivision that was being built where Kennedy’s family used to vacation and where his own family tragedy took place.
I was startled when they’d caught the killer by disc 10 (out of 17), and sure enough, nothing was as it seemed. I do love French’s writing, and boy howdy can she set up a mystery, but the unrelenting grimness got to me after a while. Kennedy has family troubles and job troubles in addition to the stress of this high-profile case. His new partner is the one bright spot in the book, and well, I was not too happy with the resolution of his story.
So we have a grim murder (not that there are happy murders, but this one’s awfully icky), lots of unreliable suspects, a grim resolution to the case, a grim prognosis for Kennedy and Curran at the end, and then one giant plot point that just gets totally dropped. I actually checked the box to make sure my library hadn’t lost a final disc. And I get why she did it (I can’t tell you without getting super spoilery), and it made sense within the story, but dammit, I wanted an answer.
For me, I think the excellent writing doesn’t outweigh the overwhelming bleakness of a French book. This might be my last one for a while.