When I read Tana French’s debut thriller, In the Woods, my expectations were high because I had heard such great things about her storytelling, and she soared past my expectations. This was a book I did not put down, in fact, stuck in the car on a road trip I read on, knowing that reading in the car makes me feel gross. It. Did not. Matter. The oversimplified way I explain her style is that I tell people if you have ever been sucked into a marathon of Law and Order (any iteration), than she is for you. That’s not the most accurate endorsement, as those shows quickly become formulaic and predictable, and she keeps her storytelling telling fresh and exciting, with twists in plot and character development. She writes real people and has an impeccable knack for painting scenery in such a way that even I don’t skim (I’m a character/plot person, not one for loads of descriptions of setting).
Her second novel was just as compelling, and I am pleased to report that this, her third, is excellent as well. Detective Frank Mackey is an undercover detective and has made a name for himself in the police force. His personal life has taken a hit, but he is a good detective, and seemingly free from much to tie him down. But when an old mystery about his first love forces him to make contact with his estranged family, things start to unravel.
The only thing missing for me was that there was character continuity between book one and book two, and I am a big sucker for that, and to my knowledge the same could not be said for book three. It takes place in the Dublin Murder Squad, but I don’t think the characters carried over*. It’s been a while though since I have read the books because I intentionally am making myself wait to read them because they are awesome. This is definitely a series you want to savor because once you are caught up, and stuck waiting for a new one, it will be excruciating.
*Edited: narfna commented on my review to tell me that Frank was the protagonist’s supervisor in book two (thanks narfna!). Now I have literally nothing even vaguely unpleasant to say about the book.