The problem with finding an excellent series is that you eventually run out of material to consume. Such is the case now with Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad; I finished The Trespasser last week and now I want to know how long I have to wait before the seventh installment is published. Will there BE as seventh installment? I hope so. Trespasser is unique thus far in the series in that it focuses on the same two detectives as the previous entry, Antoinette Conway and Stephen Moran. Sure enough, Moran’s assistance on the boarding school murder case in the previous novel got him into the Murder Squad, and Conway as a partner. While The Secret Place was from his point of view, Trespasser is from Conway’s.
At the end of a late night shift, Conway and Moran are assigned what appears to be another run-of-the-mill domestic violence homicide. Aislinn Murray is found dead in her home, next to a romantic dinner for two with a boyfriend in the vicinity at the time of the murder. It seems open and shut, but the more the two detectives investigate the odder the case seems. The victim isn’t quite as shallow as initially thought. Their coworkers are possibly more interested in the case going by the book than they should be. Documents start disappearing off Conway’s desk and she begins to crack under the load of years of alienation and pranks by all the guys who dislike her on the squad. All of this creates a tense thriller that I again stayed up way too late to finish.
I really liked this book, though I think The Likeness will remain my favorite of the series for now. Conway is such an interesting main character. She is extremely tough, having grown up with a poor single mother, being mixed-race and having no clue as to her own father’s identity, and then being a female rising through the ranks of the boys’ club that is the police force. She obviously has built so many walls around herself you find it hard to imagine her as anything but the bitchy loner all the Murder guys avoid or prank. In this novel you get a little glimpse of it through her contact with previous team mates from Undercover and Missing Persons. They seem actually fond of her, which isn’t something you get the impression happens often. Moran is the same positive, trustworthy partner you meet in Secret Place. Our newest character is Breslin, a long-timer with an excellent solve rate, a voice like a movie trailer, and enough charm to get pretty much anything out of a witness. Conway can see through him though, and you do eventually grow to find him just as sleazy as she does – or at least I did.
I will say that like The Likeness, Trespasser asks you to do a lot of disbelief suspension. I can’t really discuss it without spoiling things, but the back story to the victim and how she got herself involved with someone who would actually murder her is a bit of a stretch. I found it hard to believe that someone would go to the lengths Murray goes to for the reasons French lays out. There are enough twists and turns and red herrings to drive Conway and Moran nuts here, so it is still a great mystery; I simply thought to myself after – what are the odds this would actually happen, ever? Regardless of this point, I think fans of the series and fans of mysteries in general will not be disappointed. My only disappointment is having no more Murder Squad at the ready!