This is one of my favorites from this series, and I’m kicking myself for not writing this review immediately upon finishing it for the second time, because I got something different out of it this time than I did on my first read. But I don’t remember what that was! The only notes I left myself consisted of the temporary review I left over on Goodreads, which read, “This one whomped me good.” So helpful.
Maybe it was something about Scorcher and his black and white worldview, and the limits of sanity in a world full of grey. I know that I continue to be impressed with her unparalleled ability to take complicated characters like Scorcher, who verge on the unlikable, and make them so human and relatable. I don’t like Scorcher, but I feel for him.
This one is maybe even better on re-read, because half the weight of it is Scorcher’s perspective distorting the case and his ability to find the truth, because of the things he wants to believe. If you remember what happened, you can see it all so clearly in a way you couldn’t on the first go-round, where you’re just as confused as he is. The story of the family on the ghost estate, slowly losing everything, was so sad, and so full of grey humanity.
If you somehow still haven’t read Tana French, I highly recommend you give her a shot. This one wouldn’t be a bad starting place. All the Dublin Murder Squad novels work best if you read them in order, but can also be read as standalones.