TANA FRENCH TANA FRENCH TANA FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEENCH. I LOVE TANA FREEEEEENCH. Since I learned of Tana French, the Dublin murder series has been one of my number one recommended book series to anyone who asks (or ya know, stands nearby too long quietly, and thus gets accosted by my recommendation). I typically sum it up with “If you like Law and Order SVU you’ll like her and her books” but am not sure that is fair to French, more so that’s me casting a wide net about her wide appeal. Her writing is way better and way less predictable and formulaic than even the best episodes of SVU, and this standalone book is no different.
As is typical in most of her books, this book is set in Ireland, but something that differentiates this one from the rest is that it does a bit of double-dipping in the US, Chicago to be specific. Though the book never actually travels to Chicago, it is almost a secondary character since the protagonist and former police officer Cal hails from there, and often has Chicago on his mind, or references it in flashbacks and snippets as he ponders who he is now, how he got there, and who he wants to be. This book has all the hallmarks of a great French novel: twisty unexpected turns, quiet suspense, gorgeous descriptions of the environment, complicated good guys, and leaves the reader furiously flipping through, shrouded in darkness and guessing up until the last moment. Also, what it is pleasantly missing is extreme violence and gore. She can do a lot with a little in that respect, so if you are squeamish this still could be the author for you.
What I’m saying is, this book is outstanding and SHE is outstanding and if you like thriller and suspense then run, don’t walk, your behind to the nearest Tana French.