Another Tana French thriller that is definitely worth a read. The language is poetic and evocative and the atmosphere is built up beautifully. Also gives a terrific insight into the concept of friendship and loyalty among teens. A page turner that leaves you thinking...
One murder. Eight suspects. All of them are lying. How do you get to the truth?
When a boy was found murdered at St. Kilda's- a girls boarding school, the case was left unsolved due to lack of evidence. Now, a year later, the cops recieve a photograph of the victim with the caption: I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.
Intriguing plot and great pacing. I was hooked from the beginning. Even though the entire book comprises of a single day and revolves around eight 16 year old girls and two cops, French manages to give all of them different, individual personalities- each with a secret.
What set this book apart from the rest for me was that we follow the mystery from the cop's POV. So instead of a 'big reveal' in the end, we solve the case chapter by chapter. You think you've solved it and then you get another clue that renders your theory useless.
Although it isn't the best mystery I've ever read, it was a great read that I enjoyed every moment of. And it definitely made me love Tana French. Can't wait to read the rest of her work.
Tana French is one of those authors I'm aware of, but haven't managed to read yet. I recently picked up the audio version of her latest - The Secret Place - to keep me company on the drive back and forth to work. This is the fifth book in the Dublin Murder Squad series.
Chris Harper was found murdered a year ago in a secluded grove on the grounds of St. Kilda's boarding school. The case is still open with no new leads.....until a card with a photo of the dead boy is found on the school's 'secrets board'. It's enough to reignite the investigation.
The book takes place over the course of a day as Detectives Stephen Moran and Antoinette Conway re-interview the students.
I quite like the two detectives and would be interested in reading more of this pair. What had me somewhat bored was the repetitiveness of the girls' conversations. You can only listen to so many OMG's, Hellloooo's, Excuse me's and more. Yes I believe it's quite true to teenage conversation, but in audio format it just started to grate. And I found myself tuning out and thinking of throwing in the towel on this one. Then French threw in a bit of a different element - otherworldly if you will. Intrigued again, I kept listening.
French is a good writer and some of her turns of phrase and descriptive phrases are really well done. Nuance and intuition are a large part of Moran's personality and investigative style. These nebulous concepts are given concrete descriptors that really painted vivid images and settings. The exploration of cliques and the world of teenagers is vividly portrayed. French paints a frightening 'mean girl.'
The book is quite long - at 464 pages, I think it could have been pared down a little. Much of the narrative seemed to repeat itself with the clues as to who the killer is (very) slowly doled out. I kept listening as I really wanted to know which girl was the culprit And the answer is there, but the actual ending was a bit confusing - I had to go back and listen a few times. And at the end, I really wondered why the supernatural element was included. It would have been a good book without it.
There were two readers - Stephen Hogan and Lara Hutchinson. Both are Irish actors, so the accents are real. Hogan embodies the mental image I had created for this character. Hutchinson captures the toughness of Conway. Both narrators read the voices of the teenage girls and caught the sarcasm, the anger and the nastiness of them.
On reading other's reviews, I'm seeing the recommendation to not start with this book if you're new to Tana French, that it is decidedly different from other books in the series. Fair enough - I'll try the next book French releases. (I'm one of those readers who can't won't go backwards in a series)