Faithful Place by Tana French

This is my fourth French novel, the third in the series but the fourth one I’ve read. And yup, it totally confirmed that I hate reading things out of order. Even in a series like this, where the books aren’t always directly connected, it can screw things up. Faithful Place can definitely be read as a stand alone, more than any of the other novels, but there were things in The Secret Place that relate back to this book. That means I kind of knew what I was looking for, just little things, but enough that it changed the way I read Faithful Place. I was looking for how certain characters were involved in the outcome, because I knew they would be. But don’t worry, knowing this information will not change the way you read The Secret Place. You can read this review and it won’t impact that book at all. Of course, if you read this review and you haven’t read Faithful Place yet, well, that’s your decision, not mine.

FP took me a long time to read, like weeks, maybe longer. It’s the shortest of French’s books, but took me several times longer to read than any of the others. It’s not because it’s a bad book. It’s not that at all. It’s a good read. I simply wasn’t in a reading mood for a while, and, like French’s other books, it’s not a fast read. It’s slowly paced and digs into human darkness. These are books that get to the heart of what make us who we are. And those moments usually aren’t big explosions. They are little moments that slowly influence everything we do. The phrase that comes to mind – wherever you go, there you are. If the person you’re trying to run from is you, you’ll never get away.

Faithful Place brings back Frank Mackey – who we met in The Likeness – and begins with him talking about defining moments in life. Being able to recognize them when they happen. For him, it was the disappearance of his teenage girlfriend. This is the exact opposite of what I just said, right? One defining moment instead of a lifetime of little ones? That’s what French wants us to begin with, but we spend the rest of the novel discovering that Mackey is way more than just that one moment. But that’s what he believes. It’s human nature. We desperately want to believe that we can look back and distinctly see what made us who we are – especially our insecurities and fears – but it’s all the tiny moments that combine to become the core of who we are. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – You Can Figure It Out

This week’s list is super open. Pick a quality you like, find ten characters/books that fit. I’m picking characters with good detecting skills. I love me a good crime novel. Something that I have to figure out along with the characters. A mystery/treasure hunt gets the blood pumping.

I’m going to stick to pretty modern novels in this list. No obvious winners like Sherlock Holmes or Nick and Nora Charles or Encyclopedia Brown. These are characters that use their detectiviness to solve whatever it is they need to solve – even if that means ruffling the feathers of the people around them.


Frank Mackey – Dublin Murder Squad Series (Tana French)

Frank’s a dick, but he’s a hell of a cop. He shows up in at least three of the five books in this series. Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday

Normally, I participate in Top Ten Tuesday but I couldn’t find a vibe with this week’s prompt. So, I’m going to do Teaser Tuesday instead.

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. It’s super easy: open your current read to a random page and share two sentences from that page – but make sure you don’t spoil the book!


The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

“They found the house in Magleby on a side road all the way out by the fields. Not a private farm or restored farmhouse, like most in the area, but a genuine brick house from the period when the facade mirror the soul of a building.”

What are you reading right now?

Weirdo by Cathi Unsworth

When I’m on vacation I like books that I can really get into, but that aren’t overly… um, mentally taxing. What I’m looking for changes depending on the season I’m reading it in. I was recently on a very relaxing vacation at a mountain resort in the off season. There was literally nothing to do except for read books and watch tv in front of the fire. It was exactly what I was looking for. There was more movie watching than there should have been, but I didn’t have to think about work for 10 whole days – perfection. I started the vacation with a really heavy book, and when I finally finished that one, I turned to Weirdo. It was exactly the kind of book I was looking for. A two fold murder mystery being told simultaneously. It’s a super fast, super easy read, but for the most part, it’s entertaining.

I don’t normally write about thrillers. They tend to be pretty generic – even the good ones. It’s part of what makes them enjoyable. Also, it’s nearly impossible to really talk about them without giving away the things that make them intriguing or unique. This one follows the expected format, but with the twist needed to make it interesting. There’s no possible way for me to talk about this book without talking about the specifics, so, if you’re one of those people that reads reviews before the book, turn away now. Beware all ye who enter here. Etc. Etc. As I mentioned above, there are two storied being told simultaneously in this book. The twist is that they are occurring in two different decades and one directly impacts the other. Continue reading

The Likeness by Tana French (@tanafrench)

This is my third Tana French book since July, but it’s actually the second in the series. I liked this book a lot. Not as much as the other two but it was still very good. I think part of the reason I didn’t like it as much is because I kept getting interrupted while reading it. I was about 100 pages in when I received an advanced copy of French’s newest book. To meet the timeline, I had to put this one aside. Then when I came back to it, it took me a little while to get back in the groove. Then life happened and I wasn’t able to read a lot. And then I was too tired to read at night (which is when I get a lot of my reading done). It was a long process from start to finish. Also, the book is super long.

Once again French’s writing is spot on. If it wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t have gotten through it. She weaves these complicated relationships in slow, intricate waves. The book picks up some months after the end of In the Woods (as always, if you haven’t read the spoilers tag on the post, it’s your own fault). Cassie has moved to the Domestic Violence unit in the wake of Operation Vestal. She’s deeply unhappy with the work and her new partner. She’s still dating Sam, and although she says she’s happy in the relationship, she doesn’t totally seem to believe it. At the beginning of The Likeness, Cassie is called out to a crime scene. She shows up in a nicely pressed suit looking all business. This is not the Cassie from before. The one who dressed exactly the way she wanted to. Who drove her little Vespa. Who was mistaken for a much younger person and didn’t care. The old Cassie was vibrant and energetic. She left her vibe everywhere she went. Now she’s forced herself to fit the mold. She looks the part. She talks the part. She’s the officer everyone wants her to be. She’s definitely lost her spark. She is dying on the inside. Continue reading