Another stunning book by Tana French. Her words and characters are so riveting and deep that you find yourself thinking about them even while you are not reading the book.
Frank Mackey comes from a roughed up Irish town called Faithful Place where tough soled kids run amok in the road and go home to even tougher souled parents. (Spellings intended) Frank’s whole life is ripped apart when his high school sweetheart doesn’t meet him the night they are to run off together. Frank leaves town and doesn’t return until he is called back after 22 years to an old suitcase, a body, and a whole town full of memories. Can Frank and the Dublin Murder Squad find out who killed Rosie before the town and the memories strangle Frank?
Tana French has this ability to write characters with such life and force that it will quite literally knock you over with their story and their voice. She has this uncanny skill for writing stories in the first person, which number 1 is hard, but number 2 is outstanding. She also has this terrible, awful, crazy way of making you love and also hate the main character. She writes her characters with flaws so that they feel real, almost to the point where you hate them. Her words help to you gain insight into the character and feel their presence through the pages. Her descriptions of Faithful Place are so real that I can picture Number 16 crystal clear right now, like I have been there. Because of Tana’s words, you are sickened and entranced by Frank and his story. She can evoke so much emotion with her words.
The critics said that this book fell a little flat compared to her other books and I was in the opposite camp. I believe that although this book had a few more “household problems” like alcoholics, abuse, and lost love; French made it so raw and real that you couldn’t possibly put it in a nice little category. The story was so twisted and disturbing that it fit right in with all the other novels. There were a couple of times when I shuttered at the main characters actions, which is strange when you are reading a book written by that person. Normally you get so attached to that character and Tana loves to throw a wrench in the system by making Frank borderline hateable.
In the end, I was surprised. I was horribly sickened by what had happened in that book. I was thinking about what happened while driving, walking and cooking dinner. It just invades your mind in the worst and best way. I read another review where someone said that they were sad after the book was over and I have to agree. Not sad that the story ended, but French’s work affects you so much that you feel sad for how Frank’s life was and what happened in the book. It doesn’t help that Tana French’s novels are never tied up with a nice neat bow at the end, but that makes it all that much more real and so scary.
A must read, I recommend all of Tana’s books but because this one was quite different, I absolutely recommend this one. Have you read any of Tana’s books. Which is your favorite. If you have read this one, tell me your thoughts!