Genna (noachoc) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Faithful Place by Tana French is the sequel to The Likeness which is the sequel to In the Woods, which is another of my recent favorite books ever. The second in the series was really good, but not quite as good as the first and, alas Faithful Place was not quite as good as the second. Ms. French doesn't really do direct sequels; instead she jumps characters, so that a fringe character of one book can be the main character of the next. It's a really neat way to do things, because it means she's not tied to anybody in particular and she can break the main characters as much as she wants to (not that she always breaks them). It also means that, well, if you don't like the detective in THIS one, you might like the detective in another one. The first two novels in the series showed how supremely well Ms. French could build up the perfect relationship and then destroy it utterly. She drew me into the joy and the subsequent misery. They also (more in the first than the second, though it was there in the second) created this weird almost supernatural quality to what was, otherwise, a pretty straight-forward murder mystery. It wasn't exactly magic realism, but it was LIKE magic realism. I loved that more than anything.

So, the third book, Faithful Place isn't BAD; it just didn't do the two things that made me fall in love with the first two. This one, actually is, objectively (objectively? yeah, sure, I'll go there) really really good, but I missed my favorite qualities. In this one, Frank (Cassie's boss from the second, Cassie being Rob's partner from the first) is drawn back to his Angela's Ashes-ish roots when someone finds a suitcase belonging to his first love, a girl he thought had left without him when they were teenagers. Suddenly it appears that she didn't leave him after all: that she was murdered. Despite having avoided his family for years, suddenly he's got to deal with them again.

Ms. French is still a wonderful author, and I'm still going to buy whatever she writes next, but I might not leap for the hardcover the day it comes out as I did with this one.

Tags: ireland, murder mystery

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