The Trespasser, Tana French, Viking, 2016, 469 pp
For much of Tana French's latest Dublin Murder Squad mystery, I was worried she was going to let me down for the first time. Antoinette Conway, who was introduced in the previous book, The Secret Place, has such a huge chip on her shoulder about being the only woman on the squad, relegated to the night shift with its domestic cases and drunken brawls as the usual cases.
It is true she is the brunt of much male derision including practical jokes, but any woman learns all the way back on the playground that if you let the bullies know they are getting to you, they will only go after you harder. Antoinette tries to stuff it, but her attitude spills out all over and you just want to give her some good feminist advice.
One night the case she has been waiting for ever since she began her career in law enforcement comes straight from the gaffer (Irish slang for boss) though at first it looks like another murder due to domestic violence, has a scarcity of provable evidence and her nemesis, the slimy Breslin, is assigned as "back up." Despite the unfailing cheerfulness and patience of her partner Steve, the two of them go running down so many blind alleys until it looks like Ms Conway will end up losing her job.
Like any Tana French mystery the twists and turns seem endless, even including possible corruption within the squad. I was not let down, only tested. Clever of her to test her readers as much as the case tested Antoinette. In fact, I think the final pages of The Trespasser are above and beyond anything she has done before.
(For Tana French geeks, I found this killer link with a chart of the investigators featured in each book, as well as thoughts about whether or not they need to be read in order.
(The Trespasser just came out in paperback this month and is available by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)