Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Faithful Place, Tana French, Viking, 2010, 400 pp

Tana French manages never to write the same book twice while staying in her police procedural/mystery genre, her location in Dublin, Ireland, and among the same main characters, all members of the Dublin Murder Squad.

Frank Mackey, the cynical and controlling Undercover guy who put Cassie Maddox in harm's way over and over again in The Likeness, shows his softer side. Faithful Place is a street in one of the most downscale neighborhoods of Dublin and is where Frank grew up. The whole lower-class Irish life, complete with abusive alcoholic father, crazy controlling mother, and squabbling siblings, provides the setting that made Frank who he is.

But even assholes can have fallen in love once, lost that love, and become cynical. As a matter of fact, the same thing happened to Frank's father but Frank managed to get out of his personal ghetto when he became a cop. Turns out, as always, that you can't get the ghetto out of the man.

French is at her best, again, combining murder, plot, and personal turmoil. It is almost ridiculously easy to read her novels yet she never lets up with the literary writing or the deep characters. I hope she never lets up period and keeps on giving me a new novel to love every two years.

(Faithful Place is available in various formats by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

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