Friday, July 16, 2010

Faithful Place by Tana French

In 1985, teenager Frank Mackey planned to escape his horrible upbringing on Faithful Place in Dublin by secretly departing with his girlfriend, Rosie, to London. On the night they planned to leave, Rosie never showed up. Frank assumed she left without him and was heartbroken. Now, more than twenty years later, Frank is an undercover cop who has to confront the past when his sister, Jackie, calls and tells him that some builders have found Rosie's suitcase hidden in an abandoned building. Frank has been estranged from his family all this time and the discovery of Rosie's belongings thrusts him back into its bleak dyfunctionality. It also causes him to wonder if Rosie really did leave or if something more sinister befell her. Faithful Place is the third novel in the Dublin Murder Squad series with each book being loosely connected to the others. Frank was introduced in French's last mystery, The Likeness. Faithful Place was the first book that I've read by her. While it's very leisurely-paced, about a third of the way through I was completely hooked. The novel doesn't follow the traditional framework of a police procedural mystery, but the combination of the Dublin setting and family complications allow French to build her story into something memorable and not soon-forgotten.

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