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The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad #2)

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  61,894 Ratings  ·  5,497 Reviews
Six months after the events of In the Woods, an urgent telephone call beckons detective Cassie Maddox to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who she is. A disturbing tale of shifting ...more
Hardcover, 466 pages
Published July 17th 2008 by Viking Adult (first published 2008)
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Laya No, but the first book has a back story of one of the characters mentioned here.
Fiona Hi, In The Woods is the first Dublin Murder Squad book, but they're not really a series. It's quite clever - one character from a former book gets a…moreHi, In The Woods is the first Dublin Murder Squad book, but they're not really a series. It's quite clever - one character from a former book gets a book to themselves. So you get major and minor characters recurring. But they don't follow on from each other with the stories. There are 5 books in all I think. So you don't absolutely have to read them in order. I read 5, 3, 1 and am about to read 2, then 4. I love these books though, the characters are fantastic. Have fun!(less)
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19th out of 999 books — 2,244 voters
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57th out of 1,444 books — 6,837 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Khanh (the Grinch)
Jan 26, 2016 Khanh (the Grinch) rated it it was amazing
I’ll never be free of her. I wear her face; as I get older it’ll stay her changing mirror, the one glimpse of all the ages she never had. I lived her life, for a few strange bright weeks; her blood went into making me what I am, the same way it went to make the bluebells and the hawthorn tree
Some books hurt. They squeeze your chest, they make your eyes sting with unshed tears. It's a rare author who is able to evoke that kind of emotion in their readers, and I can only say that reading Tana Fr
Sep 19, 2014 Nataliya rated it it was amazing
There are times when trying on someone else's life for size seems like a very tempting idea. But how do you not lose yourself in it?

This book shredded my heart into tiny little pieces.

It made me reexperience that hollow, empty, lonely, lost feeling you have when you remember the intense and seemingly 'forever' friendships that have somehow, inexplicably just disintegrated.

It made me miss people who once were crucial in my life - and are not there any more, for one reason or another. And I miss
okay, i enjoyed this tana french book much more than the first one. and against all odds; the premise of this book is so staggeringly unbelievable.check it out: so there's a murrrrrder, and the body is that of a young woman who looks just like detective cassie maddox! awesome! so why doesn't she just pretend to be the murdered girl, slip unnoticed into her life, and take it from there? because, dummy, her "life" is made up solely of a group of four other insular postgrad nerds who reside in a hu ...more
Dan Schwent
Jan 12, 2015 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
After the evens of In the Woods, Cassie Maddox is struggling to get her life back together. When a woman resembling her is found with an ID bearing the same name Cassie used in an undercover case years before, Cassie is thrust into a life that isn't her own in an effort to find out who killed the woman with her face...

The Likeness was a tough nut to crack. The setup is fairly preposterous and was a big hurdle to overcome before I could dig into the book and enjoy Tana French's superb stylings. A
Emily May
This is the second Tana French novel I've read in just over a week and I have to say I'm rapidly becoming a big fan. The Likeness is an excellent story that is about psychology at least as much as (if not more than) it is about a murder mystery. Like In The Woods, the book's greatest weakness is also perhaps its greatest strength: the comprehensive portrait of the characters and their personalities.

French makes certain you know your narrator almost as well as you know yourself. Their habits, fea
"We had worked together seamlessly, she and I. I had drawn her to this house, this life, every bit as neatly and surely as she had drawn me."

Tana French knows how to conjure up the most charmingly creepy characters out of thin air like nobody's business - damaged individuals who go about life like sentient, breathing time bombs about to go off and leave a trail of wreckage consisting of wounded hearts and shattered illusions in the wake of their committed mistakes. Call this tale of blurred id
As seen on The Readventurer

Impressive. Very impressive. I think now, after reading two of Tana French's novels, I finally know what a good psychological thriller is. It is something that goes beyond simple figuring out whodunit, something that delves into the minds investigators, victims and killers, something that focuses on exploring the motives and states of mind rather than logistics of the crimes.

It is the psychological part of The Likeness that won me over, because, let's face it, the prem
Nov 16, 2008 Brooke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008, mystery
And I thought In the Woods was good...I sucked down this nearly-500 page sequel in two days and then couldn't believe I'd been apprehensive about In the Woods even needing a sequel.

Detective Cassie Maddox goes undercover, with a twist - she's taking the place of a murder victim who looks just like her, and who had taken up residence in a cover identity that Cassie had created years before. She has to slip effortlessly into the role and find out if any of the four best friends that "Lexie Madiso
“There's a Spanish proverb," he said, "that's always fascinated me. "Take what you want and pay for it, says God.'" "I don't believe in God," … "but that principle seems, to me, to have a divinity of its own; a kind of blazing purity. What could be simpler, or more crucial? You can have anything you want, as long as you accept that there is a price and that you will have to pay it.”

In spite of the fact that the premise of The Likeness requires a certain amount of suspension of belief, I loved t
Oh, Lordy. This book chewed me up and spat me out.

This isn't going to be one of those reviews where I say a lot. The book was too good, and too overwhelming. I could do it, but it might break me to try. And I'd rather not be broken. So instead, in this review, you will probably get a bunch of nonsense strung together in some stream-of-consciousness excuse for review writing. I DON'T EVEN FEEL BAD ABOUT IT.

The Likeness is the second book in Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad books. You don't need
Dec 28, 2008 Mallory rated it liked it
After loving In The Woods, I was so excited to run out and get this sequel by Tana French, who I found to be a thrilling writer. I was disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high after her glorious debut, but I found this book dull. I loved Cassie Maddox in the first book, but found her unsympathetic in the sequel; the only motivation and justifications I could find for her actions stemmed from actions in the first book, and didn't tell much more about her character. There were moments I l ...more
Tana French can will Never Disappoint.

This book literally had me at the edge of my seat and bitting my nails as to who killed Lexie and Why?

My mind is still racing and my heart aching. Why (view spoiler)

Cassie character annoyed me several times throughout this book and I can help but feel if she did not make some stupid decisions things c
May 28, 2009 Lobstergirl rated it liked it
Recommends it for: dental hygienists
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Concino Concini
This is not mystery, it's science fiction. The protagonist-detective Cassie, and the murder victim Lexie, are so physically similar that the victim's best friends - the four roommates she's been living with quite intimately for years - can't tell the difference between the two. So the detective is able to go undercover as the victim with no one the wiser, until one suspicious roommate notices that the detective will eat onions, whereas the victim always refused to eat onions. Look, we all saw th ...more
Joe Valdez
Dec 04, 2015 Joe Valdez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Tana French could probably write a book on organic farming and I'd read it. I'd anticipate a major turf war between the USDA and the IOFGA and actually stay up late to find out whether ladybugs were an effective deterrent against garden pests. Fortunately, French's chosen milieu is much more exciting. With her debut novel In the Woods and this 2008 follow-up, French's finesse with weaving homicide investigation, Irish locale and intense character study together knocked me out.

The Likeness is nar
Sep 06, 2009 Matt rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Funny how I read French's first book immediately after reading THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, and now I'm reading her second book immediately after reading THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE.

I really sort of hated the ending of INTO THE WOODS (see my review), but many people said this book was BETTER and more focused without all of the "Rob" drama, so here I am.

So far, I'm enjoying the prose, yet bamboozled by the plot-- an "exact duplicate" of the main character just happens to get murdered, and
Jan 03, 2016 Caroline rated it liked it

The wacky premise: detective Cassie Maddox resembles murder victim Lexie Madison so closely that she goes undercover posing as her. Even fans of this book have to admit this is ridiculous; nevertheless, those willing to just go with it and read will find a beautifully written, literary murder mystery narrated with a hefty dose of sass and wit.

This is a very introspective, ponderous story packed with poetic writing. Quite often, though, French’s impressive literary style overwhe
No pasts. This is the rule for the 5 young adults who live in Whitethorn House. As a result, their lives are rather like a biosphere project—things go off balance because no one in charge realized how important worms or spiders are to the ecosystem.

How I remember those achingly close and highly charged relationships of our 20s that we just assume will always be there. You look up some time in your 40s and realize that those people are long gone, you have no idea where they went, and you couldn’
Oct 25, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
Initial thoughts (8/21/2012):
Absolutely fantastic. Great characters, satisfying ending, beautiful writing. I can't wait to read about Frank's story next.

Full review to come later (hopefully).

P.S. Tana French, please revisit Rob's story so I can have closure. Pretty please with sugar on top.

Full Review (10/25/2012):
Once again Tana French has blown me away with this second installment of her Dublin Murder Squad series. Like its predecessor In the Woods, The Likeness seems to defy genres. It could

While I am still working on the fourth book in this series I can safely say, without a doubt, that this is my favorite book of the four thus far. It's hard to say what calls to me here. It could be the way I relate to Cassie and all of her darkest wants and needs. It could be the creaky old house that is reminiscent of so many great gothic settings that have come before. It could be the overarching theme that all anyone truly wants is to belong and to spend every waking moment feeling wine in t
Feb 26, 2015 Aly∞ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The thing about French's books is that they turn you into an emotional wreck.

Review to come!
Feb 06, 2011 Megan rated it it was amazing
It is amazingly difficult to articulate my feelings and write a decent review for The Likeness. The second installment of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series follows the story of Detective Cassie Maddox as she becomes immersed in a new case. I know it’s not fair to compare this to In the Woods, but how can I not? In the Woods was a gripping, fast paced, roller coaster ride of a murder mystery. The Likeness is a much slower paced, psychological thriller. Did I enjoy it? Immensely. Was it as ...more
Apr 22, 2011 Jenn rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, read-2010
I loved her debut novel, In the Woods, which involves some of the same characters read here, and I had really high hopes for this book, too. In some ways, I wasn't disappointed -- the language is still lovely and the scenes beautifully rendered. But in other ways, I was disappointed -- the main character of this book, Cassie Maddox, was the second lead in the last book, and I expected, well, more of her. This book wanted to be a regular novel, not a mystery or crime book, and it's the mystery an ...more
James Thane
Aug 31, 2010 James Thane rated it liked it
Like a great many other people, I thoroughly enjoyed Tana French's debut novel, In the Woods, and I was eagerly anticipating the opportunity to finally get to her second book, The Likeness: A Novel. I find, though, that after finishing it, I have very mixed feelings about it.

The book features Dublin Detective Cassie Maddox who returns from "In the Woods." After a particularly brutal murder case, Cassie has transferred out of the Murder Squad and is now working in Domestic Violence. But she is ca
Maria Snyder
Jul 18, 2015 Maria Snyder rated it it was amazing
I read this book while on my UK book tour - it seemed fitting even though I didn't have time to visit Ireland on this trip (next time - I promise!). I'm really enjoying these mysteries with a psycololgical element and unique and complex characters. The series is called the Dublin Murder Squad and each one features a different character (but they are related/linked) I liked this one better than the first book, In The Woods as the ending was more...satisfying and I connected with Cassie right away ...more
Dec 07, 2014 TL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to TL by: Aly∞
Shelves: favorites

Excellent follow-up to 'Into the Woods', is it as good? In different ways yes... each book has it's own intensity, messing with your head nad keeping you guessing.

Miss French's writing is once again, brilliant :) She pulls us in from the get-go, the premise is a bit far-fetched but she writes everything so well and makes each of the characters so compelling that you overlook that and are caught up in the story.

Abby/Justin/Rafe/Daniel/lexie... that group was it's own universe, they really cared a
Aug 06, 2008 Leslie rated it really liked it
Despite all the nasty reviews on Amazon, In the Woods was quite a debut, and Tana French is an excellent author. The Likeness just builds upon that foundation. Similarities to Tartt's The Secret History may put some readers off, but this may well be the book Tartt wishes she'd written.

In the Woods was good, but this was better, and French's gift for description creates some haunting images. Her characters have enough flaws to make them human - and to set up plot issues - but not enough to make t
Oct 30, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing
Now I understand when people said this was better than the first.
Lewis Weinstein
May 06, 2014 Lewis Weinstein rated it really liked it
A totally unbelievable premise. Too much interior dialogue when it adds little and slows down the action, especially in the middle sections.

Put these flaws aside. This is a spectacular read.

French portrays the interactions of a strange group of people, living together in a strange house near Dublin, who may or may not have committed murder. All of their interactions occur on multiple levels. Everything revolves around a beautiful and troubled dead woman who never appears and yet is the always-p
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Utterly implausible and thoroughly delectable! I loved getting inside that insular little world the "misfits" of Whitethorn House created for themselves. I love the way Tana French lets you get to know the characters---*really* know them---with all their neuroses and peccadilloes and habitual reactions. And her dialogue is just plain fun to read. Of course, nobody we know in real life can sit around popping off all those perfect ripostes, but it makes for entertaining reading. And then of course ...more
Nov 24, 2014 Ya~ rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Do you believe someone out there, a stranger, looks exactly like you?

The plot presented a far-stretched premise at the outset and I had hard time suspending my disbelief.

The pace? Slow. Wordy. I read at the snail pace.

Character development? Overdone. I thought Cassie was very good at being an actor than a detective. At one point, I was worried she had a split-personality.

Supporting characters? The suspects were called the fantastic four. But imo, nothing about them fascinated me.

Overall, it w
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Likeness by Tana French 1 14 Oct 17, 2015 01:01PM  
The Likeness 15 203 Sep 02, 2015 08:11PM  
Kindle English My...: Spoiler Discussion (June 2015) - The Likeness by Tana French 9 54 Jul 11, 2015 03:45AM  
Kindle English My...: June 2015 Group Read - The Likeness by Tana French 15 34 Jul 05, 2015 06:06PM  
Overlap between "In the Woods and "The Likeness" 1 72 Oct 09, 2014 01:59PM  
The premise lost me - anyone else? 17 199 Aug 29, 2014 03:00PM  
Question for those who've read The Likeness & In the Woods 11 300 Aug 08, 2014 04:52PM  
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Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the US and Malawi, and has lived in Dublin since 1990. She trained as a professional actress at Trinity College, Dublin, and has worked in theater, film and voice-over.
More about Tana French...

Other Books in the Series

Dublin Murder Squad (6 books)
  • In the Woods
  • Faithful Place
  • Broken Harbor
  • The Secret Place
  • The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad, #6)

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“Our entire society is based on discontent. People wanting more and more and more. Being constantly dissatisfied with their homes, their bodies, their décor, their clothes, everything – taking it for granted that that’s the whole point of life. Never to be satisfied. If you are perfectly happy with what you got, especially if what you got isn’t even all the spectacular then you’re dangerous. You’re breaking all the rules. You’re undermining the sacred economy. You’re challenging every assumption that society is built on.” 124 likes
“There's a Spanish proverb," he said, "that's always fascinated me. "Take what you want and pay for it, says God.'" "I don't believe in God," Daniel said, "but that principle seems, to me, to have a divinity of its own; a kind of blazing purity. What could be simpler, or more crucial? You can have anything you want, as long as you accept that there is a price and that you will have to pay it.” 117 likes
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