Nan's Reviews > Faithful Place

Faithful Place by Tana French
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Jul 14, 10

bookshelves: ebook, favorites, suspense, family-fiction
Read from July 13 to 14, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 1

I adore Tana French's Murder Squad series.

As with the first two books in this series, Faithful Place can be read with little or no familiarity with the series. The only crossover characters I recognized this time were Frank Mackey (obviously) and Cooper the pathologist. (By the way, I have to add that I love the fact so far that all three narrators in each book have asserted that Cooper hates pretty much everybody but likes each of them . . .)

This novel follows Frank Mackey, the Undercover Detective from The Likeness. Frank is eager to spend his weekend with his daughter, Holly, but when he arrives home, he discovers that his sister has been calling repeatedly. Jackie is the only member of his family that he's been in contact with since he left them 22 years before. For her to call him at home means it's an emergency. He takes Holly back to her mother (who is on the all important "fourth date" with a guy Frank calls "Dermo"), and returns to Faithful Place, the street where he grew up.

Once there, he discovers why his family wanted him--some renovators found Rosie's suitcase. He and Rosie were supposed to leave for England together, but she never arrived at their meeting place. After finding a note in 16 Faithful Place, the abandoned building used by all of the teenagers, Frank believes that Rosie has gone on to England without him, and he left his family that night. But now it would seem that she never left Faithful Place at all.

This is a fantastic novel. It follows Frank through his reintroduction to his family and his attempts to solve the 22 year old murder. And murder it is--they find Rosie's body the next day. But this won't be the only crime on Faithful Place, and Frank finds himself pulled into old relationships against his will.

Faithful Place is one of those neighborhoods that everyone knows--it's working poor, but not trashy. In recent years, it's even been settled by yuppies. But at its heart, it's still the old neighborhood, fueled by gossip and scandal, living on the edge of the law, and where any crime is forgivable--except squealing.

As a member of the Guard, Frank is both inside and outside the culture of the Place. This case will test his loyalties and ask what he's willing to sacrifice in order to find the truth about Rosie and her last night.

Unlike French's other novels, this one didn't have the same "train wreck" quality. About halfway through In the Woods and The Likeness, it's easy to see that neither story is going to allow the detectives to escape unscathed. Faithful Place doesn't have that same aura, but it is still a hugely satisfying read. French has a gift for writing from a first person perspective. Her narrators are fully developed characters, and their personalities shape the entire book. Mackey likes to tell trainees that the world is two degrees more cynical than they expect, but even he hasn't learned the full implications of that statement. Here, back on Faithful Place, it'll hit home for him in ways that he never wanted to see.
I cannot wait for the next book--according to this interview with Tana French, the next narrator is Scorcher Kennedy, a character introduced here. I can't wait to see what the world looks like through his eyes.
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Reading Progress

07/13/2010 "There's nothing quite like a Tana French novel, and I can't wait to dig into this one."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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☯Bettie☯ Maybe this should be under 'spoiler' alert.


message 2: by Nan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nan Really? I thought I was being vague enough to avoid that.


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