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The Searcher

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  17,919 ratings  ·  2,501 reviews
Retired detective Cal Hooper moves to a remote village in rural Ireland. His plans are to fix up the dilapidated cottage he's bought, to walk the mountains, to put his old police instincts to bed forever.

Then a local boy appeals to him for help. His brother is missing, and no one in the village, least of all the police, seems to care. And once again, Cal feels that
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Viking
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,919 ratings  ·  2,501 reviews

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Emily May
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cal feels like he ought to stand on a street corner handing out warnings, little pieces of paper that just say: Anyone could do anything.

Goodreads tells me I was reading this latest Tana French book for twelve days, though I'd say a good ten of those days was getting through just the first hundred pages. The Searcher was another slow-starter from French, in my opinion. Neither this book nor The Witch Elm have grabbed me as fully as her Dublin Murder Squad books always did.

That being said, once
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another outstanding, moving example of Tana Frenchs epic writing! With her remarkable skills she can create intense, realistic, dark, raw, rash portray of rural western Irish and let you have a memorable, breathtaking, journey!

This small town is the real protagonist of the story. As you start your reading, you learn to listen its own peoples struggles, sadness, demanding, hard life choices and accept the dynamics between the relationships. The town was like living, breathing, functioning
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

It pains me to give a Tana French novel 3 stars, this was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020. I loved the Dublin murder mysteries and even the slow burn of The Witch Elm, but this one just didnt do it for me. A 3 from me doesn't mean it's a bad book, just not one that I loved!

In looking back I realize that she does write male voices often but I think the choice of a retired ex-cop from Chicago perhaps just didnt ring true to me. I live in Wisconsin but visit Chicago
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: overdrive
The dark is busy around here.

The Searcher
is a character-driven mystery about a former cop whose quest to find peace in a small Irish town leads him into danger.

Cal Hooper, a 48-year-old former cop from Chicago, moves to a small village in Ireland to start over. Struggling to come to terms with the demise of the marriage and end of his career, Cal throws himself into repairing his ramshackle cottage. His days are fairly prosaic until 13-year-old Trey shows up with a mystery for Cal to solve,
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, netgalley
Tana French's latest slow burn of a standalone novel is rather different fare from her usual, set in a fictional West Ireland small town, Ardnakelty, a place where the reality bears little resemblance to the idyllic rural community where nothing much happens. American Cal Hooper is a burned out and disillusioned man, retiring from Chicago PD after seeing too many of the problematic issues that readers will be familiar with, given the contemporary focus on American policing and the continuing ...more
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
I got weary, Cal says. Bone-weary. He did. Every morning got to be like waking up with the flu, knowing he had to trek miles up a mountain.

Unhurried. Measured and unhurried are the first words that came to my mind when I was thinking how to describe Tana Frenchs newest book, The Searcher. Not slow - although Im sure youll hear that - but precisely and deliberately unhurried.

I am not a huge fan of describing books in terms of other books or other authors, but I cant think of a better comparison
Cal, newly divorced and retired from the Chicago PD, moves to a remote village in Ireland looking for a quiet, peaceful life, a place that couldnt be more different than Chicago. Hes life-weary and his relationship with his ex-wife and adult daughter is troubled.

As he renovates his dilapidated cottage he uses the isolation and physical labor as a way to heal. But theres no privacy in a small village, and, in fact, Cal misses human interaction. He begins to meet his neighbors at the local
Susanne  Strong
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Searcher: A novel you feel in deep recesses of your bones, kind of like changes in the weather.

The Searcher is a character driven novel, first and foremost. The characters are brilliantly plotted, and written to absolute perfection.
They are rich, dynamic, difficult and stubborn. Having undergone lifes trials and tribulations, they are strong, resilient and unrelenting. Some are good, kind and hard working, others not so much. In this novel, the characters are what drew me into the story
Melissa ~ Bantering Books
Be sure to visit Bantering Books to read all my latest reviews.

Review first published by Mystery and Suspense Magazine on 11/29/20.

Tana French is so good.

For me, shes a bit like Stephen King. By this, I mean she can write on and on (and on and on) about the minutest, most mundane details of everyday life, and I lap it all up. Time and again. Every page of it, regardless of the subject matter.

She could write an entire chapter describing the tranquility of drying paint, and I would devotedly hang
Elyse  Walters
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I never miss a Tana French book!
Tana delivered!
I was happy!!!

I suppose we, (die hards), could analyze this book and compare it to her others - etc.....

I thought about Rob - (from In the Woods) - Would he and Cal Hooper be friends? I think so!

I'm tired, hungry, still not feeling zippy-great - - so I'll write a review when feeling better ...

Little tidbits for now:
I liked Cal Hooper. My mouth watered for his cookies and cooking.
I liked his aloof kindness and compassion
Chelsea Humphrey
May 06, 2020 marked it as dnf-lost-interest
Another Tana French novel!

3.5 stars

There are a handful of authors on my No-Brainer list. Their books are the ones I automatically reach for.dont need to see the cover, read the synopsis or check any reviews. Just gimme.

That doesnt mean all of their books were 5 star reads. You always enjoy some more than others but something about their writing style and/or characters keeps me coming back. Ms. French is one of those authors & this book is no exception. All her books contain an element of crime but some are driven by
Diane S ☔
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very different from her other books and the first not set in Dublin. Instead it is set in a small Irish Village, a village of farmers, fishermen and people who have lived there for quite some time. Cal, our narrator, is a Chicago cop who has left that vocation. He is a divorced father of a grown daughter, whom he misses dearly. He has come to Ireland, this village, to find peace and a place where he can be pretty much left alone. He bought an old, dilapidated, long abandoned house which he is ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: He's halfway through his second pint before he tunes into the argument going on down the bar. It catches his ear because it sounds unusual. Mostly the arguments in here are the well-worn kind that can be made to stretch for years or decades, resurfacing periodically when there's nothing fresh to discuss. They involve farming methods, the relative uselessness of local and national politicians, whether the wall on the western side of the Strokestown road should be replaced by fencing, and ...more
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-pending
oooh, goodreads choice awards finalist for best mystery & thriller 2020! what will happen?


review to come, but good lord.


tana french is writing her take on a western??


please please please gimmie!!!!
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Tana French could teach a masterclass in literary mysteries. The Searcher was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and Im so relieved that it has lived up to most of those expectations. Is it as good as her famous Dublin Murder Squad series? I mean, no, those books are on another level in my opinion. But this was a well-paced, suspenseful novel with a backdrop in a rural, small Irish townsomething right up Frenchs alley.

So if youre looking for a typical up-tempo thriller, youre likely
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4-5 stars

Cal Hooper, ex Chicago PD, relocated to the rural west of Ireland after retirement and the break up of his marriage. Hes fixing up a wreck of a house he bought for a song, now he knows why it was so cheap! He is befriended by his neighbour Mart Larvin who makes this outsider welcome. He feels he is being watched which transpires to be Trey Reddy, a teenager who eventually asks him to find missing brother Brendan.

I think this book proves you dont have to throw everything but the
Anne Bogel
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've read every Tana French novel to date, yet I was NERVOUS to pick this one up because the critical reviews ... are not good. And then nothing happened for the first 125 pages.

I did enjoy it well enough in the end, but it's certainly different in feel than her Dublin Murder Squad books. French calls The Searcher "her version of a Western," and for the first time, her protagonist is Americana retired Chicago cop who quit the force when he began to doubt his own moral code, and wanted to move
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
The Searcher is the latest book by Tana French set in a remote Irish village. An ex-cop Cal Hooper moves to the Irish countryside after a divorce and a retirement from the police force in Chicago as he seeks a lifestyle change. Cal suspects that someone is watching him and soon enough he discovers he is being followed by a 13 year old local boy, Trey. Trey is an outcast amongst his peers and his only friend, his brother Brendan, disappeared a few months ago. Trey knows Brendan would never leave ...more
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
That was what I would call a quiet thriller. That does not mean cosy. It means something that can move you in a quiet and thoughtful way. The book is not fast paced but it was riveting nonetheless. Tana Frenchs writing is so lyrical, in this, more than any of her other books Ive read, she brought Ireland to life for me. I felt as if I were there. And the lilting Irish speech was so wonderful to hear (even though I read it, I heard it in my mind). I also felt the claustrophobia that Cal finally ...more
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with her popular Dublin Murder series, Tana French's new novel is set in Ireland, but instead of also being a suspenseful thriller, this stand alone is a more gentle, slow simmering, character driven mystery.

Cal Hooper is an ex Chicago cop who decided on making a new start in a small Irish village after his marriage ended just as he put in for early retirement. It's not clear why he chose Ireland rather than a rural area in the US where he could keep in touch better with the daughter he
Roman Clodia
Wait, wait, just 2 stars for *Tana French*? One of my all-time favourite authors who has never got below 4 stars from picky me? Well, I'm sorry fellow French fans but this one just left me flummoxed...

Writing, unusually, in the 3rd person, this has an unconvincing central character in Cal who is a retired Chicago police detective who is a bit burned out, disillusioned (his partner shot an unarmed Black boy in a timely incident), and still mourning his broken-down marriage who chooses to buy a
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved 'The Dublin Murder' series by Tana French so I was really looking forward to this one. This stand alone book is a lot different to that series although just as gripping. 

This is a story of ex detective Cal Hooper who following his move to rural Ireland is looking for a complete life change. He plans to spend most of his time renovating a cottage that is need of urgent repairs. His well intended dreams are interrupted when a a local boy asks him to help find his missing brother. The
I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

I'm obviously going to be glaringly in the minority on this one, but folks, it gives me absolutely no joy to report that among the many real horrors 2020 has wrought, one of its lesser woes includes a bad Tana French book. Cal Hooper has retired from the Chicago police force after his divorce and purchased a dilapidated cottage in a small Irish village. At the start of the book he feels like he's being watched, and so he is, by a
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland
[4.5 stars]
Tana French's second standalone novel, The Searcher, follows Cal Hooper, a retired cop from Chicago who seeks solace in the peaty hillsides of western Ireland. He's bought an abandoned cottage he plans to fix up and relax in until the day Trey Reddy shows up on his doorstep. Trey's brother Brendan went missing several months before, and Trey needs Cal's help finding him...or at least what may have happened to him. From there we go on the journey to discover and uncover the secrets
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Better, no, better paced than The Witch Elm, but nowhere nearly as good as the Dublin Murder Squad novels, IMO.

This is a perfectly fine, very atmospheric, low on action, high on talking mystery, as expected from Tana French. A retired American cop moves to a small Irish town and gets roped into investigating the disappearance of a local teen.

I liked the usual Tana French moves - digging into the narrator's psyche, long, tricky conversations with witnesses, the mood of danger bleeding
Anna Luce
3 ½ stars

He doesn't like the feeling, or the fact that he recognises it and understands it perfectly; it's as familiar to him as hunger or thirst. Cal never could stand to leave a case unresolved.

If I'd read The Searcher without knowing the author's identity, I'd never have guessed that it was a novel by Tana French.
Because the narrative in The Searcher is told in the third-person, it felt far less intimate and intricate than the Dublin Murder Squad series (which, with the exception of The
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
A friend will help you hide, but a good friend will help you hide a body

Irish writer Tana French, author of the Dublin murder series, delivers another excellent page turner set this time in a fictional west Ireland village. A retired Chicago police officer has bought an old house and settles in to local community and gets dragged in to some drama.

One thing French does exceptionally well every time is to create characters that demonstrate the subtle nuances of a culture steeped in oppression but
Can you really escape who and what you are or are you ever tied into the person you have become be it through life experiences or what path you have chosen to pursue? For Cal Hooper, his plan is to escape all the things that made him Cal, his family, his life in the States, and most of all the police detective he once was are things he seems to be running from. Then life, in his new Irish village intervenes and Cal finds himself pulled into a direction he thought he had left behind.

Cal meets a
Jessica Woodbury
When THE WITCH ELM came out, I know many Tana French fans were frustrated. They said it was too long and too slow and not what they wanted from French. Welp, if that was you, I have bad news: THE SEARCHER is even slower. There are Dublin Murder Squad novels that have more plot in a single chapter than you get in this entire book. The entire first third is just a guy in his house in the Irish countryside fixing an old desk. (I am only slightly exaggerating. That's almost it.)

If you were okay
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Tana French is the New York Times bestselling author of In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, The Secret Place, The Trespasser and The Witch Elm. Her books have won awards including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry Awards, the Los Angeles Times Award for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Dublin with her family.

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“The mountains on the horizon look like someone took a pocketknife and sliced neat curves out of the star-thick sky, leaving empty blackness. Here and there, spread out, are the yellow rectangles of windows, tiny and valiant.” 2 likes
“He hated the way every drug in its different way scooped the solidity right out of the world and left it quicksand-textured, cracked across and wavering at the edges. They did the same thing to people: people on drugs stopped being what you knew them to be.” 1 likes
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