Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Searcher” as Want to Read:
The Searcher
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Searcher

by
3.98  ·  Rating details ·  15,144 ratings  ·  2,170 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 restles
...more
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Viking
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Searcher, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Joan This is different from her other books but still a 5 star for me. A slow paced, character-driven mystery with some twists. Her writing is beautiful de…moreThis is different from her other books but still a 5 star for me. A slow paced, character-driven mystery with some twists. Her writing is beautiful describing the rural Irish landscape & small village with all its secrets. Not fast action, just good characterizations & storytelling with moral & ethical undertones.(less)
Jerry Balzano Those of us who are male and have read her stuff think she's pretty amazing too. And she writes her male and female characters with what seems to me e…moreThose of us who are male and have read her stuff think she's pretty amazing too. And she writes her male and female characters with what seems to me equal grace and style.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,144 ratings  ·  2,170 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Searcher
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, on
...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another outstanding, moving example of Tana French’s 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 people’s struggles, sadness, demanding, hard life choices and accept the dynamics between the relationships. The town was like living, breathing, functioning organ
...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
***NOW AVAILABLE***

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 didn’t 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 didn’t ring true to me. I live in Wisconsin but visit Chicago fr
...more
Meredith
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,
...more
Paromjit
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 pro ...more
Nataliya
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 French’s newest book, The Searcher. Not slow - although I’m sure you’ll 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 can’t think of a better
...more
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 life’s 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 sto
...more
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 just LIKED IT VERY MUCH!!!!

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
...more
JanB
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 couldn’t be more different than Chicago. He’s 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 there’s no privacy in a small village, and, in fact, Cal misses human interaction. He begins to meet his neighbors at the local wat
...more
Chelsea Humphrey
May 06, 2020 marked it as dnf-lost-interest
Another Tana French novel!

description
...more
Sandy
3.5 stars

There are a handful of authors on my “No-Brainer” list. Their books are the ones I automatically reach for.…don’t need to see the cover, read the synopsis or check any reviews. Just gimme.

That doesn’t 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 b
...more
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 re ...more
karen
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??



YAYYYYYYYYYY!!!

please please please gimmie!!!!
...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
Elle
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 I’m 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 town—something right up French’s alley.

So if you’re looking for a typical up-tempo thriller, you’re lik
...more
Ceecee
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. He’s 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 don’t have to throw everything but the kitc
...more
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 American—a retired Chicago cop who quit the force when he began to doubt his own moral code, and wanted to move
...more
Nadia
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
Pat
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 French’s writing is so lyrical, in this, more than any of her other books I’ve 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 fin ...more
Carolyn
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 misse
...more
Gary
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 famil
...more
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 sh
...more
Maxwell
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 mir
...more
Tatiana
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 t
...more
Melissa
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
...more
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 S
...more
Lyn
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 bu
...more
Marialyce
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 y
...more
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 wit
...more
Tammy
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Taking place in the pastoral countryside of Ireland, French once again delivers a tense tale filled with memorable and complex characters who are all too human. A retired Chicago detective intending to enjoy repairing his crumbling Irish digs, becomes mixed up in the search for a local kid’s missing brother. Nothing is as placid as it appears in this small Irish village and backstories abound. The pacing of this novel is a bit slower than other of French’s novels but this in no way detracts from ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
Final Round
5,169,304 Votes Cast

Readers also enjoyed

  • Untamed
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)
  • Chosen Ones (The Chosen Ones, #1)
  • Double Act
  • Candyfloss
  • Vicky Angel
  • Long Range (Joe Pickett #20)
  • The Birds That Stay (A Russell and Leduc Mystery, #1)
  • The Nesting
  • The Stolen Sisters
  • The Hit List
  • Home Stretch
  • One Step Behind
  • The Coast-to-Coast Murders
  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum
  • After the Silence
  • Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books
  • My Darling
See similar books…
18,944 followers
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.

Articles featuring this book

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
36 likes · 12 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“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
More quotes…