Molly asked:

Is it necessary to read the previous four books in the Dublin Murder Squad series before reading this book?

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Bill Kupersmith No, but if the Secret Place moves you, so will The Likeness. It features a similar group of close friends, only they're grad students not schoolgirls.
Sarah Page Each novel can stand alone, The Secret Place brings back familiar characters - detective Frank Mackey, his daughter Holly, and detective Stephen Moran, who works with newly introduced detective Antoinette Conway to solve the murder of a teenage boy at a posh boarding school.

In short, if you like mysterious police thrillers, French is one of the top current authors to read. As someone who already likes French, I did like this book, but it was not close to my favorite of the five in the series. If I had to rank all five from best to worst, it would go: The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, In the Woods, The Secret Place.
Lori No; it's not necessary; each can stand alone--but since each successive book centers on a character that was introduced (and often explored) in an earlier book, it can help. For instance, Frank (Holly's dad) in "Secret Place" was first introduced in the "Likeness" (book two) and we learned a lot about how he operated, and "Faithful Place" centers totally on him--and his daughter--who shows up in "Secret Place" as a teenager. There is character building to some degree.
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by Tana French (Goodreads Author)
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