Perrin Pring's Reviews > Faithful Place

Faithful Place by Tana French
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really liked it
bookshelves: mysteries, woman-authors, thrillers

This is not your typical mystery. In fact, I would say Tanya French's Faithful Place verges on literary fiction, with a dash of murder and mystery thrown in. Don't get me wrong though, if you like mysteries you'll like this. If you like literary fiction, you'll probably also like this.

Set in Dublin, Faithful Place plunges the reader into the suffocating world of detective Frank Mackey's childhood. I say suffocating because French does an amazing job at nearly drowning her readers in the desperation that steams from Mackey's inner city childhood home (Faithful Place) and his family. French does a superb job of creating living, breathing characters that jump from the pages in full and flawed ways. Within the first several dozen pages of the book, the reader actually can feel themselves clawing to get away from Mackey's family.

French's attention to detail and use of concise dialogue no doubt play into the world she so expertly creates. What really made me feel like I was on the steps of Faithful Place though, was French's ability to make her character's swear words distinctly Irish. Instead of writing all the dialogue in dialect, French only alters the swear words. For example, her characters don't say Jesus, they say Jaysus. They don't say shit, they say shite. These small alterations are more than enough to transform her character's voices in my head. I go from hearing my mind's own voice to hearing an Irish person's voice. It is stunning to me how small and simple of a technique this is yet how hugely effective it is in transporting the reader across the seas to Dublin.

When I finished the last page of Faithful Place, I realized that while the murder mystery was fun, the best part of the book was Mackey's family. French's ability to create perfectly flawed characters is exceptional. She transports you from your living room to the doily covered, smoke filled parlor of Faithful Place, complete with Mackey's dysfunctional family yelling and cursing, and you realize, you don't want to be anywhere else.

I recommend this book.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 15, 2013 – Finished Reading
September 21, 2013 – Shelved
September 21, 2013 – Shelved as: mysteries
September 21, 2013 – Shelved as: woman-authors
September 28, 2013 – Shelved as: thrillers

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