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Group Read - The Trespasser > Group Read - The Trespasser Chaps 1-6 Spoilers Welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments This topic is for discussion of the prologue and chapters 1-6 of Tana French's The Trespasser. SPOILERS WELCOME on this topic.
If the first to post could please provide a short summary to guide the discussion it is appreciated!


message 2: by Ann (last edited Oct 12, 2016 11:56PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments These are long chapters! I'll post on the first four separately starting with the prologue. We meet the yet unnamed main character, Antoinette Conway, homicide detective in Dublin, recalling her mother's various romanticized stories about Antoinette's missing father, stories that changed as she grew up.
In chapter one the story starts to unfold in Conway's voice as we meet Steve Moran again, her partner on the night shift of the murder squad. Conway and Moran as newer members of the squad are treated with less than respect and are told they need a senior detective with them as they begin to investigate the apparent muder of a young woman Aislinn Murray.


message 3: by Ann (last edited Oct 08, 2016 08:57PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Aislinn lived in a house near Conway's own and appears to have been dressed and preparing dinner for a date when she was struck and hit her head. Details from her phone identify a best friend and a potential suspect in Rory Fallen - her dinner date.
Conway doesn't have an easy time of it, two years of constant hazing have worn her down. Being a female on the squad makes her an easy target, she's tough but brittle. She and Steve seem to work well together, his mild personality calming her jangling nerves and hair trigger temper. Even the press seem out to get her.


message 4: by Ann (last edited Oct 12, 2016 11:56PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Chapter two Conway and Moran start working the case. Conway as narrator reveals the depth of hazing she has endured for two years making her brittle. They avoid Detective Breslin, their babysitter senior Detective and interview the best friend, Lucy Riordan. Lucy is less than open about Aislinn but she tells about Rory and eventually intimates there may be a mysterious boyfriend who could also be a suspect.
Chapter three Back in the squad they set up an incident room. With six floaters helping out, Rory is brought in for questioning. They gather more background first and Conway discovers more sabotage from the squad, anonymous and it seems all are in on it except Steve. A tabloid journalist, Crowley is out to embarrass Conway. Breslin arrives to do the interview with Rory, rather pushily asserting himself.


message 5: by Ann (last edited Oct 14, 2016 07:45AM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Chapter four Rory Fallon is interviewed, first by Conway and Breslin, then after a break by Moran and Conway. Breslin's interrogation style surprises Conway wben they work well together. Breslin is ready to charge Rory with murder after they string him along for a drawn out period of background details before revealing that Aislinn is dead. Roty's reaction is stunned grief oon top of his pain when he thought Aislinn dumped him.

Moran and Conway push back and hold out for hard evidence and exploring other theories. Railroading on circumstantial evidence is not their style and other questions remain. Who else coukd have been there and wanted Aislinn dead..
Chapter five
The first case meeting has a tone of wariness, at least from Conway's perspective. As Bresin seems to assert himself in ways to influence the six floaters, Conway uses her connections with Sophie in forensics to block his access until they see any evidence.
The gaffer, O'Kelly wants an update, possible trouble? But O'Kelly sends them on their way. At home, away from prying eyes, Conway sets up an online dating profile as someone like Aislinn to see if any suspects for her secret lover bite. In the back of her house, her motion sensor light alerts her to a possible intruder..... in a house much like Aislinns.


message 6: by Ann (last edited Oct 14, 2016 08:26AM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Chapter six
Conway sees a man lurking at the top of her street as she repeats an interview with a previos case to replace missing statements. Two years of hazing, her life on the squad is an uphill battle. She spots Breslin in a serious conversation with his regular partner, McCann; they appear to be talking about getting rid of her. From the squad is Conway's assumption. She and Breslin are at odds over the course of the Aislinn Murray case and access t o the evidence.


message 7: by Ann (last edited Oct 14, 2016 08:28AM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments This is a long segment and takes us well into the investigation. Aislinn was a bit of an enigma. Her friend Lucy seems to be hiding something, or at the least is reluctant to talk to the police. Rory seems innocent to me, but some of his story doesn't quite line up. Breslin seems to be major trouble and Conway's situation is troubling. Usually there is a sense of camaraderie among friends as a theme of Tana French's previous work such as In the Woods or The Likeness, this book from Antoinette Conway's persective is a theme of estrangement. She has work friends (Sophie and Steve) and her Mother, but two years on a squad with constant friction is tough.
This looks to be a very meaty investigation, I am settling in for the procedural details and enjoying the audio narration. The voices the narrator uses for the characters are generally great though the voice used for Breslin grates on my ear - as does his character.


message 8: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1199 comments Thanks for the great summaries Ann.

I finished this section last weekend but have been so busy at work I have not been able to read any further. Hopefully I will be able to read more this coming week.

I am enjoying it so far though I found the Murder Squad's treatment of Conway upsetting and I am hoping that it is not quite as bad as she perceives. Obviously something weird is going on though especially with Breslin and his partner.

As for the actual case, I agree with you that Rory does not seem to be a plausible suspect. I am looking forward to seeing how the story continues to unwind.


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Sandi: I agree- the way that Conway is treated by her squad is very upsetting. Then when the journalist Crowley attacks her in the press so unfairly I was incensed. The angry explosive way Antoinette intimates that she reacts is understandable but nerve wracking - for her partner Steve, and for me as a reader.
Her friendly colleague relationship with Sophie on the forensics team gives me hope she can weather the storm with the boorish other detectives.


message 10: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Chikako: I am glad the summaries help.
I got the impression that Steve and Antoinette got along and worked together well as partners and for me, remembering and liking his character from the last book, The Secret Place, predisposes me to trust him.
I can see why that trust might not be so apparent for Antoinette though. She doesn't know who the people are behind the harassment and it is a horrible situation. I don't get why the gaffer doesn't step in.


message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Chikako: You have a good point I hadn't thought of directly; the harsh hazing by the squad may also help make Conway stronger in defense. Not an easy path, but likely a factor. It's just so unfair.


message 12: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7900 comments I too am just getting to posting about this; I'm about 2/3 of the way through the book. Ann, thanks for your detailed summaries. I am going to post as things occur to me (lest I forget them) rather than read through everyone's posts, so apologies in advance if I repeat stuff others have already said.

I found this a little difficult to warm up to. Not sure if it's the narrator or the fact that the book is 80% dialogue (or so it seems). It seems to move VERY slowly. I found myself wondering if the entire book was going to take place in the squadroom or the interview room!

It's been awhile since I finished The Secret Place so I had to go back to summaries to refresh my memory on where I'd met Steve and Antoinette before (as per French's M.O. of focusing on a previous character in her new book). Steve was the lead detective, or at least he was the person through whose eyes we saw that case unfold. Unfortunately I didn't remember a lot of Steve's personality or his relationship with Antoinette, at least at first. Now I think it's coming back to me; she was a reluctant partner and standoffish, but I think they grew to trust each other in the end.

I still find myself wondering about the detectives we met in the first in the Murder Squad series -- Cassie I think, don't remember the other guy's name but he was the MC.


message 13: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7900 comments During the questioning of Rory I often found myself wondering what I would do if I were in his shoes -- being questioned by the police. First of all, I kept silently screaming GET A LAWYER!!! We've all read a billion times the line fictional detectives use about it going easier and faster without a lawyer, and about how it looks suspicious to immediately lawyer up, but I don't think I would say ONE WORD in an interview room without a lawyer present, innocent or not.

Of course, the plots would likely unfold very differently if every potential suspect followed my rule, LOL.

I also felt that if I'd been questioned for some time and then finally told the subject of my questioning was dead, I would be VERY angry and feel betrayed. At least I got more and more worked up the longer Antoinette and Breslin questioned Rory, pretending a friendly interest, and all the while keeping this detail from him, especially as they began to see that he cared for her. Again, a timeworn questioning strategy but one that made me mad.


message 14: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7900 comments I really do not like Breslin, and the narrator of the audiobook gives him a really oily. condescending demeanor, which adds to my dislike.


message 15: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7900 comments Ann wrote: " The voices the narrator uses for the characters are generally great though the voice used for Breslin grates on my ear - as does his character.
..."


EXACTLY, Ann!


message 16: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7900 comments Ann and Chikako, I too find Antoinette's isolation in the squad room discomforting. I am guessing Antoinette does not make friends easily and am glad she connects with Sophie and is also on good terms with the medical examiner. That comes in handy.

I do not trust Breslin one bit.

I did find myself weary of the friction-in-the-squad-room plot device; I wish for once I would read a police procedural where a female detective was not met with immediate resistance by her fellow officers. Maybe in twenty years this will be the norm, LOL.


message 17: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Carol: Oily is a good description of Breslin's personality. His interview style with Rory was repugnant to me, especially as you noted when it became apparent that Rory really cared for Aislinn. Conway was so angry at the world she was going along with the bullying tactics, or seemed to be approving by playing the good cop.
I would like to think cops are seeking justice and the truth over "enough circumstantial evidence to charge someone" but that seems to be rare. Rory is in trouble at this point, and he is hurting.

Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I really do not like Breslin, and the narrator of the audiobook gives him a really oily. condescending demeanor, which adds to my dislike."


message 18: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Carol: Seriously, I too am weary of it, both the plot device of the hazing and disrespect and especially that it obviously is happening.
By the time I finished this book and picked up Redemption Road I was starting to get angry too.
Conway's inner dialog about her feelings, plans, anger and disappointments was an interesting counterpoint to Aislinn's life. I found myself thinking that Tana French was focusing on that parallel aspect between Aislinn and Antoinette, both victims, with some aspects of similar lives (location, father abandonment, few friends)
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I did find myself weary of the friction-in-the-squad-room plot device; I wish for once I would read a police procedural where a female detective was not met with immediate resistance by her fellow officers. Maybe in twenty years this will be the norm,"


message 19: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Carol: Me too!
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "During the questioning of Rory I often found myself wondering what I would do if I were in his shoes -- being questioned by the police. First of all, I kept silently screaming GET A LAWYER!!!."


message 20: by Ann (last edited Oct 23, 2016 10:19PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Carol:
I didn't refresh my memory from the last book, I had a mild recollection of Steve and none of Antoinette, but now that you mention it I recall some of their interactions. The first MC was Rob I think. I also find myself thinking about him still now years later.

Carol/Bonadie wrote: "It's been awhile since I finished The Secret Place so I had to go back to summaries to refresh my memory on where I'd met Steve and Antoinette before (as per French's M.O. of focusing on a previous character in her new book). Steve was the lead detective, or at least he was the person through whose eyes we saw that case unfold. Unfortunately I didn't remember a lot of Steve's personality or his relationship with Antoinette, at least at first.....
I still find myself wondering about the detectives we met in the first in the Murder Squad series -- Cassie I think, don't remember the other guy's name but he was the MC."



message 21: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Chikako: I love Rizolli &Isles! Both the books and the TV series. Jane had an easier time of it on the TV show. The books are intense!
Chikako wrote: "Completely I agree with you!
Even though Jane Rizzoli, sometimes has to meet with troubles like that... I hope you all know 'Rizzoli & Isles'.."



message 22: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Chikako:
The books are all about the murder squad, but each really stands alone. I won't get all of the characters right from memory, in each of the books a character from the squad sort of spins off into a solo story in the next book.
Chikako wrote: "Carol and Ann,
Which means that this series has the MC(s) in every books, doesn't it? I had never read this series, first one is this book."



message 23: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7900 comments Ann wrote: "Conway's inner dialog about her feelings, plans, anger and disappointments was an interesting counterpoint to Aislinn's life. I found myself thinking that Tana French was focusing on that parallel aspect between Aislinn and Antoinette, both victims, with some aspects of similar lives (location, father abandonment, few friends).."

Ann, I found myself wondering about Tana French the person. She writes such dark stories and her MCs seem to have a thread of darkness running through them. Well some, anyway. I don't recall Steve having much personal angst, but most of the others do.


message 24: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7900 comments Chikako wrote: "Even though Jane Rizzoli, sometimes has to meet with troubles like that... I hope you all know 'Rizzoli & Isles'. ..."

I have not read any Rizzoli and Isles, Chikako, although I have heard of the books and the TV show. Do you recommend them?


message 25: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7900 comments Ann wrote: "Chikako:
The books are all about the murder squad, but each really stands alone. I won't get all of the characters right from memory, in each of the books a character from the squad sort of spins off into a solo story in the next book. .."


Ann is exactly right, Chikako. for example, the first book, In the Woods, features the lead detective Rob and his partner, Cassie. The story is told through Rob's eyes. In the second novel, The Likeness, Cassie is on an undercover case and we see little if anything of Rob, but we see a lot of the cop who gets her involved in the case. In the next novel his story is featured, etc.

As Ann says, each book really stands on its own, but it is fun to follow the thread from the beginning.


message 26: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Carol:
I recommend the Rizolli and Isles book series highly! And also wonder about Tana French the person.


message 27: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3621 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I really do not like Breslin, and the narrator of the audiobook gives him a really oily. condescending demeanor, which adds to my dislike."

i am reading, not listening, but i feel the same about him. don't like him and am wondering what he's really up to.


message 28: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Sherry: When the gaffer told Antoinette and Steve to work with Breslin and then they/she did their best to avoid him I was curious. Was it their attitude or was it something about him to avoid. At this point he has done nothing to make me think they are wrong to avoid working side by side with him. I would have probably attempted to minimize contact too. Though I wondered how the gaffer would feel about that tactic. (Direct orders and all)


message 29: by Jack (last edited Feb 11, 2017 12:13PM) (new)

Jack | 179 comments I finally got this book from the library last week.
I am finding it tough to get through this book. The sections are sooo long and reading my copy is hard on my eyes. Its probably a 10point font. I actually got my eyes checked and found i need reading glasses as had slight astigmatism.

Although draining to read, the story is good and steve and conway are a great dynamic team.
Breslin is slimey but adds a great dimesion to the interactions with conway.
The rory interview was brutal and humiliating rory was cruel. Conways thoughts didnt give any sympathy but was more concerned with him walking out than the anguish they caused.

I agree rory is unlikely to be the killer. i wonder what breslin is up to and how it will play out.


message 30: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Jack: I'm glad you got a copy, it is a very good book. Steve and Conway are a good team. They were pretty bard on Rory. I guess people who come in contact with a murder victim do have to be scrutinized, but it was cruel.
You have my sympathy for the small font. I have a really hard time with tiny print, it's one of the reasons I listen to most of my books. I spend all day at work on the computer and need a break away from screen time.

Jack wrote: "I finally got this book from the library last week.
I am finding it tough to get through this book. The sections are sooo long and reading my copy is hard on my eyes. Its probably a 10point font. ..."



message 31: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7900 comments Jack, sorry about the font size, and some of the scenes are long, but overall I think you will get drawn into the story and eager to discover the outcome. Enjoy!


message 32: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: "Carol:
The first MC was Rob I think. I also find myself thinking about him now years later.


Me three, Ann and Carol! And while the ending of that book and the childhood mystery was perfect in the mood and atmosphere of the book, I often wish French would revisit it. Trying to say this without spoilers, so I hope I'm not being too obscure.

I was completely unaware of The Trespasser until I came across it by accident a couple of weeks ago. I think Amazon's recommendations have lost their moorings. I've bought French's books first day from the beginning, but Amazon didn't mention this one to me among the slew of 'romance mysteries' they're always recommending these days. Harrumph.

Jan


message 33: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Hi Jan!
Harrumph indeed! Those recommendations are supposed to help us not miss books by favorite authors. I think Amazon is too busy promoting other things. Good to see you Ms. O'Cat!
OMalleycat wrote: " I think Amazon's recommendations have lost their moorings. I've bought French's books first day from the beginning, but Amazon didn't mention this one to me among the slew of 'romance mysteries' they're always recommending these days. Harrumph.."


message 34: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7900 comments OMalleycat wrote: "I've bought French's books first day from the beginning, but Amazon didn't mention this one to me among the slew of 'romance mysteries' they're always recommending these days. Harrumph...."

LOL. AOL's predictors are not foolproof apparently. Glad you found it, I'd be p.o.'d too if I missed such an important entry in a favorite series. Enjoy!


message 35: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14410 comments Ms O'Cat - Jan!
I have read some of your very thoughtful comments on the other segments of this book, very insightful thoughts! As I have more time I will comment on each of them. Thanks!


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