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Group Read Books - archive > Group Read - The Trespasser Chaps 13-18 Final Spoilers Welcome

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message 1: by Ann (last edited Oct 03, 2016 11:11PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments This topic is for discussion of the final chapters 13-18 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 (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Chapter 13 is a turning point.
Conway at home sees a lurker outside her window; realizes Steve is the only person she is willing to show her vulnerability and calls. He drags the man from the corner to her door and they both realize he must be her father. Conway finds out Crowley gave up her address in exchange for the reunion story and kicks her Dad out, not even getting his name. And realizes what Aislinn must have done. She calls Steve to come back, they are looking for one of their own, McCann or Breslin. They lean toward Breslin. Shocked, they work out their next steps.


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments I was so glad Antoinette called Steve. She had to start to trust someone or burst. This investigation is starting to really get interesting.


message 4: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Chapter 14
Conway and Moran with new purpose plan how to stay a step ahead of Breslin. Steve puts together two photo arrays one with McCann and similar photos; one with Breslin and the same. They act estranged and interview Rory in bis home. They show him their attitude towards him has changed. He identifies McCann as the trespasser he saw in the lane and weeks before. Shocked Conway and Moran realize McCann must be covering for Breslin. Aislinn left a message for Lucy in a hand written fairy tale: if no happy ending, tell.
Conway gives Steve a chance to forget it all. They will continue.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Chapter 15
Conway visits Lucy with Aislinn's fairy tale and Lucy identifies the secret boyfriend. But it isn't Breslin. The story comes out, Aislinn wanted to know about her missing daddy and McCann, the missing persons detective who found him and didnt tell is her target. So naive, when she finds out the truth she plans to ruin his marriage, break his heart and dump him. McCann is extremely controlling.
Conway is stunned.


message 6: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1215 comments Just finished so I thought I would pitch in a few summaries.

Chapter 16
Conway contacts Steve and lets him know McCann, not Breslin, is their man and they decide they need to talk with him so they get Breslin out of the way for a couple of hours. After meeting in the garden to map out their strategy Conway and Moran take McCann into an interview room and run the video. After a long slog through the particulars McCann seem to be on the verge when Breslin waltzes in and stops the interview.

Chapter 17
Breslin hustles McCann out, takes the tape, and goes over with Conway and Moran his version of what happened and how they are going to handle everything. Conway and Moran see his point that there is no hard evidence but Conway decides to throw a bit of a spanner in the works and contacts the weasel journalist Crowley. After putting the squeeze on Crowley and finding out who is feeding him info they make a deal with him to write how a Murder D was involved with the victim. Afterwards they decide to go to their boss.

Chapter 18
The gaffer hears them out, lets them know what was going on with Breslin from the beginning and then calls McCann up to the office. Conway thinks the fix is in but is taken off guard when the gaffer slowly goes over the ramifications with McCann and leads him into an admission of guilt. Conway and Moran are sent home but they realize the gaffer is protecting them and Conway decides, much to Moran's relief, to stay with the police.


message 7: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1215 comments I thought this section came together really well. The reveal that it was McCann and Aislinn was basically setting him up really helped make Aislinn more than just a victim. Breslin's actions also became more understandable and it was nice to know that it was basically just one bad egg on the squad who was plaguing Conway and I assume he will be sorted out promptly. I was not quite as surprised as Conway that the gaffer was trying to do the right thing and was glad that Steve really did value their partnership.


message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Thanks for the summaries Sandi! I was galloping through the book rather speedily so was having to go back and reread the book to do them. That turned out to not be a chore at all but was time consuming and I kept falling asleep. Lol.


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments I agree Sandi, it was quite a relief that only one guy was plaguing Conway, but what a major creep he was. When did he find time to do his job? It would have been a shame if Conway had quit the force.
After learning that the gaffer was going after McCann to confess, and hadn't put Breslin in place to watch them or control the investigation I felt much better. I admit to wondering if he had been in on some sort of conspiracy or coverup


message 10: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8053 comments Ann wrote: "I was so glad Antoinette called Steve. She had to start to trust someone or burst. This investigation is starting to really get interesting."

Me too on both accounts, Ann. I was shocked at her previous lashing out at Steve, I thought that was totally uncalled for, he has never done anything over the course of two books but demonstrate he had her back. I thought that was over the top even for her.

Spoiler to a later chapter but it relates to this point: (view spoiler)


message 11: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8053 comments Sandi wrote: "I thought this section came together really well. ... I was not quite as surprised as Conway that the gaffer was trying to do the right thing and was glad that Steve really did value their partnership.
..."


This section and the denouement really elevated the book for me -- the endless interviews and conversations between Antoinette and someone were wearing me down. This section had me on pins and needles such that I was sitting in bed before going to sleep unable to stop listening.

I was right there with Antoinette and Steve, thinking the gaffer was going to find a way to cover up McCann's involvement. So relieved at how that turned out, it would not have set well with me to have the book end in corruption.


message 12: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Carol: I was also relieved and a bit surprised that the cover-up of Aislinn's murder ended with McCann and Breslin's attempts. I was afraid the gaffer was going to come up with something to let him off the hook. I must wonder what the gaffer was thinking as the investigation was going on; I admire that he put two impartial detectives on it, and that he left them alone to investigate as they saw fit. But, I have to wonder if he was at least subconsciously wondering if it would all blow over.


message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Caraol: I really think that Conway was suffering from PTSD and unable to react rationally from lack of sleep leading to her paranoia about Moran and whether he too was acting against her. I was so happy when she came to her senses and asked for his help. And then Steve, being the stand-up guy that he is comes to her aid and they realize they can work Breslin together and let him think the rift goes on. Smart.


message 14: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8053 comments Ann wrote: "Carol: I was also relieved and a bit surprised that the cover-up of Aislinn's murder ended with McCann and Breslin's attempts. I was afraid the gaffer was going to come up with something to let him..."

The whole involvement of the gaffer as he described it was a bit perplexing to me. I kept wondering at his willingness to let Breslin alter the trajectory of the investigation to protect the wrong doer, even if it was more subtle than misdirecting them. it just seemed improper.

I also wondered throughout -- what the heck is a gaffer? I guess it's a slang term for a boss? I think it's the first time I'd heard it, which is what surprised me given I've read all of her books on The Murder Squad.

Here's a dictionary.com definition:

British. a foreman or overseer, especially the boss of a group of physical laborers.


message 15: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8053 comments Ann wrote: "Caraol: I really think that Conway was suffering from PTSD and unable to react rationally from lack of sleep leading to her paranoia about Moran and whether he too was acting against her. I was so ..."

I agree. At one point, I wondered if it was a setup. There was something later, I think in Antoinette's musing about what she was hearing McCann tell the gaffer, that made me think that. She said something about folks in the squad room observing their fight and deciding (falsely) that they were on the outs that made me think maybe they did it deliberately and didn't tell us.


message 16: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Oct 30, 2016 05:44AM) (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8053 comments One more question: did anyone think at any point that Antoinette was black? There were a couple of times that she said her complexion was dark, or someone else (her mom maybe?) made that observation. I think one time it was about her ability to hide her flushing, so in that context there are certainly caucasians whose complexions allow for that, and I don't really think it's the case, but it did give me pause each time i came across the remark. I think much more would have been made of THAT detail. It did make me wonder about the ethnic diversity in Ireland, though.


message 17: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Carol: I hadn't known what a gaffer was either. I assumed it was something like that. I even went back when summarizing to be sure it wasnt capitalized like a proper name. Thanks for looking it up to confirm.
I think he may have secretly hoped Conway and Moran would find nothing to connect Breslin's "friend". With McCann so obviously falling apart he must have suspected something. At best he didn't know, at worst he ignored the signs; and he seemed to ignore the harassment of Conway. He may have finally done the right thing but it could have gone either way.

Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I also wondered throughout -- what the heck is a gaffer? I guess it's a slang term for a boss? I think it's the first time I'd heard it, which is what surprised me given I've read all of her books on The Murder Squad.
Here's a dictionary.com definition:
British. a foreman or overseer, especially the boss of a group of physical laborers."



message 18: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Carol: There was definitely some manipulation of the floaters going on to obscure Breslin's knowledge of their investigation around him. there was the act outside Rory's house that last time when Rory identified McCann and Conway a nd Moran acted as if they were still on the outs. They couod have done it another time and not told us, but it seemed like Conway told us EVERYTHING, lol.
Carol/Bonadie wrote: " I think in Antoinette's musing about what she was hearing McCann tell the gaffer, that made me think that. She said something about folks in the squad room observing their fight and deciding (falsely) that they were on the outs that made me think maybe they did it deliberately and didn't tell us. "


message 19: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Carol: I didn't think that Conway was black (or not think it) it's an interesting thought, perhaps she is. This reminds me that she was going to hide the fact that she was half English "from the guys" and had to be sure Crowley didn't tell.
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "One more question: did anyone think at any point that Antoinette was black? There were a couple of times that she said her complexion was dark, or someone else (her mom maybe?) made that observatio..."


message 20: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1215 comments I don't remember French using gaffer in the previous books either at least to that extent. I do remember that Samwise's father was the Gaffer in the Lord of the Rings. I watch English Premier League football and have heard the players refer to the manager as the gaffer quite often so I did know who Conway was referring to.

For some reason I had the feeling that Conway's Father could have been black while her Mother was white. Didn't she relate that she was teased at school for her dark hair or coloring? I also thought I remembered her stating that she was glad others could not see her blush.


message 21: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3684 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: "One more question: did anyone think at any point that Antoinette was black? There were a couple of times that she said her complexion was dark, or someone else (her mom maybe?) made that observatio..."

initially i assumed she was white, but after some comments like the one you quoted, made me think she was black. that surprised me, but i'm not sure why it did. preconceived notion, i guess.


message 22: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3684 comments Ann wrote: "Carol: I hadn't known what a gaffer was either. I assumed it was something like that. I even went back when summarizing to be sure it wasnt capitalized like a proper name. Thanks for looking it up ..."

i didn't know either- thanks for looking it up


message 23: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3684 comments i have to agree with carol that much of the book was just too "talky" for me. the suspense built in these final chapters and kept me on the edge of my seat as events unfolded. i'm glad antoinette finally realized she could trust steve and that not everyone was against her in the squad room. also echo everyone's sentiments that the gaffer didn't sweep the whole story under the rug- and actually had "chosen" antoinette and steve to run the case because he knew they wouldn't sweep anything under the rug.


message 24: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Sherry:
Good to see you enjoyed the final march to the denouement; definitely edge of your seat suspense! I wonder at the gaffer's motivation for assigning Breslin to the case too. Giving it to Conway and Moran was admirable, but mixing in Breslin, was that simply a sop to him since Breslin obviously wanted it quickly closed?


message 25: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Nov 21, 2016 03:38PM) (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8053 comments OK, I was encouraged by the fact that several of you also had the impression Aishlynn was black, so I went searching for clues..

p. 39: "I take after my da, or I assume I do; I got the height from my ma, but not the thick shiny black hair, or the cheekbones, or the skin that's never gonna need a fake tan..."

p. 427: "I'm glad my skin means him and Crowley won't see the blush."

If so, this may be the first book in history where a character is black and nothing is made of it AT ALL! In two books!


message 26: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3684 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: "OK, I was encouraged by the fact that several of you also had the impression Aishlynn was black, so I went searching for clues..

p. 39: "I take after my da, or I assume I do; I got the height from..."


LOL, carol. very true. i think i might have said before, i just assumed she was white, but those comments you just quoted, made me think not. at least she wasn't thinking they were going after her because of her skin color!


message 27: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Carol: Those clues are revealing in a subtle way. Good catch! Perhaps the Irish are different in that respect?

Carol/Bonadie wrote: "OK, I was encouraged by the fact that several of you also had the impression Aishlynn was black, so I went searching for clues ......
If so, this may be the first book in history where a character is black and nothing is made of it AT ALL! In two books!

p. 39: "I take after my da, or I assume I do; I got the height from..."



message 28: by Jack (new)

Jack | 179 comments I agree with the comments here.
This section was good and suspenseful as it all fell in place and found mccann was their guy. The showdown to beat an experienced detective at his own game was interesting.

Breslins attack on them for doing their jobs properly was dissapointing. Cant believe he was so certain mccann couldnt have done it. Glad okelly saw the truth and got conway and moran to run the case.
It was a nice touch that they failed and okelly had to do it for them. It was a neat way to get it wrapped up.

I liked that conways paranoia cleared up knowing why okelly put her on the case. Also good she realised she was beating up the whole problem with the squad against her.

The bit with her dad was interesting. It was lucky steve was nice and helped out allowing them to clear the air. I dont know that i would forgive that easily


message 29: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Jack: Agreed, Breslin was just an all-round creep. He was morally bankrupt enough to let McCann get away with not only murder but framing an innocent guy. That was unconscionable to me.
Breslin had no excuses.
Steve on the other hand is so even keeled.


message 30: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: "I was so glad Antoinette called Steve. She had to start to trust someone or burst. This investigation is starting to really get interesting."

I agree on both points, Ann. This book was a bit of a slog for me, but Antoinette calling Steve when she needed someone she could trust was a turning point. I wonder if French was making the point that in general things go more smoothly when we can get ourselves to trust and rely on others. So often French's characters seem determined to continue down their own (sometimes self-destructive) paths, that I was surprised and gratified when this moment came for Antoinette.

Jan


message 31: by OMalleycat (last edited Apr 09, 2017 10:12PM) (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: After learning that the gaffer was going after McCann to confess, and hadn't put Breslin in place to watch them or control the investigation I felt much better.

I was still so completely convinced that the solution would involve squad-wide corruption that I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, right through the final pages.

French is great at wrapping me in her stories to the point where I don't just suspend disbelief, I can't shake the suspense and mood of her books until some time after I've quit reading them. In this book, of course, that reminds me of Aislinn's ability to wrap others in the stories she creates. It makes me think that French was commenting on mystery writing.

Jan


message 32: by OMalleycat (last edited Apr 09, 2017 08:53PM) (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Sandi wrote: "I thought this section came together really well. The reveal that it was McCann and Aislinn was basically setting him up really helped make Aislinn more than just a victim. Breslin's actions also b..."

I wasn't so sanguine about this reveal. For Aislinn to completely alter her self and her life for the sake of going after McCann really bothered me. Like Lucy, I just wished she'd gone on to Peru and let it go.

On the other hand, that inability to let go also continued to theme in Antoinette's story. I thought Antoinette was so caught up in her "otherness" and childhood victimization that it was impossible for her to perceive the extent, or lack thereof, of her harassment in the squad. She and Aislinn were both people who didn't fit in well anywhere, with devastating effects in both their lives.

Jan


message 33: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: "One more question: did anyone think at any point that Antoinette was black?

I pictured her as a dark caucasian--maybe North African or Meditteranean. I don't know why. I thought that in the prologue where Antoinette is repeating the various stories her mother told her about her father, that there was some reference to him being a traveler. But now that I'm really trying to remember, I don't know.

Jan


message 34: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14606 comments Jan:
So true, the atmosphere of a Tana French book permeates my life outside the book and often for a good while afterwards. Aislinn was an extreme example of wrapping a story around her own life and to disastrous personal results that almost took Rory down with her (and even other not originally involved members of the Murder Squad were impacted)
I was shocked at her transforming herself for this end, it was so extreme and seemed unlikely to actually make her feel better if she had succeeded. I think she got caught up in the "doing of it" and lost her way as to any real benefit.

OMalleycat wrote: "I was still so completely convinced that the solution would involve squad-wide corruption that I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, right through the final pages.

French is great at wrapping me in her stories to the point where I don't just suspend disbelief, I can't shake the suspense and mood of her books until some time after I've quit reading them. In this book, of course, that reminds me of Aislinn's ability to wrap others in the stories she creates. It makes me think that French was commenting on mystery writing."



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