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Group Read Books - archive > Group Read - The Trespasser Final thoughts Spoilers Welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments How did you like the book? Spoilers Welcome on this topic.
The characters in this book appeared in a previous book, do you have any speculation on which character might appear in a new book?
Tana French's books are often dark and atmospheric, how did the tone of this book fit in with the previous books?
No spoilers for other books here please - you could use the spoiler html code to mask those - see some html is ok for how to do that.


message 2: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments I finished the book a few days ago and have been considering my final comments. The Trespasser is a very tense experience; the treatment that Detective Antoinette Conway is subjected to is disturbing and makes identifying with her character painful.
The suspense as the evidence is exposed builds slowly and it becomes apparent that a cover-up framing Rory and to interfere with the investigation may have sinister intent and may derail Conway's career. The twists at the end with the gaffer and his actions were a bit unexpected. (And gratifying)


message 3: by Ann (last edited Oct 20, 2016 09:53PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments Since character(s) from a previous book are usuallly featured in the next book I wonder how that might play out with this one.
Steve and Antoinette moved from The Secret Place to this book; who might do that for the next book?
The theme of friendship continued with The Trespasser, but more of the estranged variety rather than open camaraderie. It seemed to be more of a message about not being able to trust. McCann couldn't trust Aislinn as the main betrayal; Breslin couldn't trust McCann, the gaffer couldn't trust Breslin; and Moran and Conway didn't know they could trust the gaffer.
Conway couldnt trust her co-workers, her partner, her boss, her Mother, even herself. And then there was Aislinn. So sad.


message 4: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1215 comments Like always with French's work, I really enjoyed this. I just think she is an excellent writer who can both plot and create believable characters with the best of them.

For me some of Conway's trust issues were self-inflicted but that just made it more interesting. I loved her first person narration though it was sometimes uncomfortable to read.

Maybe the next book could return to Undercover and focus on Fleas with Frank around for support.


message 5: by Ann (last edited Oct 22, 2016 10:30PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments Sandi - yes, this is another very good Tana French book and i thought the plot was very well done. The subtle undercurrent of the similarities in Aislinn's and Antoinette's lives was almost a story unto itself. That she was holding it together so well at all was quite a feat.

I also wonder if Fleas might be one of the crossover characters in t he next book. Great book.


message 6: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments Ann wrote: "I finished the book a few days ago and have been considering my final comments. The Trespasser is a very tense experience; the treatment that Detective Antoinette Conway is subjecte..."

As expressed earlier this book dragged a bit at the beginning but really picked up at the end. I found it difficult to live so much in Antoinette's head -- she is so cynical and self-loathing, hard on herself and everyone around her.

I felt so, so sad for Aislynn and Rory, the promise of a relationship that never would be. I wondered if Aislynn had just handled that final encounter with McCann differently, if things would have turned out differently for her.


message 7: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Oct 29, 2016 12:44PM) (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments I too wonder who will be the subject of the next book. Breslin maybe? He turned out to be very, very misguided but basically fueled by loyalty to the squad and some misguided sense of duty to his partner. Wasn't clear what repercussions would be to him for misdirecting the investigation.

The undercover guy in The Likeness and then Faithful Place started out as an unappealing character but as we grew to know him better he was a worthy character to be the center of own book.

I also thought maybe the gaffer. We never knew very much about him but he seemed to be a stand-up guy. But these books seem to revolve around investigators, not chiefs.

Could also be one of the other members of the squad room, they all blend together for me.

Just as long as it isn't Crowley, LOL!


message 8: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Oct 29, 2016 12:50PM) (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments Sandi wrote: "Maybe the next book could return to Undercover and focus on Fleas with Frank around for support...."

Oh now I hadn't thought of that. That seems more likely than the ones I mentioned, now that you mention it. Or maybe Fleas with
Antoinette back as part of his undercover team.

I just hope it isn't so long between books, or maybe next time I'll come back and scan these posts. I was straining to remember more about how Steve's and Antoinette's personalities showed up in the last book. As I recall Antoinette was suspicious and dismissive of Steve as a newby (he wasn't yet on The Murder Squad, right? I thought part of the tension was his wanting to prove himself to her so she'd put in a good word.) and she resented being partnered with him, but she came around by the end of the book.


message 9: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments Ann wrote: "The subtle undercurrent of the similarities in Aislinn's and Antoinette's lives was almost a story unto itself. That she was holding it together so well at all was quite a feat...."

This reminds me that I never quite bought into the rationale for Antoinette's dad coming back into her life (or trying to). That whole segment bothered me, although it was a nice explanation for the character hanging around at the end of the street and gave us a window into Antoinette's past and character.


message 10: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments Carol: Agreed, the meeting with the long lost (Conway's) Dad seemed a bit forced and superficial, he loomed at the top of the street, stalked, didn't even make a move to connect and then, rebuffed, the storyline was dropped.
Maybe he will be revisited later. It gave an effective vehicle for Antoinette to call Steve and connect with Crowley plus was a sad sort of counterpoint to Aislinn's lost Dad, another man who never sought out his daughter.

Carol/Bonadie wrote: "This reminds me that I never quite bought into the rationale for Antoinette's dad coming back into her life (or trying to). That whole segment bothered me, although it was a nice explanation for the character hanging around at the end of the street and gave us a window into Antoinette's past and character...."


message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments Chikako: I really like the way Tana French exposes the raw parts of her main characters and I agree, Antoinette's softness, hidden below her hard outer shell and her brittle attitude was probably hidden due to her loneliness. The abandonment she felt so keenly as a child colored her relationships with her bullying coworkers and even Steve. I hope you enjoy Tana French's other books. I am ready for a new one!

Chikako wrote: "I like Antoinette and this book. I felt her softness as she doesn't really like the loneliness. Nobody can't live by one and for oneself whether the person is man or woman..."


message 12: by Ann (last edited Nov 19, 2016 09:43PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments Chikako and Carol: The scenes that Rory described of Aislinn in his bookstore and their shared love of books and the missed opportunity for both of them to find happiness is terribly sad. To me it seemed unusual and special that Rory saw the real person underneath her act for punishing McCann and I wish she had abandoned her revenge strategy.


message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments It's funny, as I was posting my monthly books read list the title of this book struck me again as it had as I read the book. The Trespasser implies that there is someone who is either stalking or treading where they have no business. The person at the end of Conway's street, lurking in Aislinn's back garden or a mystery person permeated my thoughts as I read, in some ways distracting me from Breslin and McCann and intriguing me as if waiting for a shoe to drop. It's pretty special when the mere title of a book can do that.


message 14: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments Chikako: I agree; done brilliantly! I don't think she has done that with her titles before.
Chikako wrote: "When a book has done, thinking about the title is interesting. I like it. I think French mislead us brilliantly with this title and story, didn't she?"


message 15: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3689 comments Ann wrote: "Chikako: I agree; done brilliantly! I don't think she has done that with her titles before.
Chikako wrote: "When a book has done, thinking about the title is interesting. I like it. I think French..."


i don't think she has either. good point!


message 16: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments Ann wrote: "It's funny, as I was posting my monthly books read list the title of this book struck me again as it had as I read the book. The Trespasser implies that there is someone who is either stalking or t..."

It makes me wonder of meanings for The Trespasser. Was it Aislynn poking into McCann's life? The reverse? Antoinnette poking around to solve the mystery? I hadn't given it a thought until you raised the point, Ann, but it's a good one.


message 17: by Jack (new)

Jack | 179 comments Besides it being long and slow in parts with no breaks to help pace the reading I thought it was good and liked the conway moran duo. I wonder too if her dad has a part to play in her future. I think the trespasser in the book was breslin.

I liked the theme of the imagined fantasys of aisllin and conway. The trust issue that follows on from that aswell.

I remember back at the start the commenting about her mum telling her all the stories about her dad and her hating it when they were broken down. I was surprised she didnt want that closure with her dad. I suppose shes built her character around not relying on anyone and being indepedant. Her commentary about aislin being so wrapped up in what happened to her dad are a constant reminder of this.


message 18: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments Jack: Breslin as the trespasser works - he was going somewhere he shouldn't ev e if only symbolically.
It was striking how when as a child, Antoinette's Mom tried to explain who her father was with increasingly less success until eventually she no longer even cared.
Jack wrote: " I think the trespasser in the book was breslin.......
I remember back at the start the commenting about her mum telling her all the stories about her dad and her hating it when they were broken down. I was surprised she didnt want that closure with her dad."



message 19: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: "I finished the book a few days ago and have been considering my final comments. The Trespasser is a very tense experience; the treatment that Detective Antoinette Conway is subjected to is painful and makes identifying with her character painful."

I had a different take on the harassment of Antoinette altogether. I remembered her as a dislikable character from The Secret Place. That, plus Tana French's occasional use of unreliable narrators set me up to think that perhaps Antoinette wasn't telling the full story on the harassment, perhaps exaggerating it, or bringing it on herself. I'm slapping myself for doing the classic "blame the victim." I was glad that she had her eyes open at the end that it was one guy doing the worst, not the entire squad. I wish she'd appear in another book so we could see if she becomes a better detective and more relaxed person because of this breakthrough. Or is that just her personality and there will always be difficulties in her ability to chime with others?

Jan


message 20: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: "Steve and Antoinette moved from The Secret Place to this book; who might do that for the next book?"

I like the way French 'promotes' lesser characters from previous books to be the MCs in the next book. It adds a whole 'nother layer to character development and the overall story.

I just finished posting that I thought Antoinette was an untrustworthy character from The Secret Place. Steve Moran was first introduced, I think, in Broken Harbor. In that book I remember him as an overeager, wet-behind-the-ears boy-man, not respected by Mick (was that his name--the main character). For me that impression carried over into The Secret Place and I didn't think much of him--too full of theories and tangents. Of course, that played right into his initial role in The Trespasser. It wasn't until after his willingness to move-on after the row with Antoinette and continue to work with her that I realized he's always been intended as a nice guy.

That's interesting to me on two levels: first that French is so well able to create characters with intriguing individual traits and then to continue the traits from book to book. In so many of the series books we all read, main characters are initially portrayed as super-men and women. Only as the series progresses do they develop flaws and weaknesses. French works in the other directions. Her characters are flawed second bananas when we first meet them and then we get to know them more deeply and fully in the book in which they are the main characters.

Jan


message 21: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments "Sandi wrote: "Maybe the next book could return to Undercover and focus on Fleas with Frank around for support...."

I think Fleas is the most likely suspect for the next book. Other than that, I think it would have to be one of the floaters. Or Gary, the Missing Persons guy.

Jan


message 22: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: "It's funny, as I was posting my monthly books read list the title of this book struck me again as it had as I read the book. The Trespasser implies that there is someone who is either stalking or treading where they have no business"

I'm so glad you brought this up, Ann. I had many thoughts about the title of this book as I was reading.

First of all, I thought about a theme that's raised in many MTs, the trespassing of all detectives into the victims' and suspects' lives. Aislinn has been killed, a woman who deliberately held herself apart from intimate relationships, and everyone who enters her house immediately has some unwarranted knowledge of her life. As the investigation goes on, the detectives' trespassing becomes ever more detailed and intimate.

Then there is the issue of the fantasy men who had taken over Aislinn's and Antoinette's lives--their fathers. Never present, but always foremost in their minds. Not to mention McCann's invasion of Aislinn's and her mother's lives when he doesn't disclose important information to them.

Antoinette's father, McCann, and Rory are literal trespassers, thinking they have a right to keep an uninvited eye on the women.

Breslin trespasses on what should be Conway and Moran's case. Officially that's at the direction of the gaffer, but he takes unofficial liberties with their investigation as well.

And what about moral or ethical trespassage? The detectives' manipulation of Rory in interrogations was over-the-line of human decency. This kind of interrogation is often portrayed in mysteries, but the idea that it was done to an innocent person isn't so often shown. I credit French with leaving a lingering creeping feeling about it.

Trespassing as a theme is a good corollary to the theme of closed, tightly bounded people. Aislinn and Antoinette are bounded by their distance from other people. McCann by the life choices (wife, kids, home) he made young. I venture to call Breslin limited by his fakery and manipulation. Even O'Kelly was presented as surrounded by the bric-a-brac of his office in a distancing way.

French's characters all tend to be loners. Perhaps police in general are. It was interesting to see it presented front and center in this book.

Jan


message 23: by OMalleycat (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: " the meeting with the long lost (Conway's) Dad seemed a bit forced and superficial, he loomed at the top of the street, stalked, didn't even make a move to connect and then, rebuffed,..."

Carol and Ann, I also found the return of Antoinette's dad an unsatisfactory episode. I could only see it as a device to make Antoinette have to call Steve for help, and also for that flash of insight she has that Aislinn would have been pursuing a middle-aged man as a father-figure (and therefore going back to the Missing Persons aspect of the case.)

Or maybe French just wanted to resolve Antoinette's abandonment rather than leaving her unresolved like Aislinn.

Jan


message 24: by OMalleycat (last edited Apr 09, 2017 10:26PM) (new)

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Jack wrote: "Besides it being long and slow in parts with no breaks to help pace the reading"

I had a hard time getting through perhaps the first 2/3 of the book. I thought there was too much time and detail given to every iteration of every theory.

The story picked up as Steve and Antoinette moved toward a resolution, but again I was impatient with first reading Lucy's version of the Aislinn/McCann story. Then McCann's version in the first interrogation. Then Antoinette and Steve's reportage to the gaffer. Then McCann's version to the gaffer. Cheesh!

But after I'd finished the book and gotten over the "just get to the point already" stress, it struck me that this last collection of variances of what happened was a tantalizing wrinkle in detective fiction. The classic detective gathers all the suspects and witnesses in the drawing room and tell HIS version of events which the onlookers corroborate one way or another. In this book we're involved in meshing and comparing all the versions.

French brings the book back to what I think was one of the themes of The Trespasser, which is storytelling itself. Like Rashomon, each character has a different point of view of the action and brings his or her distinct character in formulating a version of events. Some stories fit the facts but don't feel right. Some are flights of fancy. But even the truth has several aspects.

Throughout, various characters aren't convinced of the veracity of Rory's or Lucy's or McCann's depictions of events and feelings. Antoinette is first drawn into Steve's gangland story, then disgusted by it (and I found intriguing her final supposition that he had originally posited it to partly to distract her from some of the squad conflict. If that's so, he was inventing his own story for his own purposes--stories and intentions within stories and intentions.)

Aislinn was a master storyteller, not just in inventing tales, but reinventing herself as she developed a character to fit her revenge plot.

I think this is very much a book about storytelling and I'll be thinking about it for a long time.

Jan


message 25: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8057 comments OMalleycat wrote: "Ann wrote: "Steve and Antoinette moved from The Secret Place to this book; who might do that for the next book?"

I like the way French 'promotes' lesser characters from previous books to be the MC..."


Interesting observation about Steve's progression throughout the three books, and I agree with you.

After I read In the Woods and went on to The Likeness I was so disappointed that we only continued with Cassie Maddox and didn't hear more from Rob Ryan, but now I eagerly await the discovery of who she will choose to pick up next as MC's of the new book.


message 26: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments Jan: Weeks later on a holiday I finally have time to get back to some saved posts. Sorry for the delay!
I would also be happy to see Conway again in a later book. It would be interesting to see if her ability to work with her team continues to evolve; that is one of t he many treats in a Tana French book, how she builds on that first murder squad adding stories from new members. That it isn't an intact squad but a growing cast of somewhat related characters adds depth so I suppose she might only be on the periphery in a future book having now been in two. I just don't remember her much from The Secret Place though. (Sadly)
OMalleycat wrote: " [Detective Antoinette Conway]..I was glad that she had her eyes open at the end that it was one guy doing the worst, not the entire squad. I wish she'd appear in another book so we could see if she becomes a better detective and more relaxed person because of this breakthrough. Or is that just her personality and there will always be difficulties in her ability to chime with others?"


message 27: by Ann (last edited May 29, 2017 12:28PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments Excellent point Jan O'Cat! From flawed secondary to fleshed out main characters; a good way to look at life and new acquaintances - with hope, and with consideration for what makes us tick, what makes us unique and what makes us all human.

OMalleycat wrote: "I like the way French 'promotes' lesser characters from previous books to be the MC
That's interesting to me on two levels: first that French is so well able to create characters with intriguing individual traits and then to continue the traits from book to book. In so many of the series books we all read, main characters are initially portrayed as super-men and women. Only as the series progresses do they develop flaws and weaknesses. French works in the other directions. Her characters are flawed second bananas when we first meet them and then we get to know them more deeply and fully in the book in which they are the main characters..."



message 28: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14620 comments Jan: what an interesting take on the depth of the isolation each of these characters exhibited!
OMalleycat wrote: "Trespassing as a theme is a good corollary to the theme of closed, tightly bounded people. Aislinn and Antoinette are bounded by their distance from other people. McCann by the life choices (wife, kids, home) he made young. I venture to call Breslin limited by his fakery and manipulation. Even O'Kelly was presented as surrounded by the bric-a-brac of his office in a distancing way. ."


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