Saturday, April 23, 2011

Faithful Place by Tana French

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First U.S. Edition edition (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780670021871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021871

Flap copy:

Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was nineteen, growing up poor in Dublin's inner city and living crammed into a small flat with his family on Faithful Place. But he had his sights set on a lot more. He and his girl, Rosie Daly, were all set to run away to London together, get married, get good jobs, break away from factory work and poverty and their old lives.

But on the winter night when they were supposed to leave, Rosie didn't show. Frank took it for granted that she'd given him the brush-off--probably because of his alcoholic father, nutcase mother, and generally dysfunctional family. He never went home again.

Neither did Rosie. Everyone thought she had gone to England on her own and was over there living a shiny new life. Then, twenty-two years later, Rosie's suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank is going home whether he likes or not.

Getting sucked in is a lot easier than getting out again. Frank finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind. The cops working the case want him out of the way, in case loyalty to his family and community makes him a liability. Faithful Place wants him out because he's a detective now, and the Place has never liked cops. Frank just wants to find out what happened to Rosie Daly-and he's willing to do whatever it takes, to himself or anyone else, to get the job done.


My thoughts:

5 Stars: Loved it

Tana French knocked her third book, Faithful Place, out of the park. It isn’t just any old whodunit sleuthing story, but a great, emotionally charged story about love, longing and dysfunctional relationships that definitely raises the bar in the mystery genre. Her voice is fresh and believable. The prologue completely sucked me and I had to buy this book. I don’t normally read prologues; they often seem weird and confusing to me so I skim the first few sentences, head straight for chapter one, then maybe I'll go back and read them once I’m committed. But not this time, not this one:

"In all your life, only a few moments matter. Mostly you never get a good look at them except in hindsight, long after they've zipped past you: the moment when you decided whether to talk to that girl, slow down on that blind bend, stop and find that condom. I was lucky, I guess you could call it. I got to see one of mine face-to-face, and recognize it for what it was. I got to feel the riptide pull of my life spinning around me, one winter night while I waited in the dark at the top of Faithful Place.

I was nineteen, old enough to take on the world and young enough to be a dozen kinds of stupid..."

Brilliant. Tana French does an outstanding job of setting the tone, setting up the main character, Francis Mackey, as the now long suffering middle-aged detective haunted by an event from his past.

“…Over more than half my life it had worn itself a nice little corner in my mind, like a bullet lodged too deep to dig out; I didn’t feel the sharp edges, mostly, as long as I didn’t touch.”

I couldn't help but fall in love with Frank Mackey, and find out his story. He's complicated, real, and oh so believable. The pacing was perfect and as the plot unfolded, I was on the edge of my seat. Flashbacks are handled skillfully and without confusion. Every character is rich and well rounded with their Irish slang and quick wit. I laughed. I cried. I wanted a pint of Guinness. I felt the full gamut of emotions on a visceral level.

Faithful Place wins a spot on my "favorite book" list, and Tana French as a new "must read" author.

Excellent story and highly recommended if you enjoy mysteries. And even if you don't. Enjoy!

1 comment:

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