The Likeness by Tana French****

4 March 2019 |

Reading dates: 11 January – 03 March 2019

This is good. If you like crime fiction, this is very good. Of course, it starts with a silly premise of a victim and a detective having an uncanny physical likeness and continues through a few weeks of wired undercover work that goes mostly undetected. Yet, Tana French is able to hold all of these ridiculous plot contraptions with her talent for character, her psychological insight and, above all, with her pace, which is sublime. Her writing is beautifully done and I, for once, feel I learn something from her novels. I would give it a 5 stars, as I was thinking I would have liked to re-read it in the future, but the resolution was a bit too fast and glossed over. I would have liked more from it although, perhaps, the way it is done is the one realistic aspect of her narrative. There is always a disappointment when one finds out who did it, especially if it is for a silly reason. Some readers have mentioned the similarities between The Likeness and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, a book I did not like enough to finish. The parallels are there but French, at least, has one or two characters I like, whereas that did not happen in Tartt’s novel. I did not quite care for anyone but the lecturer.

She chose to develop Frank Mackey into her next story, carrying on from the first novel. Frank did annoy me a bit with his ‘love’ qualifiers, but I did like all the undercover work, for a change. I am on a roll with French so here we go …


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