Reading dates: 08 August – 27 September 2019
Another masterly thriller from Tana French, this time focussing on squad politics. Once again, this is something not often revealed in crime books. French is good at shedding light on these unseen aspects of murder. While there is still some focus on the crime and the perpetrator, the logistics and how the mystery is solved is what carries this novel. Like the previous book, this one has impeccable interview scenes, where parts of the riddle are revealed. The reader is taken slowly both through the psychology of the detectives and the accused, and through the action of what happened. I love reading these and it makes her not need any action outside this recounting of events.
For me, the character of Antoinette Conway is what makes this book not quite perfect. Although her development throughout the story is wonderful—from paranoid to ashamed of the paranoia—I could not be convinced that it was her narrating the story and I kept thinking the voice was that of Stephen Moran, who was the lead character in the previous book (and a secondary one here).
After pretty much only reading Tana French this year, I am finally ready to give it a rest before I pick up The Wych Elm, which is not a Dublin Squad mystery. She is one of my favourite crime writers, which is why I want to savour this 6-in-a-row spat I just had.
But before I leave her, here’s my favourite line from this book (say it aloud, it feel lovely):
I think of a boxer, ducking and weaving away from every punch, faster and faster, till one blink and bang, blackness.