Faithful Place by Tana French
About the Author
Tana French is an American-Irish writer and theatrical actress born in Vermont. Her debut novel In the Woods, a psychological mystery, won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, and Barry awards for best first novel. She lives in Dublin.
The Faithful Place has a nice premise and good, solid themes that really help the book. Frank Mackey, a detective from The Likeness, one of Tana French’s previous novels is the central protagonist in this one. Faithful Place is Frank’s old neighbourhood, the town he fled 22 years ago abandoning an abusive, alcoholic father, a banshee of a mother and 2 brother and sisters who never made it out. He decided to escape with Rosie Daly, a girl he had fallen in love with amidst the squalor of his home and neighbourhood. But Rosie Daly never showed up and Frank turned his back on the family and the town forever.
A call from one of his sisters – Rosie Daly’s suitcase shows up at Number 16, Faithful Place, is enough for him to get sucked back into his dysfunctional family yet again. This book is the third in the Dublin Murder Squad series. He is part of the Undercover squad and is warned to stay off the case by Detective Scorcher Kennedy of the Murder Squad, making this an entertaining Murder versus Undercover theme and the stark difference in their state of minds and how they work. Like all Tana French’s mystery novels, the pace is slow and the process of investigation is detailed, bringing out the characters, their confessions, their intense hatred and their motives. Though the murder mystery is central to the whole theme, Tana French makes it a psychological detailing of characters and dysfunctional group dynamics that sometimes take over the central plot. Frank’s strange and crazy family, his relationship with his daughter and wife and the way he navigates the system with little thought of the consequences is interesting. I did realise who had done it mid way through the novel and I was hoping that it wouldn’t be so obvious and there would be a twist towards the end but that wasn’t the case.
Tana French really has become one of my favourite mystery writers. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. On a side note, though this is part of the series, this can be read as a standalone book as well.