I cannot get enough of this author. Ever since I was introduced to her in first semester of University, I have just been amazed by how she can weave a mystery with such memorable characters that I can talk about them to people and confidently name their names. Like, with the amount of books I read, that’s a hard thing to do – making space in my brain for remembering characters well.
Detective Antoinette Conway has been on the Murder Squad for a little while. Constantly being harassed by her teammates for either being a woman or just being disliked, her and her partner, Detective Stephen Moran, they are constantly thrown the garbage murder cases. But when they are given this case of Aislinn Murray, it seems as if it’s just going to be the average domestic – boyfriend gets mad, murders girlfriend. But, as the case unfolds, it seems that something a little more than that is going on, As Detective Conway struggles to find her place among “the boys”, she will soon find out who is her friend, and who has a little more planned for her. Who killed Aislinn Murray?
I am constantly being blown away by Tana French’s prose. This book is no exception. While this is technically the 6th book in a series, there is no pressure to read them in order, which I find to be something I love about this series.
The mystery itself is honestly pretty simple when it first starts off – simple push and the victim hits her head on a fire place. But, as it unfolds, French shows her mastery of the genre as it starts pulling you into different possibilities for what could have happened.
I’m going to admit, this wasn’t my favorite French work. There are a couple reasons.
The first reason, is that for about a quarter of the book, a pretty big chunk, Detective Conway and Moran are entertaining this theory for the case that I feel gets a little overplayed. I’m not going to spoil it, but it’s a pretty big thing, and if they honestly thought that this theory was possible, I felt that they should have taken greater steps to rule it out, but instead they just constantly brood on it. It would be like me saying “I think my mom ate the last cookie” and thinking about it 24/7 and not just going and asking her, but every time I saw her being like “I know she ate the last cookie”, and so it got old after awhile.
The second reason, is that, while I absolutely love Conway, I felt she was a little overbearing sometimes with this whole “everyone’s out to get her” thing. While I fell French plays the idea very well, it sometimes got to a point where it was every other sentence, like “I want to go in the break room to get water, but I bet someone spiked it with arsenic” (not that extreme, but I’m sure you get it).
Now, for what makes this book really good, even with the flaws described above, French just knows how to make a damn good character. Every single character in this book and series could absolutely be a real person. The way she describes their emotions and actions , I feel like I could touch them.
Also, just the mystery itself is fascinating. Minus the detail about the story that I mentioned above, this mystery is absolutely water-tight. This story just manages to keep you constantly interested in “but, if it’s not that, then what could it be”.
Final Rating: 4 out 5
Overall, while this wasn’t my favorite French novel, this is definitely one you shouldn’t pass up. French knows how to make a mystery while offering all of the twists and turns you’d expect. Don’t miss out on her writing.
P.S. Also thinking about getting some actual stars for the visual aspect soon instead of me writing it. We’ll see…
I owe Sara @ The Bibliophagist a shout out for letting me graciously enter her birthday contest.
Also, if you haven’t heard “High Five” by Sigrid yet, you need to check it out, like…now.