'A gripping read for those still pining for GONE GIRL' Elle's top five beach reads
The photo shows a boy who was murdered a year ago.
The caption says, 'I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM'.
Detective Stephen Moran hasn't seen Holly Mackey since she was a nine-year-old witness to the events of Faithful Place. Now she's sixteen and she's shown up outside his squad room, with a photograph and a story.
Even in her exclusive boarding school, in the graceful golden world that Stephen has always longed for, bad things happen and people have secrets. The previous year, Christopher Harper, from the neighbouring boys' school, was found murdered on the grounds. And today, in the Secret Place - the school noticeboard where girls can pin up their secrets anonymously - Holly found the card.
Solving this case could take Stephen onto the Murder squad. But to get it solved, he will have to work with Detective Antoinette Conway - tough, prickly, an outsider, everything Stephen doesn't want in a partner. And he will have to find a way into the strange, charged, mysterious world that Holly and her three closest friends inhabit and disentangle the truth from their knot of secrets, even as he starts to suspect that the truth might be something he doesn't want to hear.
From the multi-award-winning author of Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller In the Woods, The Secret Place is a searing novel of psychological suspense.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The fifth book in Irish crime writer Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series revolves around the cold case of a murdered teenage boy discovered on the grounds of a posh girls’ school. Dazzlingly written and richly atmospheric, The Secret Place is a nail-biting affair. French crafts a winning police detective duo: kindly Stephen Moran tries his best to build a rapport with the aloof girls at the heart of the mystery, while Antoinette Conway goes to great lengths to prove herself as tough as her macho peers.
In French's mesmerizing fifth Dublin Murder Squad mystery (after 2012's Broken Harbor), Det. Stephen Moran, who works in the cold-case unit, is biding his time until he can make the Murder Squad. When 16-year-old Holly Mackey, a colleague's daughter, shows up with a clue to an old crime, Moran sees his chance. A student at St. Kilda's boarding school, Holly vividly remembers the previous year's murder of Chris Harper, a popular teen from Colm's, the neighboring boys' school. From the St. Kilda's personal notice board known as the Secret Place, Holly brings Moran a photo of Chris with the words "I know who killed him" pasted across his chest. Moran joins forces with the murder squad's feisty Det. Antoinette Conway, and the pair visit the school, setting off a chain of events that ensnares Holly and her three best mates. French stealthily spins a web of teenage secrets with a very adult crime at the center.
St Killed Her
The setting in "Secret Place" is St Kilda’s, an exclusive private girls’ school jam-packed with bitchy cliques and cliches, e.g. "OMG," "amaaazing," and endless use of the word "like." After a hot guy from a nearby boys’ school is found dead in the grounds of St K’s, Conway investigates but gets nowhere. A year later and student Holly Mackie, daughter of a senior detective also recycled from a previous story, approaches Moran, who works cold cases, with interesting evidence posted anonymously on a school bulletin board called "the secret place." The Headmistress set that up to allow the girls to ventilate their anxieties anonymously after the boy croaked. Obviously, the old girl hadn’t heard of 'Twitter.' After Moran takes the new info to Conway, they team up and go back to school, although not like '21 Jump Street' or anything. More like 'Gossip Girl' if the truth be known. (Forget I said that. I know nothing about 'Gossip Girl.') Moran is narrator. The detectives are several socioeconomic rungs lower than the girls, which creates tension. There’s a bit of a supernatural vibe floating about too, although no actual vampires, thank the Lord. Long story short, the dynamic duo solves the mystery after casting suspicion on just about everyone along the way.