“An absolutely mesmerizing read. . . . Tana French is simply this: a truly great writer.” —Gillian Flynn
Read the New York Times bestseller by Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher and “the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years” (The Washington Post).
A year ago a boy was found murdered at a girlsʼ boarding school, and the case was never solved. Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to join Dublin’s Murder Squad when sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey arrives in his office with a photo of the boy with the caption: “I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.” Stephen joins with Detective Antoinette Conway to reopen the case—beneath the watchful eye of Holly’s father, fellow detective Frank Mackey. With the clues leading back to Holly’s close-knit group of friends, to their rival clique, and to the tangle of relationships that bound them all to the murdered boy, the private underworld of teenage girls turns out to be more mysterious and more dangerous than the detectives imagined.
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.
French's fifth Dublin Murder Squad entry focuses on Stephen Moran, a smart detective feeling his ambition cool in the cold-cases department. When 16-year-old Holly Mackey, a student at St. Kilda's exclusive suburban school for girls, presents him with key information on the unsolved murder of a boy from a neighboring academy, he sees this as his ticket back into the city's elite Murder Squad, where he once apprenticed with Holly's father, Frank. But first he has to convince the detective assigned to the case Antoinette Conway, the squad's ultra-abrasive sole woman to use him in the investigation. The book consists of Moran's narration, broken by flashbacks from Holly and her closest schoolmates, recalling a time before the murder. Readers Hogan and Hutchinson, Dubliners as well as skilled performers, present the compelling prose with nuance and lyrical naturalness. Hogan captures Moran's anxious desire to succeed and the brittle loneliness not quite hidden in Conway's hard-boiled attitude. Hutchinson's softer, higher-pitched voice clearly delineates Holly's flashbacks, moving between a schoolgirl's sentimentality and the snobbery, anger, and impatience of a temperamental teen. Most of the novel takes place at St. Kilda's, and it's a testament to the quality of the prose and the readers that, at 20 hours, it never feels claustrophobic. A Viking hardcover.
Tana French, brilliant again
Great mystery. But even better, this is writing that is lyrical and strong, with characters who are complex and compelling, traveling across moments that almost bring you to tears with their poignancy and poetry. Highly recommended.
Good, too long
I enjoy Tana French’s writing. Like so many mystery authors now, the last five chapters are unnecessary filler, I assume to meet a word quota? Just when the story should ramp up, it devolves into back story, redundant explanations, and a list of adjectives. If you page through and just read dialogue, it’s a serviceable ending.
Tana is pure writing heinous!
Absolutely love her stories and characters. The Likeness is my hands down favorite and should be a huge success as a movie!
Secret Place is another winner!
Thanks again Tana!!!