An Amazon pre-order I placed months ago arrived last week: Tana French strikes again.
You may recall my dramatic and unfortunate experience with her first book,In the Woods. I just re-read my post from a year ago. I thought I remembered throwing the book across the room in anger when I reached the last page, but maybe that was just an embellishment I've added in retelling the story since blogging about it.
Editor's note: Commenter David, thank you for your input. I appreciate your endorsement of the author. I took it to heart, as you'll see.
The brother that I tricked into reading In the Woods (since misery loves company) found Tana French's second novel, The Likeness, and gave it to me for my birthday last month. I had already read it and loved it, so I think he was a little disappointed when I accepted the gift as a generous gesture, rather than retaliation.
The Likeness was just as gripping, vivid, engaging, and lively as the first novel, but the ending was far more satisfying. I'm generally not a fan of mystery as a genre, particularly murder mysteries (primarily because I get freaked out so easily and can't handle the spook-factor). Tana French pushed me out of my comfort zone in this area, but the dialogue and sense of setting were so engrossing that I was able to cope. I hung in there out of loyalty to the characters because I loved each of them. The story is set in Ireland so the dialogue and vocabulary had a delightful nuance to it and I could hear every word ring. DANG, I wish I could write like that.
So here I am with novel number three, Faithful Place. The author has zeroed in on a character from the previous book, and readers learn all kinds of "background" information as this story unfolds. Each book stands alone, which I really appreciate, but she cleverly overlaps the lives of her characters in each.
Not a word is wasted and every sentence is genius. Instead of slowly accelerating the events of the story before reaching cruise-control, Ms French goes headlong into her plot from page 1. I feel like I've tripped and fallen into the story rather than slowly coaxed into reading until the last page, like I usually am with novels. None of that "I love it, but it took me a while to get into it" sentiment applies. And yet... I'm writing about it here instead of reading. Stay tuned for the final book report. Gotta go.