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Tuesday, 14 September 2010
By Tana French
I loved this book. Great characters, gripping plot and a real ‘lose yourself in it’ world. The basic premise is that an undercover cop returns to his childhood home to find that events that happened many years ago weren’t quite what they seemed.
The fast-paced plot takes you with the main character, Frank Mackey, as he revisits the past and tries to uncover a mystery which will change the entire way that he looks at his life.
There is a large cast of characters in Faithful Place, and we get to see them as they were then and as they are now. This is skilfully done, and in the characters in the storyline set in the past the reader can see the seeds of what they will become.
Even the smaller characters seem very real. I particularly liked Detective Stephen Moran. One of the few characters who only features in the present, he is instrumental in unpicking the past.
Faithful Place, set in the Liberties area of Dublin, also feels real. The atmosphere and geography of the street, especially the doomed Number 16, are crucial to the story and very vividly written.
The relationship between Frank Mackey and his young daughter is also central to the plot as it unfolds, and the exquisite drawing of this relationship is a big part of the success of the story.
This novel has everything – characters you’ll really care about, a plot that’ll keep you guessing until the end and a cracking pace.
And finally, something you don’t really expect in a crime novel – an ending so poignantly beautiful that it will make you cry.
Reviewed by Helen M Hunt