FAITHFUL PLACE By Tana French [Review]

faithful place tana french book

What I love about Tana French is her ability to string together beautifully written sentences to create striking images and overlapping storylines to make me feel as if I was a part of the story and not just watching it unfold, and FAITHFUL PLACE does just that.

The book opens with undercover detective Frank Mackey—first introduced in French’s second book, The Likeness — who must come to face to face with a ghost from his past: his first love, Rosie Daly. As teenagers, Rosie and Frank made plans to run away with each other, but on the night they were supposed to set sail for England, Rosie never showed up. Thinking she had simply left without him, Frank walked out of Faithful Place and never looked back.

Now, 22 years later, Mackey gets a call that Rosie’s suitcase has been found and it’s suspected that maybe she never left, after all; maybe she never had a chance. Suddenly, Mackey finds himself thrown back into the world he so determinedly left.

Of the three books French has written, this is by far my favorite. It’s as poetic and character driven as the first two, but in this one, you can tell French has come into her own. The writing is more succinct and the story, though just as intricate, is less detailed, which makes it less overwhelming. I love how her writing style makes me feel as if I’m the one looking into the disappearance of Rosie, and not looking alongside Frank.

If you go into Faithful Place expecting a mystery novel, you might be disappointed. With French, it’s never about one thing. This book explores the tight grasp a place can have on a person, especially a hometown. How you can leave home, but sooner or later all that you ran away from is sure to come back and haunt you—Mackey finds this to be true when he returns to Faithful Place only to find how little has changed with the neighborhood. French also plays with the dynamics of family, specifically the dysfunctional Mackey’s, and this storyline is given just as much importance as finding Rosie Daly.

But before you crack it open, be forewarned: this book is intoxicating. I sat down and read it in two days only to find myself wishing I could go back and read it again. If you haven’t read anything of French, I strongly urge you to do so, and to do it sooner rather than later.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Penguin | Pages: 416 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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