I finished Faithful Place yesterday and am still in awe of how wonderful it is. Since reading book one of the Dublin Murder Squad series I’ve said that Tana French could really write well. But, there was always something that kept me from giving her 5 stars. Faithful Place pushed through all my reservations and has landed French on my favorite writers list.
This is Frank Mackey’s story. You’ll remember him from The Likeness as the head of the Undercover squad. He is pulled back to his childhood neighborhood of Faithful Place when an old suitcase shows up. Turns out this suitcase belonged to his first love, Rosie, who he believes abandoned him the night they were supposed to run off to London together so many years ago. This sets off a chain reaction of events that turns Frank’s life upside down and changes everything.
This is a murder mystery but so much more. It’s really about family. Messy, screwed-up family. At times it is extremely uncomfortable to read and for some it may hit way too close to home. Alcoholism, jealousy, domestic abuse, secret lovers…they are here in all their ugliness.
Frank isn’t always the most sympathetic protagonist. He can be manipulative, angry and unpredictable. But, even if you don’t like him, you come to understand him through these pages. His childhood and experiences have shaped the man he is. And, he is a good father to his daughter which always helps. Adding her character to the mix was genius. Not only did she add that layer of softness to Frank, she…well, you have to read Faithful Place to know more.
I cannot give enough praise to this series and specifically to this book. Everyone should read this.
5/5 stars for one of my favorites.