The Secret Place by Tana French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been reading Tana French since receiving an ARC of In the Woods back in 2007. It went on to win the 2008 Edgar for best first novel by an American author among other awards. Since then I have highly anticipated each new entry in the Dublin Murder Squad series.
Unlike many series, you don't have to read these titles in order. Each one is unique but all are chain-linked by a lesser character from one book being elevated to center stage in another. Each one introduces a different way of life. In the Woods (2007) was haunting, The Likeness (2008) seductive, and the Faithful Place (2010) holds a mirror up to the past as does Broken Harbor (2012).
Available beginning September 2, 2014 French's most recent title is The Secret Place (2014) and once again she has taken us somewhere unexpected.
A master at mixing police procedural with psychological thriller, French sets this tale at an exclusive girls' boarding school in Dublin where a year earlier a young man from the neighboring boy's school has been violently murdered. This 'locked room' mystery focuses on eight young women who could be responsible. French carefully draws each suspect in ways that keep the reader guessing until the end. Her ear for how teens communicate seems very real.
The story takes place during one very long day for two newbie detectives trying to make the grade. Alternating chapters reveal significant events with reminders of how long Chris Harper has left to live making sure the reader is never lost.
With complex issues of friendship and loyalty, this literate mystery will keep you turning pages past your bedtime.
Bottom Line: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title: The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad Series)
Author: Tana French
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Viking Adult
No. of Pages: 464 pages
Copyright: September 2, 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
"Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the US and Malawi, and has lived in Dublin since 1990. She trained as a professional actress at Trinity College, Dublin, and has worked in theatre, film and voiceover." (from the author's website)