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Faithful Place (French) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews 
[E]xpertly rendered, gripping....The first thing that Ms. French does so well in Faithful Place is to inhabit fully a scrappy, shrewd, privately heartbroken middle-aged man. The second is to capture the Mackey family's long-brewing resentments in a way that's utterly realistic on many levels. Sibling rivalries, class conflicts, old grudges, adolescent flirtations and memories of childhood violence are all deftly embedded in this novel, as is the richly idiomatic Dublinese.
Janet Maslin - New York Times


The voice is what grabs you first. It belongs to our narrator, Frank Mackey, a police detective in Dublin…Frank's voice is so wry, bitter and just plain alive that when I finished Faithful Place and began writing this review, I had to think for a long blank minute about the name of the author. To do that, I first had to remember that Frank was created, not real. My naive lapse was a tribute to Tana French's extraordinary gifts, and her name should be writ large on every mystery lover's must-read list.
Maureen Corrigan - Washington Post


For the third novel in her Dublin Murder Squad mystery series, French focuses on Squad detective Frank Mackey (a secondary character in The Likeness) as its protagonist, a man faced with new evidence that his first love may have been murdered years ago instead of, as he's believed, deserting him for life in London. He's forced to revisit his old inner-city neighborhood and a dysfunctional family, from whom he's been estranged for 22 years. Tim Gerard Reynolds's task is to be true to the novel's Irish working-class roots, but also to capture Mackey's voice as he shifts between tough cop to confused son and bitter sibling struggling against the past. Not only does Reynolds meet that demand, he adds his own admirable touches to the wonderfully drawn denizens of Faithful Place. For Mackey's aging, abusive father, Reynolds uses a deep hoarse growl, for his ever-disapproving Ma a shrill harangue. Older brother Sean speaks with an arrogant edge, older sister Carmel with lofty uninterest, while younger siblings Kevin and Jackie have the upbeat voices of naïfs.
Publishers Weekly


In 1985, Frank Mackey and Rosie Daly were 19, in love, and planning to run away together from Ireland to start a new life in England. When Rosie failed to meet him, Frank stayed in his hometown of Dublin, estranged from his dysfunctional family. But 22 years later, Frank, now on the Dublin Police Undercover Squad and boss of Det. Cassie Maddox (from The Likeness), finds his history in upheaval when his colleagues unearth Rosie's remains in a dilapidated house in his old neighborhood, and he's pulled back into his family of four siblings and their alcoholic, wife-beating father. When his younger brother dies days later—accident, suicide, or murder?—in the yard of the same old house, Frank connives to stay in the loop of the investigation as he tries to put the pieces together and his nine-year-old daughter becomes a key player in the case. Verdict: With French's masterly portrayal of family dynamics and responsibility and her adept depiction of young love and parental devotion, fans are unlikely to miss Maddox, the protagonist of her first two New York Times best sellers (Into the Woods; The Likeness). Psychological suspense at its best. —Michele Leber, Arlington, VA
Library Journal


An Irish undercover cop delves into his working-class past. When Frank Mackey left Faithful Place more than 20 years ago, he never imagined returning. Of course, he thought he'd be leaving with his childhood sweetheart Rosie Daly. When Rosie failed to show up at their meeting spot that fateful night, Frank was broken-hearted but decided to go it alone. He's moved on and hasn't looked back-until he receives an urgent call from his sister Jackie, demanding that he return to his childhood home. She's got the one thing in the world that could make him come back: information about Rosie, whose suitcase has been found in a vacant house. This new intelligence throws mysterious shadows on Frank's theories about Rosie's fate. Suddenly, what was once buried history starts coming to light, and Frank isn't quite prepared for the twists his life begins to take. Not only does everything seem to tie into his family of origin, but menacing fingers seem to be reaching out for his young daughter Holly. If only Frank's position as an undercover cop would give him some insight into the case. Instead, Scorcher, the lead investigator, has an eye out for Frank's interference and keeps him at an increasing distance as the investigation heats up. Though French (The Likeness, 2009, etc.) plies readers with dark and stormy cliches, the charming narrative will leave readers begging for a sequel.
Kirkus Reviews




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