Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Likeness

I am not even sure where to begin reviewing this was so good. It is the second novel of Tana French. I read the first one sometime ago and reviewed it here (In The Woods). The Likeness carried through with one of the main characters of In the Woods with Detective Cassie Maddox going undercover into a college group of 5, taking on the identify of Lexie Madison, one of the 5 who was found murdered. The other 4 of the group are suspects and so are told that Lexie was seriously injured and in a coma. When she returns to their home, she spends several weeks living as Lexie, attempting to learn who the murderer was.

Here is what the Barnes and Noble reviewer had to say about the book:

The Barnes & Noble Review

Tana French worked as an actress before she started writing, at age 33, and she inhabits her characters with such ease that one feels genuine regret that they aren't available to, say, grab a pint at the local pub while trading South Park quips and riffing on the kind of over-groomed women who never buy their round. Her debut novel, Into the Woods, was a police procedural about two cops earning their sea legs in the Dublin Murder Squad, but the relationship between Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, was so finely drawn that it could have just as well been simply about the difficulties of platonic friendships between men and women. And yet French deposited not one but two tantalizingly suspenseful mysteries at the core of the novel -- and then had the audacity to leave the most spectacular of the two unanswered at novel's end. What nerve it took, then, to begin The Likeness somewhere else entirely. While Rob narrated the first novel, the voice in this novel belongs solely to Cassie. She is lured back to undercover work when a body shows up that is her exact likeness. Her old boss, Frank, convinces her to impersonate the dead woman in her former life. Once there, however, Cassie becomes so charmed by her new life as a graduate student in literature that she nearly forgets her purpose is to find a killer. French meticulously builds suspense in the most natural, harrowing way -- her characters are so perfectly built that one feels capable of analyzing them and second-guessing them as one would do with friends. Cassie is so well articulated, in fact, that one can imagine a second mystery hovering like some phantom scrim that she is too close to see. If it's there, French is wise enough not to tip her hand; her books work most perfectly in the empty spaces between. --Amy Benfer

That's a good review. I was glad that this book did not leave any of the questions unanswered as her first book did. I am still waiting for a follow-up book to In the Woods!

Both books are outstanding reads...I highly recommend both. I can't even pick out which one I liked better. Ms. French has a great sense of mystery! I look forward to her next story!

1 comment:

jenclair said...

I loved them both, but like The Likeness a little better--because of the sense of closure and because I love Cassie's character.

Can't wait for the next one!