Friday, May 12, 2017

Book Review: The Trespasser by Tana French

I read Tana French's novel 'In the Woods' several years ago and I was instantly hooked! I wanted to know all the answers to the mysteries in that book. Since then, I have eagerly read all of Tana French's novels. Her newest one is 'The Trespasser.'

All of French's books are connected because the story always centers around 'The Dublin Murder Squad' but the main character is always different. This time, finally French chose another woman to write about. 'The Likeness,' which was book two, was the last time the main protagonist was a woman. I like reading about woman detectives and mystery solvers best. The nitty-gritty world of crime and police work is still so dominated by men that in order for the women to succeed they must be at least twice as clever, resourceful and brilliant as all the men around them. The women are always underestimated but always prove their brilliance and often use their perceived weaknesses as strengths. It is just like the everyday world.

In 'The Trespasser,' Antoinette Conway and her partner Stephen Moran are tasked to solve a case that seems at first a murder related to domestic violence...the kind of case that is open and shut. Aislin Murray is found dead in her apartment after a tip is called in to the police line by a person claiming to be a friend of the murderer. Aislin had recently started a new relationship with a young man named Rory Fallon. Rory seems like the obvious culprit of the crime, which is made abundantly clear by a senior detective pressuring Stephen and Antoinette into pointing the finger at Rory. But the urgency of a senior detectives pressure on the two detectives to close the case makes them suspicious something isn't right. The book follows the two underdog detectives as they uncover truths on the path to solve the mystery.

The Trespasser was not only a nail-biting, page-turning, twisty-turny mystery adventure, it was also a thoughtfully crafted novel with characters that felt real and multi-dimensional. One thing I consistently love about Tana French novels is her characters are like real people. From Antoinette and her partner Stephan, the suspect Rory and the victim Aislin all are given emotional lives, flaws, quirks and layered dimensions that come along with being human. Sometimes mystery novels do suffer from flat characters, which I can often overlook if the book has a really good plot! But The Trespasser not only had a strong plot with all the right moments of shock and awe, it had characters who I truly cared about. When you care about the characters, it makes the stakes higher, which makes the novel all the more exciting to read!

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