This is absolutely one of the best books I've ever listened to! The story is riveting and the narrator is a joy to listen to.
I started Tana French with "In The Woods", a taught psychological mystery, and looked forward to following the character Cassie Maddox as she takes over the lead from her psychologically damaged partner from the first volume in the series. If you haven't read "In The Woods" yet, stop, download that volume, and go through it first before entering into this world. The actions that Cassie takes in this book are directly related to events in the first volume of Dublin Murder Squad. You don't need to read it to understand the plot in this one, but you do need the backstory to understand the lead character.
As "The Likeness" opens, Cassie is in Domestic Violence, still reeling from earlier events that she went through in the murder squad. She is drawn into a bizarre undercover operation that runs as much havoc with her psyche as "Woods" did to her former partner, Adam Ryan. Just like the earlier volume, there is very little blood (only one murder apiece), and essentially no violence. (In other words, if you're looking for the fiction equivalent of "Die Hard" look elsewhere) French writes about the difficult subject of human psychology, and she takes her time unfolding the precarious walls we all build up in our minds.
About 2/3 through the book, the pace becomes even slower, and even more careful. In this section, Cassie makes some severely stupid choices. We know the reasons behind those choices, sort of, but still, I found myself saying to the character, "Come on. You know better." Honestly, I was writing my review in my head while listening to this section, "Tana French needs a better editor". Boy, was that initial impression wrong. When the pace suddenly shifts, and everything falls into place, you get what she was trying to do. French has written a very good narrative of how, and why, we all make severely stupid choices.
I now admire the careful crafting of that pace. We all do things that people from the outside of our lives and our histories judge. But French manages to get under the skin. All of the characters, from the arrogant undercover lead, to the sad collection of misfits living in a large old Irish mansion that Cassie infiltrates, are well drawn and fully fleshed out. Once I was through the slow bit, I understood why Cassie did what she did. And even better, I can't say I would have done the same thing. My history is so different; my narrative would have to be different. French is excellent at creating portraits of the complex individuals we see everyday on the street.
I read the first book and like it ok . . . .the self-destructive behavior of lead male character did get a bit old, but overall, that one was pretty good. After reading the glowing reviews for this book, I was encouraged, but I found I just couldn't listen to it. I lasted about an hour, but it was just too cheesy. The narrator was very annoying too - it all seems very forced.
The story was interesting at every turn; I really enjoyed the 1st book but it was not necessary to this storyline, but this story did give you little tidbits of info into some of the things that happened in the 1st story. It was relevant to the current story & was a surprising bonus for those who read the 1st book. The characters are interesting and you get to really know them. Most of the twists I never saw coming until the last minute. The narrator was delightful with the Irish accent, made the delightful phrases much more fun than if I would have been reading in my voice. Made the book seem more authentic & real.
This author has a wonderful sense of writing, many spots where I laughed out loud at the way she said somethings. Can't wait to get my ears on the next one.
Willy Wonka of it
The characters were so well-developed that you felt you were part of their lives.
An awesome narrator that nailed the accents and voices of both male and female characters.
Indeed I did. There were very few dull moments.
This tale was very well done. It stood alone, yet wove bits and pieces of the first novel in. You can enjoy it as a standalone tale or as a sequel. I felt a connection to all the characters as well.
Tana did a good job of showing enough of the character's daily life to flesh them out and make a connection while still moving the story along and keeping the developments flowing. The pace was excellent, and to be honest, I would have been fine seeing a bit more mundane day-to-day activities.
I left the first novel really liking (and feeling sorry for Cassie). Towards the end of this tale though, I felt much less of a connection and began to care less for her than for her dead persona. Still, that speaks more to how well Tana developed the character and made you feel the emotions.
Well done all around!
The protagonist, Cassie and the people with whom she "lives" are multi-faceted, flawed people. The story was very unusual.
All Ms. French's novels are complex and full of real characters with contradictions and flaws.
It is the best performance of all the audible editions of Ms. French's novels. It took me right into the scenes and I appreciated the accents and different voices. I hope Ms. O'Neill will be used as a narrator in future books.
Yes, most definitely. I stayed up late several times listening to it.
The premise of this book should not have been believable, but Ms French got me to suspend my belief because she does such a wonderful job of developing her characters and their relationships,I could not stop listening. This book is a mystery with several intrigues running along side. Heather O'Neill's narration is entertaining and her characterisations felt spot on.
I love a good mystery which includes sub-plots to keep the story moving, creating suspense and surprise in the little moments. Fun book, entertaining series.
No, I don't think so. I like the accents, but the story didn't hold my attention.
C. J. Box
no thank you
Didn't listen long enough.
This book was a more than a little over-the-top. I don't believe for one minute that any police agency would go to such lengths to solve a simple case of murder. The under cover thing was just not believable on many levels. In fact the entire book (plot and characters) made it difficult to suspend any sort of disbelief. I really didn't like or care about any of the characters in this book. It wasn't horrible, though. That's why I tried a second Tana French book - "Broken Harbor". I got it because of the stellar reviews and found it to be one of the worst mystery/crime novels I've ever read. What a mistake and waste of money.If "Likeness" was over-the-top, Harbor was in outer space. And... all but one, or maybe two of the characters were absolutely detestable - especially the protagonist. I'm through with Tana French - I think she's overrated and not really that skilled as a writer. As dark as she tries to be, her stories and introspective characters end up being laughable at best.
At first, I wasn't sure I would like this story, but after the first chapter I was hooked. Couldn't stop listening till the end. I would highly recommend this book.