New York Times best-selling author Tana French has won the prestigious Edgar, Barry, Macavity, and Anthony awards. As her third novel featuring the Dublin Murder Squad opens, 19-year-old Frank Mackey is waiting in vain for Rosie, who he’s supposed to run away to London with. But when she doesn’t show, Frank leaves Dublin without her—thinking never to return. Years later, though, Rosie’s suitcase is found in an abandoned house, and Frank, now a detective, returns to his old neighborhood to learn the truth of that long-ago night.
©2010 Tana French (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
"French’s writing remains brilliant, and her dialogue is sharp, often lacerating, and sometimes mordantly funny. Faithful Place is her best book yet." (Booklist)
I didn't just listen to this book; it's more like I was consumed by it. Tana French doesn't write in a serial fashion like other mystery authors. She explores a group of people, character by character; her books are almost more stand-alone novels than a series. I think this one is her best so far, even though I really loved the first two. Frank has to solve an old murder, a contemporary murder, and resolve how each has influenced his life. There is so much more here than the usual murder mystery; if that's all you want, download something else. French's characters are fully-developed; they are human beings, with faults, damage, and in this case, a strong will in Frank to rise above his beginnings. The bonus here is French's marvelous command of Irish street language (vulgarity alert!); it's a witty, sometimes laugh-out-loud counterpoint to the tragedy of poverty, death, and struggle. Her approach is a refreshing change to the formulaic writing that most mystery writers can't break away from. "Faithful Place" is a love story within a murder mystery, solved years after the fact. Discovery of the murder nearly destroys Frank's family and threatens to destroy him; it's an exploration of his struggle to deal with his past and create a future for himself. Either you like French's approach or you don't, but what you don't get here is same-old same-old mystery solving. French develops the plot by uncovering, layer by layer, events of the past as seen through various characters' eyes, and their motivations for their actions, their pain, and their prejudices. It's not until the very end of the book that the murderer is revealed, along with not only the motivation for the person's actions, but the story behind the motivation. It's a complex, compelling story, and it's made me more of a Tana French fan than I was before - and I waited impatiently for this book to become available. It's like nothing you've read before, even by the same author.
Definitely the best of Tana French's three novels. The story line is great but the dialogue and the interactions between Frank Mackies very dysfunctional family is brilliantly observed and made the book. The narration is excellent. Fabulous Irish accents and the subtle differences between the characters made it a delight to listen to. I don't often reccommend a listen over a read but in this case definitely the way to go.
The Irish neighborhood where the story takes place is at least as interesting as the plot. Character development is excellent. It is richly dark.
I have read all of Tana French's books, and I enjoyed Faithful Place the most. Frank Mackey's character is SO funny, and the interaction with his family was often sad and always well written and interesting. I hope that his character returns in future books. I didn't mind the narrator; in fact his voice sounded like I imagined Frank's to sound.
If (like my husband) your idea of a good book is swashbuckling action with shallow, predictable characters you cannot relate to and will not remember an hour after you finish the book, then "Faithful Place" is not for you. This just isn't that kind of book. On the other hand, if you enjoy an extremely well-crafted story, with believable characters, a good mystery, a haunting love-story, and a realistic procedural that keeps you guessing while rooting for the "good guy", then it's a winner. Tana French's writing improves with each book she writes, and hers are on the very short list of those I will listen to more than once.
Thinker Meets Explorer
This was my first introduction to Tana French and her love-‘em-or-leave-him Dublin detective Frank Mackey. And what an introduction it was—I couldn’t stop listening to this book until the very end (which for me, happened to be at 3 AM!).
The plot is a zinger – a suitcase from a long-disappeared lover shows up at Mackey’s family home – and new narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds does a fabulous job with bringing the detective’s fieriness and his hometown’s Irish accents wonderfully to life.
I can wait for the next novel, Broken Harbor, out July 24. Until then, I’ll be catching up on In the Woods and The Likeness.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
Many people have reviewed this book. I'm adding my two cents just to emphasize the value of this audio version. Tana French is all about the language, and hearing the expert narrators deliver her words in lilting accents really optimizes the experience. "Faithful Place" is a little shorter than her other books, but it certainly demonstrates the same intensity, insight into characters, and excellent view of a changing modern Ireland. French doesn't always go for the traditional "happy" ending with all aspects of the story tied up neatly, but she's to be relied on for interesting plots and realistic people. "Faithful Place" is an enlightening and harrowing story about that most mysterious of human institutions - the family. Enjoy the trip with a truly engaging narrator!
The story was compelling, the narration brilliant and I can't wait to listen to another Tana French. As a child of a Dublin woman, the characters seemed authentic to me and the dialogue spot on. I've listened to more than 40 audible books, and this is one of the best.
Ms. French has the Irish milieu down cold. As I was twice married to Irish lass, I can say without a doubt, she banged it on the head. But maybe too hard and to often. Once I got the picture, I would have been happier to have been involved in a more complex plot.
But then, maybe that's the point. In a place where whole lives are spent in the confines of a few blocks, from cradle to grave, in pressure-cooker poverty and a paucity of education, life is bleak. And incestuous, and brutal, and alcoholic, and did I say brutal.
Francis is a tad too good to be true as he comes up with gem after gem of bits of child-rearing wisdom and pressure-releasing anecdotes, but he was a likable character.
I could certainly tell that this book was written by a woman as she bathed the copious raw situations in soothing tales of feelings and understanding from the heart. A little too much. I felt it diminished the stark, cruel reality in which this family tragedy takes place. She can write dialogue with the best of them, I'd say, as she moves this tale inevitably to the predetermined conclusion.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
If you like mysteries, this book has an street-smart main character/detective. He looks into the disappearance and possible murder of his first love. I guessed early in the book who did it, so was not excited or surprised by the ending. The detail is rich, yet I wish the editor had made French narrow it down by 2 hrs (and whatever page amount that equals). Recommend to friends who enjoy crime dramas. Not my cup of tea (pardon the pun).
Light in August, Faulkner
Reynolds does a splendid job of switching between the different voices and truly embodies the character of Francis. Love the brogue.
Report Inappropriate Content