©2008 Tana French; (P)2008 Recorded Books
The plot is preposterous. Perhaps this should have be evident from reading a simple description of the basic set-up (provided by Audible), but I did not recognize the problem until one-third of the way through the novel. Unfortunately, the complications *not* mentioned in Audible's summary make the narrative even less persuasive and more ridiculous. On the plus side, the reader is excellent so, if nothing else, it is a very pleasant jog through a very unbelievable narrative. If you do not think hard about the utter implausibility of the plot, you may actually enjoy this reading. Reminder for authors who are not writing for TV soap operas: Except possibly in the case of identical biological twins, it is exceedingly difficult for intimate relations to confuse the identity of a complete stranger for that of a close friend, especially when they were living with the close friend within the past week or two.
Good story and narrator but the cops in this one and "In the Woods" are unreal. Procedures aren't bad. Charles Manson should have read this book first.
After reading "In the Woods" earlier this year, I was thrilled to see that "The Likeness" was available on Audible. Just as in French's first novel, I was swept away to the gritty world of the Irish detective. Heather O'Neill did a fine job of narrating, capturing the different voices very well (though I did think her reading of Daniel's voice was a bit monotone). Can't wait for another French novel!
This was a fascinating what-if. At times the propositions were shaky, but French's awesome mastery of character and dialogue made me willing to play along. Switching to Cassie's voice added a lot of strength to French's tale telling. Well worth it.
I've read plenty of books that start out slowly and end with a bang but this is the first one that started out promising and then slowed to a crawl the rest of the way. Additionally, the plot isn't very believable, the heroine acts illogically, and the book seems more soap opera than mystery. I give it 2 stars because it is obvious the author has a great descriptive talent; she just needs to think up better plot lines. The narration is very good.
I recall having looked forward to another case with the plucky lady cop from book 1. Alas this new tale is mired in a preposterous premise. Also, vastly unlikeable "suspects" consume abundant space flinging tiresome dialogue from within murky yet unremarkable relationship dysfunctions, all the while apparently flubbing a plethora of unlikely close calls for busting our dead-ringer protagonist. Could just barely make it to the end, but solely to ensure I was not imagining the train wreck.
After her gripping psychological debut, "In the Woods", Tana French tried but doesn't measure up with this second novel. The main problem I had with the book was the unbelievable plot. I don't think this story could ever be possible in real life. That said I . enjoyed getting inside Cassie's head in "The Likeness". ""In the Woods", was written from Rob's point of view although Cassie was a main character in the book.
I think what sets Tana French's writing apart from any other writer I've encountered is her ability to pull on an emotional need we all can identify with; the need to belong. In her first book she pairs Rob and Cassie in an intimate partnership/friendship. In Cassie's small apartment during the month in which they attempt to solve a horrible child murder they share long evenings of dinners, wine and warm whiskey. As they go over the case they experience a bond that wraps them in a protective cocoon. In "The Likeness" we are allowed to glimpse the same type of soul friendship between Cassie and four characters who are all possible murder suspects. Cassie is torn between the need to be a real part of this distorted family and her place as a detective solving a complicated murder. This description does not do the books justice, they must be read or in my case listened to in order to appreciate French's ability to pull on emotions that are inborn in all of us.
One thing of note that I don't remember reading in reviews on the Dublin Murder Squad series is that one book leads to another in that we are introduced to a new detective in each book. The next book revolves around the life and work of this new character. This keeps the series fresh and is not like other series which are all about one continuing character.
I enjoy mysteries, science fiction, Stephen King, and some fantasy novels. Now and again I like a biography and a bit of history. No romance!
Surprising, engaging, unique
My favorite character is Detective, Cassie Maddox, the character from whose point of view the story is told. She is a character from one of the author's other books, "In the Woods" and reading this book was like catching up with an old friend. She is clever, determined, brave, damaged in some ways by life but not the type to moan about it, and very human. She isn't perfect and she makes mistakes so she seems more real. The character has depth and she is the sort of person that you might enjoy having a friendship with.
She does a lovely job with the different voices. She brings life to the characters with her reading and each has a distinct, recognizable, tone. She knows how to use a silence and doesn't rush the story. In fact, I am listening to another of this author's works now and even though it is being read my another actor, I still hear Ms. O'Neill's voice interpretation for Cassie Maddox, who appears in the other story as well as this one.
I can't say that I had an extreme reaction to this book, but I have read it and listened to it because I found the story so fascinating. It made me wonder about relationships among long-time friends and the factors that go into determining who we let into our lives and why.
So far, I have read or listened to all of Tana French's books. I have enjoyed all of them and I hope she continues to write for a very long time.
The narrator really got into my head. She delves into each character in every Irish accent I never knew existed. Many twist and turns but the character development of the heroine and other players is what makes this book for me. One bothersome thing about Dublin Murder Squad books is that the men all seem damaged from childhood.
Good characters, interesting storyline, great reader. I liked the first book "Into the Woods" and this was even better. I look forward to reading all this authors books.
Cassie, I like that she is confident in her work, but something of a work in progress in life.
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