©2008 Tana French; (P)2008 Recorded Books
This may be the first review I've written on Audible (I'm a long-time listener, first-time caller). Both this book and its superb narration (by Heather O'Neill) were completely riveting. It may not impress devotees of crime fiction, since it does take liberties with the investigation at its center (at times rendering it a mere pretext for the psychodrama that is its real focus), but the creation of such densely wrought, moving, and frankly likable characters engrossed me as much as any more generically "pure" police procedural. Cassie Maddox is one of the most appealing protagonists I've come across in contemporary fiction. And the book is, simply put, astonishingly well-written. French seems to be in the business of world-making rather than crime fiction: she uses the Dublin murder department as the occasion for producing a richly imagined vision of contemporary Ireland, one as intricate and historically nuanced as that of her compatriot, the brilliant John Banville. (Ironically, Banville's own mystery writing--under the pseudonym Benjamin Black--cannot really touch French's for depth and wit.) Those looking for a whodunit will be rightfully disappointed by this book (as numerous reviewers have indicated); those looking for a gripping take on the psychology of deception and identity, and on the ethics of what people owe to one another, will be enthralled.
I read this authors first book and really enjoyed it. When I read the excerpt at the back for this title, I knew that I had to read or listen to it. This narrator was excellent. The scottish burr very authentic. Lexi/Cassie was a lovable and very interesting character. I really hope that there is another book about her soon.
I enjoyed In The Woods and was pleased to learn Tana French had a new book out. Once again, I chose to listen to it. I wasn't disappointed. The voice is not Scottish, as another reviewer thought, but Irish, and the narrator absolutely nails every dialect she attempts. Wonderful reading of an exciting, well written story. For me, The Likeness called to mind The Secret History, as well as having relevance to French's last book, In The Woods. However, one needn't have read the first novel to enjoy this second one. A treat for readers of mystery, suspense and literary fiction alke.
Addicted to Audible!
Ms French is my new favorite author. Her books have great plots, great character development, twists and turns. I like the reader best from Faithful Place - he was awesome! If you like a good psychological thriller than her books are for you.
This is a follow-up to In the Woods, which I also liked very much. In this book, as in that one Ireland is itself a character, and a very complex one at that. The mystery lies in the way French knots the characters together and then works at picking that knot apart. The solution is really a moment in which we see the characters for who they are behind carefully constructed personas.
Cassie is a wonderful narrator, with a rich and vivid voice, beautifully rendered by Ms. O'Neill.
Make no mistake, this is a literary mystery for those who thrive on setting and characterization.
This is a sequel to "In the Woods" I picked this first as I have trouble listening to male narrators do female voices. So far I have not found one who does not make all the female voices sound the same, and none in character.
However, I liked this one so much, I just ordered the other.
The narrator here is wonderful, and the complexities of all the characters unfolds beautifully.
Now that I have finished it, the characters as well as the authoress are still developing in my mind.
Who needs the mall?
This was a very intricate plot, and a superb story. The only caveat - the author asked us to take a giant leap in believing a girl who happened to look exactly like Cassie just happened to stumble into one of her old undercover identities. I struggled with this and the fact that once again, the book was just too long.
The most interesting thing about the story was the house, it's occupants, and all their combined secrets. The least interesting was all the time spent at college. I just didn't care.
Heather has a brilliant accent and as always, a narrator brings you into a story in a way that reading it on your own just can't match.
I think so. I'm looking forward to seeing what unfolds in the next book.
I was confused when, near the end of the book, Cassie mentioned her trip to England. It caught me off guard and took me a few minutes to recognize exactly what she was talking about. Just another subject I'd like to see hashed out in the next book.
I'm glad I gave this book a go. I had been discouraged by other reviewers who found the premise of The Likeness to be implausible; even though many others were happy with it, I was concerned that such a seemingly outlandish concept couldn't work and I would be stuck with several hours of frustration. But I had listened to In The Woods and already was intrigued by French's deep, psychological twists and turns. Like I said, I am glad I decided to try this novel and make up my own mind. As impossible as it might seem for Cassie to have a double whose shoes she could step almost effortlessly into, French's rendition of this conceit won me over. The book is long because you need a lot of backstory to make the whole premise plausible, as well as to fill in Cassie's story for those who have not heard/read In The Woods. This is a psychological thriller so it's often slow-moving, often frustrating in that you might find yourself yelling out loud at the characters as they do things that you just know will put them in danger, but you still understand why they are driven to do just that. This is not a neat whodunit with obvious villians and heroes. Sometimes the heroes act like villains, or at least they border on it. Sometimes the ones you think are villains are just people who want to forget their past. The ending was not anti-climatic. it was sad, for sure, but it made sense. Sort of like, good intentions don't always lead to the best ends. Now I'm looking forward to French's next novel, where I expect I'll get lost in Cassie's world again.
From Austen to zombies!
I liked "In the Woods" so I figured I'd like this one at least as much. I wasn't disappointed!
It's told from the view of Cassie Maddox, partner of Rob from the last instalment. Cassie's much funnier than Rob, and I enjoyed her character more. Heather O'Neill does a wonderful job in her Irish accent that isn't harsh or overwhelming. Some of the male voices are a little flat, but overall she really added to the story.
My one issue with this story is that Tana French's writing style still has the issues it had in the first book. Similes often don't seem to be a real comparison (for example, various supernatural entities seem to run up and down people's backs quite often). That isn't so bad, really, but the habit of putting two adjectives at the end of a sentence started to detract from the story after a while. I kept asking myself how so many things could be "wild and sweet."
That's a pity, because the story here is even more exciting than the last one. Fans of "In the Woods" will love it, and for those who haven't read it, no problem--it stands alone. It does start a little bit slowly. But still, with the great characters and exciting story, you'll definitely listen to the end.
The Likeness is great, it kept me guessing and captured chapter after chapter just like "In the Woods". I hope Audible's customer service comes up with a way to warning me if Tana French comes up with another sequel. O'Neil is an great too. A must have.
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