Faithful Place by Tana French

When the body of his first love is discovered 22 years after she failed to show up and elope to England, undercover detective Frank Mackey is sucked back into his dysfunctional and dangerous family.

Faithful Place is yet another perfect read from Tana French. As Frank navigates the crime scene, even after being ordered to stay away from the case, his grief, nostalgia, and brokenness threaten to consume him. Nobody does bittersweet regret like Tana French. My heart ached for all these poor lost characters, whose dreams were all thwarted by the accident of birth and the ties of family.

I did guess the murderer’s identity pretty early on, but I think that was the point, to place us completely in Frank’s point of view. He missed it, even if I didn’t, and that says volumes about who he is. A romantic to the end, when he says that he and Rosie Daly lost the chance to be the happiest two people on earth, you believe him utterly.

I also have to give props to Tana French for her exquisitely musical dialogue. Her use of slang, profanity, and imagery perfectly limns the subtle class distinctions between her characters, which is another huge part of the story.

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