Another top-notch read from one of my favorite authors, this one a delicious slow burn with main protagonists, Cal and Trey, who are both so beautifully rendered you will find yourself leaving the final pages aching to meet them again in a sequel.
Nobody writes like Tana French, an author who effortlessly seems to craft sentences formed with such beauty that you have to read them slowly – letting every word find its mark, and only then marvel at the complete phrasing.
“The air is as rich as fruitcake, like you should do more with it than just breathe it; bite off a big mouthful , maybe, or rub handfuls of it over your face”.
“The night is speckled all over with small noises”
“….the squad room, before a quicksand layer of real viciousness seeped in under the pretend stuff”.
Calvin (Cal) John Hooper is a forty-eight year-old ex Chicago cop, now living in a tumbledown cottage he purchased in Western Ireland. As Cal struggles to find his fit and his foothold in the tight-knit rural community, he finds himself tangled up in a missing person case, at the behest of a surly teenager Trey, who somehow manages to wiggle a way into Clay’s wounded and temporarily inaccessible heart.
As Cal works to uncover the ugly truth of what happened to Trey’s missing brother Brendon, it’s not too long before he finds himself mixed up in danger, both physical and emotional, as his life is threatened, just as his veneer of emotional detachment finds itself unreservedly cracking.
Without giving the plot away, (no spoilers here), lovers of deep character-based dramas, with more than a tinge of darkness, will find this atmospheric mix of bucolic brutality difficult to put down.
A wonderful read, this book will leave an outsider questioning just how far one may go in service of loyalty to one’s community. Questions Cal may find, as his ties to his new village and its inhabitants deepen – an insider would have no need to ask.