In bestselling Tana French’s newest story, being on the Murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she’s there. The rest of her working life is a stream of thankless cases, vicious pranks, and harassment. Antoinette is savagely tough, but she’s getting close to the breaking point.
I found author Tana French a few years ago and was very impressed by her body of work. She has a remarkable eye for detail in the telling of her story and this can, at times, draw out the body of the book and you find yourself getting impatient, wanting to get on with the business of solving the crime. But with French, “All good things come to those who wait.”
We star out with Antoinette Conway, a detective in the Dublin Murder Squad and her partner, detective Stephen Moran, finishing up a night shift when the chief puts them on a case that involves a possible domestic situation gone very awry. A lovely young woman, Aisling Murray, has been found dead on her living room floor. Her head, from outward appearances, appears to have hit the corner of the fireplace, and the dinner table has been set for two, silver wear, glasses, and fine linen. It looks like someone special had been invited to dinner. A local police station had received an anonymous phone call about the body.
Conway looks at the chief, “a domestic” she queries, not happy at all. “Yes, and I want you both on your toes for this one. Detective Breslin will lend you a hand.” Conway sighs, “Breslin.” Her partner, Moran, steers her into the misty Dublin morning and they set out to study the murder scene. “It could be a big one,” Moran tells her. That is the dream of all the guys on the murder squad, the big one that will put you up there and then you’re in.
Conway is a very bright and intelligent woman and the only female on the squad. She receives a lot of harassment and rather cruel pranks at the hands of her colleagues. She’s nearing her breaking point and her partner does his best to keep her steady. That is the background and in places, it is complicated and sometimes reflects situations within the story. French is very good at leading you a merry dance and when it looks like one of their own could be involved, the picture becomes even more complicated.
I loved every minute of it, the realism is perfect, from the reports of the MO, to the work the floaters do in the investigation. I was very drawn into the final chapters, and didn’t want to see what was coming, yet I couldn’t look away. Happily ever afters are very overrated anyway so the whole thing was well handled. Highly recommended.
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