The Searcher by Tana French – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a remote Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force, and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens.

But then a local kid comes looking for his help. His brother has gone missing, and no one, least of all the police, seems to care. Cal wants nothing to do with any kind of investigation, but somehow he can’t make himself walk away.

Soon Cal will discover that even in the most idyllic small town, secrets lie hidden, people aren’t always what they seem, and trouble can come calling at his door.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Whilst The Searcher is described as a crime novel or ‘a novel with a murder’ it is slightly different to all of the ones I usually read. There are a few reasons, the lead character is a retired police officer who is a long way from where he was based so has no contacts, little knowledge of the local area or customs, has no jurisdiction and the investigation isn’t the main thread in the novel. Instead the focus is on Cal’s attempting to rebuild his life in the small town on the West Coast of Ireland. It was this side of the story that was the strongest for me.

The description of the local area, the nature, the weather, the wildlife ( in particular the rooks) and the people were spot on. Much of it made me smile, particularly the scenes that featured Noreen the local shopkeeper and the initial scenes involving Trey, otherwise known as The Kid.

Cal is initially reluctant to get involved but he does so despite knowing that it could jeopardise his standing in the area. He wants to be accepted, not regarded as a ‘blow-in’ or trouble. His involvement isn’t without difficulties, some of it caused my naïveté, some by ill feeling from the locals to him sticking his nose in but he does get there.

As I said at the beginning of my review I liked the story of village life more. I would like to know more about Cal as he settles down in his new life. 

The Trespasser by Tana French.


About the Book

Antoinette Conway, the tough, abrasive detective from The Secret Place, is still on the Murder squad, but only just. She’s partnered up with Stephen Moran now, and that’s going well – but the rest of her working life isn’t. Antoinette doesn’t play well with others, and there’s a vicious running campaign in the squad to get rid of her. She and Stephen pull a case that at first looks like a slam-dunk lovers’ tiff. All she and her partner have to do is track down Lover Boy and bring him in. Then it’ll be back to business as usual, watching from a distance as the real detectives go up against the psychopaths. Except when Antoinette takes a good look at the victim’s face, she realises she’s seen her somewhere before. And suddenly the conviction that there’s a different answer takes her breath away.

My Review

The first book that I have read by Tana French it is one of a series of books about the Murder Squad in Dublin. Apparently each novel concerns a different member of the squad so it didn’t matter that I hadn’t read the previous books.
Antoinette Conway is the lead detective here, she has a hard time settling into her job. Some of the other detectives give her a hard time but she also doesn’t do anything to help herself. I had quite a lot of sympathy for her partner Steve Moran.
The case they are investigating appears to be a domestic but neither of them are convinced. Some of the scenarios they come up with appear to be farfetched but as you read further and begin to work out what could have happened it becomes more believable.
The best parts of the novel for me was when the police were questioning suspects and witnesses. I found each occasion mesmerizing especially the ones that included Breslin. I loved the way that whoever they were questioning was manipulated into revealing their feelings or suspicions.
Definitely a series that I will look at more closely in the future, its great for anybody who likes police procedural fiction.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy via NetGalley.