The Likeness by Tana French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
We read this for book club – we didn’t read the first one, this was the book chosen. I found it incredibly frustrating the amount of times it referenced the first book throughout the first half – and I would have found it frustrating whether or not I had read it, because it was that often. If I had read it, I already knew what the author was referencing, as I hadn’t it was frustrating because it didn’t actually impact the story.
Either way, after getting past that, the story became intriguing and I became really involved in it. I like the complete fantasy-type scenario that is so completely unreal, and that it is mixed with the very insightful and real feeling of being an undercover detective.
I really loved the characters of Frank and Sam, and to a certain extent I liked Cassie – I found her quite melodramatic and unprofessional. I also found the basis a little weird, that she was so attached her her old undercover identity that she would be so reckless with her job.
I enjoyed this book so much, I went back and read the first in the series, and intend to read the third. I have to say at this point – there was so much emphasis on the first book, that after reading the first one, I found that emphasis a bit weird because it wasn’t that harrowing. Good, but not worthy of half a books worth of remembrance from Cassie.
I enjoy the writing style, I enjoy pace and the many questions. I like that I sort of picked the murderer, and that the resolution isn’t so outlandish that it couldn’t have been picked. I’m not a great fan of crime books where you get to know the ins-and-outs of a case, and then it’s a surprise ending with a character we’d only briefly heard of in one sentence at the start being the baddie.
I find the theme that people ‘get away’ with murder, to be one that isn’t explored in the way this series has so far, very often. It becomes understandable, and that makes it unsettling – which is kind of a fun feeling to get from a book.
The setting is great, I could see and feel that old house as if I had lived in it myself. I could feel the warmth and cold, I could smell the roasts, and the lumpy old lounges that would be so comfortable and full of history. The sense of time and place in the community wanting the house to be developed for the good of the community – interesting and realistic view. Usually, villages are represented as wanting to keep to themselves and not have any new developments.
I would recommend as a series – wouldn’t start from this book, and I have a feeling that none in the series are completely standalone books. Great read, not a fast read – but a good one.