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The Likeness by Tana French

The Likeness (edition 2009)

by Tana French

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,7142791,786 (4)616
Six months after the events of In the Woods, Detective Cassie Maddox is still trying to recover. She's transferred out of the murder squad and started a relationship with Detective Sam O'Neill, but she's too badly shaken to make a commitment to him or to her career. Then Sam calls her to the scene of his new case: a young woman found stabbed to death in a small town outside Dublin. The dead girl's ID says her name is Lexie Madison--the identity Cassie used years ago as an undercover detective--and she looks exactly like Cassie--From publisher description.… (more)
Title:The Likeness
Authors:Tana French
Info:Penguin Books (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 466 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

The Likeness by Tana French

  1. 180
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (tangentialine, cransell, GodOfTheAnthill, danibrecher, Booksloth)
    tangentialine: Same sense of the mysterious, same sense of intense psychological speculation.
  2. 60
    Faithful Place by Tana French (ijustgetbored)
    ijustgetbored: This book picks up Frank Mackey's story from where it left off in The Likeness.
  3. 41
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (rbtanger)
    rbtanger: The similarities between these two books are numerous, in spite of the fact that one takes place in Ireland in the 1980s and one in the 1970s American South. If you enjoyed one, I think it highly probable you will enjoy the other.
  4. 30
    Judas Child by Carol O'Connell (VictoriaPL)
  5. 20
    Bone by Bone by Carol O'Connell (amyblue)
  6. 10
    A Fatal Inversion by Barbara Vine (Bookmarque, Ling.Lass)
    Bookmarque: Similar in that it features murder and a group of young adults living together in an inherited estate in what they think is an idyll.
    Ling.Lass: Reconstructing what led to a murder among an eclectic and tight-knit group of housemates.
  7. 10
    Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (samalots)
    samalots: Also about a group of elite school friends dealing with a mysterious death in their circle
  8. 10
    The Distant Echo by Val McDermid (amyblue)
  9. 10
    A Darker Domain by Val McDermid (kraaivrouw)
  10. 00
    The Wych Elm by Tana French (mermcw76)
  11. 00
    A Memory of Murder by Nichelle Seely (alhall)
  12. 00
    Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey (Anonymous user)
  13. 00
    The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: Two gripping mystery stories about a police officer working undercover.
  14. 00
    The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  15. 37
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (fyrefly98)
    fyrefly98: Both are solid, well-written, character-driven detective stories.

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» See also 616 mentions

English (274)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (279)
Showing 1-5 of 274 (next | show all)
I didn't have super high expectations but I really enjoyed this! It definitely reminds one of The Secret History, which is awesome. Loved the atmosphere, cared a lot less about the police stuff, but that's what this author writes about so I get it. ( )
  PNWGirl | Sep 21, 2021 |
One thing before I lose my shit about Tana French (again): I'm a genre guy. I like genre fiction better than just about anything else, and I have most my reading life. I don't just read genre fiction, but that's my go to for a number of reasons. Early on, it was because I knew what I was going to get-- the same reason branding is such a big deal. I like SF, I read some more SF because I know (roughly) what I'm going to get. Doesn't mean I'll like it all, but the chances are higher than just grabbing a book off the shelf. As my reading palate grew more sophisticated, I began to truly appreciate, not just like, genre fiction for the same reason many people do not: I like the constraints of genre. Or rather, I like seeing what people can do within the constraints of a genre. That to me is more impressive than any postmodern paperweight sitting on my bookshelf, that someone could surprise me within a genre that I read on some level for the comfort it brings.

Tana French is amazing. I don't know how she does what she's doing to me through a crime novel. And I love crime novels-- I think they can be literary (sometimes more so) than most of the books you read in your sophomore Am Lit class. But what French is doing goes beyond literary to I don't even know what. Take this ridiculous premise:

Undercover cop takes an invented identity to infiltrate a college drug ring. When the assignment is over, the identity is shelved and she goes back to being a detective. Years later, an acquaintance of the "identity" sees another, separate woman who is the mirror image of the detective, and said woman decides to seize the opportunity and become the invented identity-- never knowing the woman she's become wasn't real. Later, the young woman is murdered. The detective who started off as this invented person becomes that person again, becoming the murdered woman in order to find the killer.

Ridiculous, yeah? It's brilliant. It shouldn't work, it's so convoluted. It strains credulity, that anyone would fall for that (or that there would even be someone that looks so much like another person that four friends -- who live together!-- would be none the wiser). But it works, and more over French gets into some "serious stuff" as we like to say in academia. In the 100K or so words that comprise this novel, French weaves a subtly brilliant exploration of the very nature of reality, what it means to create, and how those two ideas can and do intertwine. What we invent out of whole cloth can become as real as anything in nature. I think that's true, and certainly the characters in this book make a compelling case.. French creates a little scenario, like a thought experiment, about what it would be like to literally have an invented character come to life, not in a novel of magical realism but in the realest of the reality genres: crime fiction. It's an astounding success.

The effects are devastating, not only to the characters, but to this reader. I was very nearly sick at one point, anticipating the train wreck that seemed to be always right around the corner. The same thing happened to me when I read French's first novel (In the Woods). I had to take a break after that, as I'll have to do after this one. With other crime writers I enjoy, I tend to read their entire body of work once I've discovered it. French takes too great a toll, the characters are too real, and the lives they live are too tragic, too fragile to cram together in a single bite. I need to digest it, to savor it.

For the longest time, Denise Mina was my gold standard for crime fiction. It could well be that Tana French overtakes Mina, though because I've read so much more of Mina I feel like I need to read at least one more by French. The Likeness, though, along with In the Woods, challenge strongly the entirety of the Garnett Hill cycle. Oh! I didn't even get into the fact that Tana French probably did more to help me understand the "troubles" of Ireland and how they see the English in this one novel than anything else ever did. There are probably three other, equally sloppily written reviews of this novel, each touching on different aspects that amazed me, but life is about choosing, right? Night.
( )
  allan.nail | Jul 11, 2021 |
Cassie Maddox is working in the Domestic Violence division, when her former boss when she worked undercover calls her to a murder scene, where the victim is a dead ringer for Cassie and is using her identity, Lexis Mason, attending Trinity College. Prior to her murder, Lexie was living in a fancy house with four close friends, one of whom inherited it and titled it in all five names. With nary a clue, her boss (Frank) and her Murder Squad boyfriend (Sam) decide to pretend Lexie lived and she goes back into the house to solve the murder. About 100 pages too long. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Tana French merges plot-driven and character-driven fiction more deftly than any author I think I've ever encountered. This second book in the Dublin Murder Squad series is a page-turner for sure, but I also found myself stopping to re-read sentences and paragraphs to savor their beautiful language and keen insights. Although I definitely trust French to take the subsequent volumes in the series in their own fascinating directions, it pains me to leave Detective Cassie Maddox and her doppelgänger, Lexie Madison, behind. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
I liked this a lot better than the first in the series. It is still overlong, sometimes preposterous, but also has certain qualities like a warm bath, what with interesting characters, great settings, and it jogs right along in spite of the length. Tana French is a good writer, although I think she does need a sterner editor. But she writes vividly and is good with interesting detail, so on to part 3... maybe not immediately. ( )
  jdukuray | Jun 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 274 (next | show all)
Although she overburdens the traditional police-procedural form with the weight of romance, psychological suspense, social history and mythic legend, she sets a vivid scene for her complex characters, who seem entirely capable of doing the unexpected.
Tolv år gamle Adam Ryan lekte i skogen sammen med de to beste vennene sine en vakker solkinnsdag.Han så dem aldri igjen.Tjue år senere er Adam, eller Rob som han kaller seg nå, etterforsker i Dublin-politiet. Kollegene kjenner ikke til bakgrunnen hans som offer for en forbrytelse. Partneren hans er Cassie Maddox. Rob og Cassie får saken da en jente blir funnet drept på et steinalter midt i en arkeologisk utgravning. Først da de kommer til åstedet skjønner Rob at dette er det samme stedet som der vennene hans forsvant den gangen for lenge siden.Og da de finner en hårspenne som han gjenkjenner som en venninnen hans hadde, melder spørsmålet seg: Er det en sammenheng mellom det som skjedde den gangen og mordet de skal etterforske nå? Rob vet at dersom han avslører sin fortid for andre enn Cassie kommer han til å bli tatt av saken; han tar en skjebnesvanger avgjørelse om å tie. Sammen med Cassie skal han oppklare mordet på Katy Devlin, og han håper at han dermed også vil løse gåten i sin egen fortid.

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
French, Tanaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Koen, ViktorCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Neill, HeatherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wang, JenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Anthony, For a million reasons
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Some nights, if I'm sleeping on my own, I still dream about Whitethorn House.
Someone else may have dealt the hand, but I picked it up off the table, I played every card, and I had my reasons.
I found out early that you can throw yourself away, missing what you've lost.
There are some social circles where manners are a sign of weakness.
I wanted to tell her that being loved is a talent too, that it takes as much guts and as much work as loving; that some people, for whatever reason, never learn the knack.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Six months after the events of In the Woods, Detective Cassie Maddox is still trying to recover. She's transferred out of the murder squad and started a relationship with Detective Sam O'Neill, but she's too badly shaken to make a commitment to him or to her career. Then Sam calls her to the scene of his new case: a young woman found stabbed to death in a small town outside Dublin. The dead girl's ID says her name is Lexie Madison--the identity Cassie used years ago as an undercover detective--and she looks exactly like Cassie--From publisher description.

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Book description
Still traumatised by her brush with a psychopath, Detective Cassie Maddox transfers out of the Murder squad and starts a relationship with fellow detective Sam O'Neill. When he calls her to the scene of his new case, she is shocked to find that the murdered girl is her double. What's more, her ID show she is Lexie Madison - the identity Cassie used, years ago, as an undercover detective.

With no leads, no suspects and no clues to Lexie's real identity, Cassie's old boss spots the opportunity of a lifetime: send Cassie undercover in her place, to tempt the killer out of hiding to finish the job.
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