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Faithful Place (2010)

by Tana French

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dublin Murder Squad (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,7112492,568 (3.94)459
Detective Frank Mackey finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind twenty-two years ago when the suitcase belonging to his first love, Rosie Daly, shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place. The hotly anticipated third novel of the Dublin murder squad.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
In her first novel, In the Woods, Tana French proved that she is adept at exploiting a character’s past to chilling effect. She does this again in her third novel, Faithful Place, in which Dublin undercover detective Frank Mackey finds himself immersed in a past he thought he’d successfully escaped. Back in 1985 Frank was nineteen. On a cold winter night, he and his girlfriend, Rosie Daly, were ready to abscond together, leave behind their homes and families on Faithful Place, in The Liberties, a rough-hewn working-class section of Dublin, and travel to England, find good jobs and make a new life for themselves. When Rosie failed to show up for the midnight rendezvous, Frank assumed she had come to her senses: decided she wanted nothing to do with him and his family’s reputation for riotous conflict, alcohol abuse and dysfunction and set out on the journey alone. Broken-hearted but determined, Frank, following Rosie’s lead, did not return home after that night, and for the next twenty-two years, as he rose through the ranks with the Dublin police, the vision of Rosie succeeding and thriving in London was for him a consolation and a torment. Skip forward to the present. Rosie’s suitcase has been discovered stashed behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place and suddenly Frank is back on the street where he grew up, being drawn into the toxic family environment he left behind all those years ago. The police launch an investigation, with Frank’s old friend Scorcher in charge and insisting that Frank keep his nose out of it. But Frank Mackey, a cocky, moody, street-smart, impulsive wise ass, is not about to do that and instead plunges forward with a parallel investigation that sinks him deep into his murky, painful family history, reviving demons he would much prefer to have left slumbering. French’s novel sends Frank down a dangerous rabbit hole where he reconnects with siblings and childhood friends and finds answers to questions he never thought to ask. In the process he unearths a seething warren of unwelcome truths and comes face to face with the worst his family has to offer. The story is gripping and fast-paced, the writing vivid and richly cinematic, and the dialogue authentic and witty. In Faithful Place, Tana French has written another edge-of-the-seat thriller that offers an abundance of twists and turns that the reader never sees coming. ( )
  icolford | Sep 14, 2021 |
This is the book that makes Tana French human, in my eyes. Not that it isn't excellent, but it lacked the emotional heft of her first two. That's saying a lot, because French's books are never really about the mysteries pursued so much as they use mystery to frame a larger story. This time, it's about dysfunctional families in working-class Dublin, and all that entails. It sounds cliched and predictable, but it never felt like it. Instead, you get the sense that the narrator might (though loathe to admit it) be as responsible for his poor relationships as anyone-- excluding his father. And possibly his older brother.

Yeah, this one isn't as memorable as The Likeness or In the Woods, which is odd because this is her first novel with a completely believable premise. Maybe its that sense of disbelief that should be there and isn't that makes her first two stand out so much. Still, what a worthy book. I'll continue on. ( )
  allan.nail | Jul 11, 2021 |
Book #3 in the Dublin Murder Squad is focused on Undercover's Frank Mackey, who had a small, but significant role in Book #2, The Likeness. Frank is alienated from his family by choice, when his sister Jackie calls and asks him to come home because a suitcase belonging to his first love was discovered in #16 Faithful Place, a derelict home on their block. For the past 20 years, Frank thought he was abandoned by Rosie Daly on the night they planned to escape their family miseries, but her decomposed body is found in the basement. The novel goes back and forth between the past history of the two teenagers and their lives then, and the two families and their lives now. Frank is warned off by the investigating officer, but cannot let this lay. What he discovers has enormous ramifications for three generations of his family. French's talent as a writer is two-fold: very complex characters, wrought with a panoply of emotions, and giving a great feel for the Irish themselves. 4.5 stars. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Three books into the Dublin Murder Squad series, and I am in awe of the way Tana French crafts her stories. I've never been a fan of mysteries or thrillers. I dislike the feeling of being manipulated I get when reading them and that constant anxious feeling of waiting for the killer to jump out of the closet with a bloody knife. While pretty firmly still in the mystery genre, Tana French's books are different. Whodunit is almost beside the point as she slowly unravels why they did it and how the detective in each book nearly goes to pieces chasing the trail of evidence.

Honestly, Frank Mackey, the detective in Faithful Place, is not my favorite character. He's rough around the edges (with good reason, of course), calls women Babe, and can be frighteningly violent and cruel. I didn't really like the way he treated Cassie in The Likeness, and I probably wouldn't want to hang out with him. But the story behind Faithful Place--Frank's story--is heartbreakingly sad, and I couldn't help feeling sympathy for him in the end.

Another thing I have to note about these books is French's brilliant ear for dialogue. Especially in Faithful Place, she captures the rhythm and phrasing of Irish speech in a way I don't think I've ever encountered in writing. I've spent more time in Cork than Dublin, so am not an expert on the way Dubliners speak, but I could hear these characters' voices like we were in the same room. And they didn't all sound the same. Frank's ex-wife, Olivia, and Detective Kennedy spoke quite differently from the residents of Faithful Place, and I think even for someone who'd never been to Ireland it would be clear that those differences are telltale markers of social class and education.

So, all of the above boils down to this: Faithful Place is another great book by Tana French, and Tana French is truly a wonder. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
I love a character driven novel, and in that respect, Tana French did not disappoint. Her character are nicely developed, you KNOW them by the end of the book. Her descriptive prose about Dublin lets you really get into the heart of the place. Unfortunately, the murder mystery did not play out .The plot was just too obvious, and I figured out who did it by about page 25. This doesn't happen often to me, I'm not great at figuring things out, I do not like to guess in advance, I like to be taken for the ride. The idea that Francis was never even determined to be a suspect turned me off the murder mystery as well. The ending felt anticlimactic. I do however, really enjoy French's writing, and would definitely read more from her. ( )
  lonetree1972 | Jun 1, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
The past haunts in Tana French novels. That which was buried is brought to light and wreaks hell--on no one moreso than Frank Mackey, beloved undercover guru and burly hero first mentioned in French's second book about the Undercover Squad, The Likeness. Faithful Place is Frank's old neighborhood, the town he fled twenty-two years ago, abandoning an abusive alcoholic father, harpy mother, and two brothers and sisters who never made it out. They say going home is never easy, but for Frank, investigating the cold case of the just-discovered body of his teenage girlfriend, it is a tangled, dangerous journey, fraught with mean motivations, black secrets, and tenuous alliances. Because he is too close to the case, and because the Place (including his family) harbors a deep-rooted distrust of cops, Frank must undergo his investigation furtively, using all the skills picked up from years of undercover work to trace the killer and the events of the night that changed his life. Faithful Place is Tana French's best book yet (readers familiar with In the Woods and The Likeness will recognize this as an incredible feat), a compelling and cutting mystery with the hardscrabble, savage Mackey clan at its heart.
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tana Frenchprimary authorall editionscalculated
Reynolds, Tim GerardReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Books, LLC- -RecordedPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reynolds, Tim GerardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Detective Frank Mackey finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind twenty-two years ago when the suitcase belonging to his first love, Rosie Daly, shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place. The hotly anticipated third novel of the Dublin murder squad.

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As her third novel featuring the Dublin Murder Squad opens, 19-year-old Frank Mackey is waiting in vain for Rosie, who he’s supposed to run away to London with. But when she doesn’t show, Frank leaves the Liberties area of Dublin and ends up in Ranelagh (another Dublin area) without her—thinking she had run off without him. He vows never to return to his dysfunctional family or the street he grew up on with Rosie, Faithful Place. Years later, though, Rosie’s suitcase is found in an abandoned house, and Frank, now a detective, returns to his old neighborhood to learn the truth of that long-ago night.

The past haunts in Tana French novels. That which was buried is brought to light and wreaks hell--on no one moreso than Frank Mackey, beloved undercover guru and burly hero first mentioned in French's second book about the Undercover Squad, The Likeness. Faithful Place is Frank's old neighborhood, the town he fled twenty-two years ago, abandoning an abusive alcoholic father, harpy mother, and two brothers and sisters who never made it out. They say going home is never easy, but for Frank, investigating the cold case of the just-discovered body of his teenage girlfriend, it is a tangled, dangerous journey, fraught with mean motivations, black secrets, and tenuous alliances. Because he is too close to the case, and because the Place (including his family) harbors a deep-rooted distrust of cops, Frank must undergo his investigation furtively, using all the skills picked up from years of undercover work to trace the killer and the events of the night that changed his life.
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