“And so I was left with a mantra, a sort of haiku version of our relationship: I don’t regret one day I spent with him, nor did I leave a moment too soon.” Padma Lakshmi, telling her husband to pack his damn knives and go in Love, Loss, and What We Ate
Me when I heard there was a publish date for the new Dublin Murder Squad book, The Trespasser:
Me when I realized the lead detective in The Trespasser was Antoinette Conway:
Me when NetGalley rejected my request for an advanced copy and I would have to wait until October:
Me when I am told that not everyone thinks Doctor Who gifs are funny AF:
Anywho… Tana French is back! I absolutely love this series. Every time I talk or write about it I have a different favorite in the series, today it is definitely The Trespasser. As I mentioned in my exuberance above, we are back to Detective Conway and her now partner Stephen Moran. French brilliantly rotates her lead detectives in this series, using lesser-known characters from previous books. Moran was the loveable lead in her last book, The Secret Place; the fifth book in the series and my reigning favorite until now. The recency effect is a very real thing with me.
I recommend reading them in order because I am a normal person with OCD, but they are truly all stand-alone mysteries, so do whatever you want, pirate. They all center around the Murder Squad, part of the police department in Dublin, an elite group of detectives who have literally zero teamwork or camaraderie. Things are especially hard for Antoinette Conway. As the only woman on the squad, she is treated horribly, and it has made her into a defensive paranoid mess who can barely trust her partner. She is sometimes easy to empathize with and sometimes really frustrating as a character but overall I really loved her.
Conway and Moran are not squad favorites, and as a result they take the cases that are given to them. When a seemingly quotidian murder comes their way, a pretty young girl murdered while waiting for a lover to show up, they assume it will be an easy case to solve. But then Conway realizes that she has seen the victim, Aislinn, before. And other detectives on the squad start to get involved, pressuring them to arrest the boyfriend quickly and close the case. The case starts to look more complicated and less average and their dive into Aislinn’s background turns up some surprises.
These developments force Conway and Moran to distance themselves even further from a squad that does not support them. Antoinette balances on a line of paranoia; brought on by the harassment she has received. But as always, just because you’re paranoid it doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get you anyway. The story is twisty and dark and surprising, and I love to be surprised. I could barely get my nose out of this book, at one point I was reading it walking to my car and then sat in my car a full ten minutes getting later and later until I yelled out loud to no one “I HAVE TO WORK, TANA FRENCH” and threw it in the backseat. Hopefully you start it on a weekend or day off when you don’t have to be similarly distracted with dumb things like making a living.
Grade – A-