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Topic: Tana French

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Subject: Tana French
Date Posted: 10/17/2008 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2008
Posts: 4
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She's a  relatively new author, has 2 books out currently.  Her first book, "In The Woods", is good - and her second, "The Likeness", blew me away, I couldn't put it down.  Talk about tired at work!

I recommend her to anyone interested in a good mystery - murder/mystery.

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2005
Posts: 1,563
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I read In the Woods because of all the hype about it and have to admit when I was finished my thought was... meh. It was ok, but not significantly different/better than many other British-based mysteries/police procedurals, and certainly not worthy of the massive hype IMO.

I have been hearing that The Likeness is significantly better than the first though, so I will probably give her another go.

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Yeah, I bought and read "In the Woods" and while I thought it was good, I didn't think it was all that. I have her second book on my WL. I'm glad to hear it's good!
Date Posted: 10/17/2008 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 10,583
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I am reading Into the Woods now and so far am enjoying it.  It is a little slow, but I like the characters and am curious to see what will happen, so don't tell me!  :-)

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 1:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
Posts: 87
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I just finished In the Woods, and it was incredibly engrossing.  The way French layered themes was thought-provoking without seeming contrived (please imagine I just wrote that last bit in a less-pretentious way), and I think that it's what made the book feel so suspenseful to me--I was thinking so hard that I was completely immersed in the story.  For a mystery, the book was long (maybe that right there lets you know something's going on), but I didn't think a word was wasted.  I didn't really expect that every part of the story was going to be wrapped up in the end, but it was so hard to guess which parts would be, and how, and I thought the author showed real mastery in finally turning the narrative toward a conclusion while "disengaging" the other parts.  I'm so glad I got The Likeness from the library at the same time because I can't wait to read it.

Last Edited on: 12/17/08 1:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/17/2008 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,632
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I've read and enjoyed both of her books,but in my mind it's hard to beat Stephen Booth when it comes to British mysteries.

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
Posts: 87
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Tana French isn't British; she's Irish.  Big difference.  (OK, maybe not that huge in the world of mystery novels, but overall, very big.)

ETA:  But I will have to look into Stephen Booth!

Last Edited on: 12/18/08 9:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/19/2008 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 1,438
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Last Edited on: 8/4/14 8:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/20/2008 2:25 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2006
Posts: 204
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I didn't really enjoy "In the Woods"  it started out really good but seemed to drag on and I was happy just to have it end.  We all enjoy different things>


Date Posted: 12/20/2008 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 2,030
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I agree with Mike.  I thought the book would never end.  In fact, I posted the book before I fonished reading. 

Date Posted: 12/23/2008 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2008
Posts: 87
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I'm almost done with The Likeness, and I have liked it just as much as In the Woods, though I perhaps didn't have the thrill of suddenly loving a new author.  I can see how a person who primarily reads for plot could get frustrated with these books because the murder cases unfold very slowly.  The cases are fascinating, but it's the psychology of the detectives that's the real story.  Very early on in The Likeness, the narrator, Detective Maddox, is recalling her work with another detective in developing an undercover identity and has this exchange:

"Father, Sean Madison, a minor diplomat posted in Canada--that's so we can pull you out fast if we need to: give you a family emergency, and off you go. It also means you could spend your childhood traveling, to explain why nobody knows you....We could make you foreign, but I don't want you fucking about with an accent.  Mother, Caroline Kelly Madison.  She got a job?"

"She's a nurse."

"Careful. Think faster; keep an eye out for implications. Nurses need a new license for every country. She trained, but she quit working when you were seven and your familiy left Ireland."

Considering the implications is, I think, one of the themes of this story and one of the things that French as an author does best.  For someone like me, the thoroughness is the attraction--and yet, French still manages to throw in a few surprises.