The Likeness- Tana French :27/52

Well, Sowcar Janaki did this 50 years ago in Pudhiya Paravai. Anyway.

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Tana French was on that list of Books for Gone Girl Fans. But halfway through In The Woods, I made the mistake of reading a review that had a spoiler. (Spoiler: There is no spoiler). I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it after that. So I picked up the second book in the Dublin Murder Squad series. Hmmm. Not so great.

For starters, I’m not a believer in ‘exact likeness’.  The Second Lady had years of plastic surgery and acting classes. But the ‘likeness’ in this book was too far fetched to be believable. A girl is stabbed to death, a girl who not only looks exactly like Cassie Maddox, but also someone who goes by the identity of the made up undercover persona she used four years ago. *rolls eyes*

Whitethorn House, the main character, is dark. A sprawling, dilapidated house with a history, looming large over the tiny, dying Irish village.The four (five) inmates go back and forth from being sad little losers to borderline creepy. But then they also make you believe in human relationships that go beyond immediate family. And no surprise, as Cassie finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into this strange little family, the lines between Cassie the detective and Lexie the dead girl get blurred. And slowly, you too find yourself sinking comfortably into the ragged chairs and playing poker in the cold, wet living room of Whitethorn House. You’re in no hurry to find out who the killer is.

The book could have been crisper and racier. It went on quite aimlessly for several chapters even after the mystery was actually solved. The prose was beautiful, painting vivid pictures of the Irish landscape and moonlit rainy nights. But for a murder mystery, I would have preferred less of the prosey prose and a little more zing. Though this book tied up all the loose ends unlike (spoiler) the other one, the subplot was as far fetched as the exact likeness and it wasn’t something that gave it any closure.

No, I’m in no hurry to read the rest of the Tana French books.

 

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