Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Trespasser: a very short review

I certainly hope that Tana French writes one hundred more books, for I am certainly going to read them all.

The Trespasser is the sixth of the Dublin Murder Squad books.

Like the others, it features plenty of gritty Dublin city streets, plenty of vivid and fascinating characters, an intricate story which has its roots deep in the past, and a collection of hard-nosed, underpaid, over-worked, diligent Dublin Murder Squad detectives trying to figure the whole thing out.

Many people felt that The Trespasser was French's strongest effort so far.

I can't point to a single flaw; every page is perfect. I read it deeply and thirstily, craving each new page, lingering over each phrase and detail.

And yet, somehow, it was not my personal favorite. It didn't have the lyricism of In the Woods; it didn't have the horror of The Likeness or Faithful Place; it didn't have the mysticism and spirituality of Broken Harbor or The Secret Place.

In place of those elements it brought a raw power driven by the pace and pressure of our modern times, coupled with a deep and affecting portrayal of the reality of gender issues, inequality, and bullying in the workplace.

All of those topics are timely and urgent, and I'm very glad I read The Trespasser.

But whereas with other French novels I sat around for weeks afterwards, allowing them to linger in my mind, feeling unwilling to start the next because I didn't want the previous one to be over, I didn't feel that way this time.

Interestingly, French's latest novel, The Witch Elm, is not a Dublin Murder Squad book.

Maybe she feels the same way I do.

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