by Tana French
Frank has worked in Undercover in the Dublin police department for years. It’s been more than 20 years since he left his suffocating home in Faithful Place and he’s never looked back. Now, decades after leaving in the middle of the night, he must return home to find out what happened to his childhood sweetheart, Rosie. She was supposed to leave with him that fateful night, but she never showed up.
Frank’s family is the definition of dysfunctional. His overbearing mother, alcoholic father and hostile older brother make for an uncomfortable family reunion. He’s a bit closer to his other siblings, but has only kept in touch with one of them. The story flashes back and forth between the current case and Frank’s life 20 years earlier. Those were my favorite parts of the book; you fall in love with Rosie through Frank’s memories. As he returns to his old neighborhood we can see how broken he truly is. He’s become a shell of a man, driven by his work and not much else.
BOTTOM LINE: As I’ve found with French’s other books (In the Woods and The Likeness), her writing transcends the plot. This isn’t my favorite in the series but that still sets it far above most books. She paints such vivid pictures of troubled people that you can’t look away until the very last page.
"They might be a spectacularly messed-up bunch and what they felt about me was anyone's guess, but the four of them had dropped whatever they could be doing this evening, put down their lives at a moment's notice and coming here to walk me through this night. We fit together like pieces of a jigsaw, and that felt like a warm gold glow wrapped all around me; like I had stumbled, by some perfect accident, into the right place."
"He held us up to see the lightning flickering above the chimney pots and told us not to be scared of the thunder, because it was just the lightning heating up air as fast as an explosion, and not to be scared of Ma, he was leaning out the window getting shriller by the second. When a sheet of rain finally swept over us he threw his head back to the purple-gray sky and whirl that's round and round in the empty street, Shay and me screaming with laughter like wild things, huge warm drops of rain splattering our faces and electricity crackling in our hair, thunder shaking the ground and rumbling up through Da's bones into ours."
I read this for the R.I.P. Challenge hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings.