Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book 41- The Likeness

STOP!!! SPOILER ALERT! And this review is only a spoiler alert to the first book in this series, In The Woods. If you plan to read the novels by Tana French, and haven't read the first one yet, go no further! These two novels are completely tied together! Now, if you don't care and have no desire to read an intricate, complex, and engaging thriller, with well developed characters, an intriguing storyline, and an author who uses words wonderfully, well, then.... by all means, read on!


Tana French's second novel The Likeness follows right on the heels of her first one, In The Woods, and picks up a few scant months after it ends, with Cassie Maddox having transferred out of the Murder squad to Domestic Violence and she's in a serious relationship with Sam, and Rob Ryan is gone.

First and foremost, I want to say that The Likeness was about a million times better for me since I read In The Woods. I'm trying to objectively think about if this could be read as a stand alone, and I certainly don't think so. Cassie's mindset and her nerves are still shaken from the case in Woods, and influences all the choices and decisions she makes in this novel.

In The Likeness, the Murder Squad finds a dead body of a young woman who is the doppelganger of Cassie. And not only is this girl identical to Cassie in look, but she has also identity theft Cassie- no, she's not Cassie Maddox Dublin Cop, but she stole her undercover persona, Lexi Madison.

So Cassie goes undercover and pretends to be Lexi, moving in to the house with the 4 other Trinity University grads students with whom she lived. And Cassie manages to pull it off, trying to find her killer, letting people think she was only wounded and critical but recovered. She can work the case from the inside and she's bait, seeing if the killer will come after her again.

This is an excellent novel. I loved it. I think I liked it better than the first one. I love an author who treats readers like they are smart- so French's vocabulary made me happy. I love her words. I also thought she wove an intricate storyline and mystery together that was utterly fascinating.

Her characters are engaging and well throughout. They're interesting and developed. Cassie struggled because of what happened to her in Woods, and it was interesting to see that she carried this guilt, fear, and pain over into this novel. And how it affected how she continued to do her job. Not only was Cassie amazingly developed, but so were the four prime suspects, "Lexi's" housemates.

I liked everything about this novel. I can't wait to see if French writes a third!