Skip to main content

The Secret Place by Tana French


This is the latest in Tana French's murder squad books and in it, not only do we see a familiar face but we also see murder brought to a private, Catholic girl's school. Stephen Moran, who we met in Faithful Place, is revealed to be extremely ambitious. He's a part of the Cold Case Squad who wants to be a part of the Murder Squad. He sees his opportunity when Holly Mackey, the teenage daughter of another detective and a student at St. Kilda's, arrives and asks to speak with him. She brought a message with her that she spotted on a board in the school where girls may reveal their most private thoughts and feelings anonymously. A picture of the murder victim, a boy named Chris, has been placed on the board along with the words "I know who killed him" in the style of a ransom note.

Moran then finds out who the detectives on the case were - one is retired and the other is Antoinette Conway - a tough detective who is still on the force. Moran is permitted to accompany Conway to St. Kilda's to help with the follow up investigation prompted by the postcard. The novel takes place over the course of one day and the chapters alternate between the present day and the past. The novel is told from the point of view of Moran and Holly and her friends. I loved how she drew the girls and the competing cliques: Holly's vs. Joanne's. Joanne's group is more of the Queen Bee type of group. She also was fantastic in showing the gender divides. They are especially apparent between the two detectives; however the boys and the girls interactions were also very enlightening. The claustrophobic world within a world of the boarding school, like nesting dolls, is rendered well in this novel. Loved it. It's not a speed read but well worth it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

In Memoriam

One of my most favorite bookish podcasts, Books on the Nightstand, has ended its tremendously successful run.  It has been around seemingly forever and was one of my staples in book recommendations. It will be sorely missed and leaves a space in my podcast listening zone that I'm striving to fill.  While I understand that the podcast em-cees, Michael and Anne, have their own lives that they probably want to continue with (and podcasting takes a lot of time, particularly when you're as popular as they are and, for example, as popular as the Manic Mommies are/were), they will be sorely missed.  However you can find them on both Goodreads and on Twitter.

In anticipation of their ultimate decision to end the podcast, I found a number of other really awesome podcasts to fill the void, some of which are bookish and some of which aren't.  For your listening pleasure:


BookRiot - more of a news in the publishing industry podcast but still pretty awesome;All the Books - a weekly po…

Missoula by Jon Krakauer

You may recognize the author's name - Krakauer is perhaps most famous for the book Into the Wild about a young man that goes to Alaska (and which was made into a movie).  I enjoyed that book and when I heard on a podcast that I listen to that Krakuer had written a new book, I decided to get it and read it.  In this book, which is non fiction - he focuses on the University of Montana, the local police department and at the local prosecutor's office and analyzes their job performances through the eyes of five young women who were sexually assaulted. During this same period, the Department of Justice investigated how those same parties handled 80 rape cases and that investigation yielded dismaying results. In one instance, a detective re assured a male suspect during an interrogation that she didn't believe he committed a rape (despite evidence to the contrary) because they got a lot of false accusations. Similarly, the Chief of Police (!!!) sent an article to a victim citin…

City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

I was hesitant to pick up Justin Cronin's trilogy, which began with The Passage, because I was vampired out.  But it's different. It combines science fiction and westerns and spans about 1500 pages and 1000 years and generations, upon generations of people.  It's dystopian and hopeful all at the same time! The vampires don't sparkle, thankfully, and the story isn't just told in prose - it's told via letters, journals, scientific journals, flashback, the whole nine yards.
As the book opens, we find our beloved characters in a time of peace and relative prosperity.  There have been no viral attacks for twenty years. The main characters are all struggling with something that has broken them and they each struggle. And there was also Zero, the ultimate bad guy, that wants his say and his ultimate revenge. This book is wonderful in the sense that it is Cronin at his absolute best - he is a storyteller on par with perhaps the best of the fantasy writers - of any w…