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Faithful Place [Hardcover]

Tana French
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 Aug 2010
The course of Frank Mackey's life was set by one defining moment when he was nineteen. The moment his girlfriend, Rosie Daly, failed to turn up for their rendezvous in Faithful Place, failed to run away with him to London as they had planned. Frank never heard from her again. Twenty years on, Frank is still in Dublin, working as an undercover cop. He's cut all ties with his dysfunctional family. Until his sister calls to say that Rosie's suitcase has been found. Frank embarks on a journey into his past that demands he reevaluate everything he believes to be true.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Edition edition (19 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340977604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340977606
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 267,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Every holiday needs a good crime novel and French's skilful thrillers are tailor-made to terrify (Guardian)

Even more gripping than her last two. A truly amazing novel - so brilliant on dysfunctional family dynamics, with characters so real that you can hardly believe someone's made them up. (Sophie Hannah)

A gripping, literate thriller laced with black humour (Irish Times)

Gripping. Tana French's third novel hooks the reader from the outset; the characters are masterfully drawn, and the author's ear for Dublin dialogue is pitch-perfect. (Irish Independent)

The first thing that Ms. French does so well in "Faithful Place" is to inhabit fully a scrappy, shrewd, privately heartbroken middle-aged man. The second is to capture the Mackey family's long-brewing resentments in a way that's utterly realistic on many levels. Sibling rivalries, class conflicts, old grudges, adolescent flirtations and memories of childhood violence are all deftly embedded in this novel, as is the richly idiomatic Dublinese. (New York Times)

If you're only going to buy one thriller this year, let it be Tana French's Faithful Place. Searing, utterly Dub, and very funny . . . Tana French, Dublin author of international hits . . . is a wonder. Just don't plan anything if you pick this up; you won't be able to put it down. (Evening Herald (Dublin))

Tana French revisits, evocatively and lyrically, themes she's used before: love, loss, memory, murder, and life in modern Ireland. French's writing remains brilliant, and her dialogue is sharp, often lacerating, and sometimes mordantly funny. Faithful Place is her best book yet. (Booklist)

Charming - will leave readers begging for a sequel (Kirkus Reviews)

Faithful Place is Tana French's best book yet (readers familiar with "In the Woods" and "The Likeness" will recognize this as an incredible feat), a compelling and cutting mystery with the hardscrabble, savage Mackey clan at its heart. ( Best Book of the Month July 2010)

The plot is finely judged and Frank's voice is mordant, funny and true. (Psychologies Magazine)

"I loved this book. Great characters, gripping plot and a real 'lose yourself in it' world". (Bookersatz)

'From sentence one Faithful Place is a pleasure to read; it is atmostperic, insightful and poignant and fully deserving of any plaudits surely to come its way'. (Crime Squad)

'Mesmerising and impressively written, you won't put this fab thriller down'. (Closer)

...a real page turner (Star Magazine)

' can't help but enjoy the ride'. (News of the World)

'French's deftly crafted prose is lit with a poetic melancholy and lilts with the vernacular of the Dublin streets, giving this gripping story a genuin immediacy'. (Marie Claire)

French copperfastens her reputation as an author of exceptional insight and talent. (Sunday Independent)

She lifts the lid on Dublin and offers a haunting portrait of a man belatedly dealing with his demons (Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

A compelling, edgy psychological mystery from one of the most exciting new thriller voices and the acclaimed author of IN THE WOODS

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faithful Place in French's Best Yet 17 Jun 2011
Tana French has been a cut above from the word go. Her haunting debut In the Woods left no doubt in my mind that a distinctive new voice in crime fiction had spoken up, demanding a fair hearing, and though French's next novel had its issues - perhaps The Likeness was a touch too Murder She Wrote in the belief-beggaring mystery of coincidence at its core - nevertheless its was a gripping read, so taut and thrilling and refreshingly character-driven most longtime crime writers would have stood to learn a thing or two from it.

Well you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Faithful Place in French's best yet, and by a country mile. With a brilliantly conflicted new protagonist to come to grips with, and a grim new neighbourhood with its very own closet full of skeletons to explore, the Irish import of the hour ably breaks away from the pack, delivering an unabashedly heartfelt portrait of a people, a place, and a time.

Twenty years ago, Frank Mackey planned to escape Faithful Place with his gorgeous girlfriend, Rosie Daly. The son and the daughter of two tight-knit families at war with one another over a long-forgotten grudge, these star-cross'd lovers had hoped to run away from the estate, to take off towards the bright city lights of London and never return. In secret the pair packed their bags, arranged with great care a rendezvous point from which they would stage their daring flight, and bided their sweet time.

But come the appointed hour, there was no sign of Rosie. Frank waited for her the whole night through... but nothing. And with the dawning of the next day came the dawning realisation that the love of his life had stood him up.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb story 22 Jan 2012
I read "Into the Woods" and really enjoyed it then bought "The Likeness" which bored me so much I gave up half way through. Then with much trepidation bought "Faithful Place" WOW what a tale I was hooked immediately. The characters are brilliantly drawn and totally true to life (I am a Dubliner myself) and I was so moved by the love story between Frank & Rosie it brought tears to my eyes on several occasions. I did however guess the killer quite early on but this in no way put me off the story. Tana's understanding of Dublin and particularly in the 1980's is spot on, not sure if she lived there then or not and her portrayal of a family from Dublin's poorer district's is totally authentic. I don't live in Dublin any longer but the book transported me back so well I could even smell the hops from the Guinness factory. Well done Tana, more please.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsion Catharsis and Crime 30 Oct 2011
I found this book compulsive from the opening sentence onwards, to the very last page. I have read one of her other books, 'The Likeness' which was strong on many levels, but this gripped far more than that book did, much as I enjoyed the way French played with the idea of doubles in 'The Likeness'. 'Divorced Cop' is a cliche, what French does is turn the cliche inside out so that the first murder is the catalyst for a much bigger story, told in retrospect, about how a deeply unhappy family might contribute to the potential for divorce and estrangement, never mind the motivation for becoming a policeman, and how the unhappy family background and police work combined would strain the most committed of marraige partnerships. The portrayal of the Frank Mackey is humane-ness itself, tested by an inhumane situation.

As for predictability, some will guess who did what and when they did it fairly early in, but the point is more why they did it, which is where the compulsion comes into the reading of it. One of the reasons Greek Tragedy has lasted is because the plots are about 'why' rather than 'how' or 'when', character rather than procedural details, and those tragedies were about invoking catharsis. The family at the centre of this story, and the street on which they live, are hewn out tragedy, and have a strong sense of spiking each other's chances from before birth onwards. I am sure French kept a note book of the aggressive vernacular working class phrases which fit the Dublin she portrays, which particularly delighted me. Even now, though, I would not like to think of or count the number of expletives in the book, nor the number of seperate portrayals of domestic violence, or times when drink put reason and calm to sleep.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read; slightly long-winded 21 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This thriller combines a look at family dynamics with the resolution of a so-called "cold case" and Tana French's tremendous grasp of Dublin idiom makes the dialogue very entertaining to anyone who knows it well. Her principal protagonist is both a police officer and connected to the crime, in more ways than first appear to be the case. Although I enjoyed this book, I did feel that it was too long - some of the descriptive passages didn't really take the story anywhere, and the plot exposition was relatively slow. A plus, if you don't like to finish a book too quickly, but less so if hints/clues have been dropped with a clang you could hear on Mars and yet the answers are coyly retained for another 80 pages. Perhaps it was written with an eye to its conversion in due course to a film/tv drama - the flashbacks in particular are vivid and would work well in that context, but again are rather drawn-out in terms of what they add to the narrative. I have read another Tana French following this one and ordered a third, so I do like the writing, but I can think of other authors whose crime writing is leaner and therefore has greater impact.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Brilliant - loved The Likeness, loved this and loved In the Woods - better to read in chronological order but, by golly, she can write. Read more
Published 8 days ago by heathergod
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Soooo good, so well written, wit, mystery, family, drama, all keeping you turning the pages quicker to find out more, just wonderful, will definitely be reading more of tana french... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Ann M. Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Character Study
Finally, the book that broke my fiction reading slump. Loved this. I bought if because I follow Marian Keyes on twitter and she raved about Tana French, and I am soooo glad I did. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jolene
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific
I never read crime fiction. But I've lapped up all of Tana French's books so far. Probably because there's so much more in them than just the whodunnit. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ian Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime
I thoroughly enjoy this author and her books. I am looking forward to a new one and am keeping watch. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Claire Pelling
5.0 out of 5 stars everything she writes grips me
I love her books - this is the third I've read. The book is well written, there are no hiccups as you are pulled up short by a strange phrase, or something that sounds very wrong. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ruth Coppard
4.0 out of 5 stars My review of Tara French's novel Faithful Place
Loved this book. Loved the way it went back ,to times gone past and the build up to an inevitable ending.
Published 10 months ago by Marj Red
2.0 out of 5 stars Great writing but unbelievable at times
I love the way Tana writes. She drags you straight into the story and creates real page turners. Her characters are enjoyable and believable, she captures the Irish psyche... Read more
Published 10 months ago by M. Burke
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book
Bought Tana Frenchs' first two books, and wasn't mad about them. By this third book she had definitely improved considerably. A gripping tale.
Published 11 months ago by Mrs. M. Begley
5.0 out of 5 stars a brilliant book -again
It was so good, so "couldn't put it down" that it completely fooled me by ending! So far I've found Tana French a wonderful storyteller, this is second one I have read and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Anne Enquirer
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