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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous page-turner!
When several people whom I know and like and have similar taste in books to me start raving about a book, it is never long before I make it my mission to get my paws on a copy and that's exactly what happened with The Likeness. Once I had my squeeky new copy at home, I thought I'd just have a flick through the first few pages and before I knew it I had read all 700 pages...
Published on 19 July 2010 by Boof

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suspend belief!
I enjoyed French's first novel, "The Woods" and was delighted that "The Likeness" linked the storyline, with Cassie Maddox the main protagonist. I'd read the earlier reviews, but bought anyway, and I'm glad I did. If you can just accept the (admittedly far-fetched) central premise of Cassie assuming another woman's identity, then this is an intriguing story, thought...
Published on 25 Sep 2008 by Polly Potter


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous page-turner!, 19 July 2010
By 
Boof (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Likeness (Paperback)
When several people whom I know and like and have similar taste in books to me start raving about a book, it is never long before I make it my mission to get my paws on a copy and that's exactly what happened with The Likeness. Once I had my squeeky new copy at home, I thought I'd just have a flick through the first few pages and before I knew it I had read all 700 pages in 3 days. It is one of my favourite reads this year!

The story is narrated by Cassie Maddox, a Detective in Dublin's Domestic Violence Unit. She is called out to the scene of a crime in a derelict cottage in the countryside early one morning where a young lady has been stabbed to death. It doesn't take Cassie long to work out why she, personally, has been summoned - the dead girl is the spitting image of herself. Not only that, but the girl is ID'd as one Lexie Maddison which is the invented name that Cassie had been given several years ago on an undercover job. The girl, by the looks of all the evidence that is presented to the team, has been living as Lexie Maddison for the last 3 years in Dublin and nobody knows where she came from or who she really is.

Lexie had been living in an old manor house in the village where she was found for just 6 months with 4 of her student friends (one of whom had inherited the house from his deceased uncle). After considerable prersuasion Casssie agrees to become part of a plan to infiltrate the manor house and out the killer. By telling the 4 house-mates that Lexie didn't die that night, Cassie then spends the next week preparing for her new role by watching videos of the 5 housemates together, learning all about Lexie's life, mannerisms, and her friends and then she is ready to step into her new life.......

I was on the edge of my seat wondering if Cassie could pull it off and if one of the housemates had anything to do with her death or whether it is someone from Lexie's unknown past come back to find her, or even someone thinking that they had murdered the original Lexie (from Cassie's undercover role). One thing is for sure though: the housemates are hiding something.

I just loved this book, I found that I couldn't and put it down, nor did I want to. Despite the size of the book, I never once felt like it was too long; on the contrary I could have gone on reading for several hundred more. I became like Cassie - so engrossed in Lexie's life that I felt like I knew the housemates and was living there with them. I love a god thriller, but this felt like more than that to me - it is a pyschoogical thriller and even had shades of The Secret History by Donna Tartt (which is one of my all-time favourite books) or Red Leaves by Paulina Simons (another great college thriller).

The characters in this book are brilliantly drawn: Detective Frank Mackey (Cassie's undercover boss) is perfect for his role (and I have heard that French's next book Faithful Place will be narrated by him which I am excited about) as are the characters of the housemates (posh, lying around listening to classical music and reading 18th century poets for relaxation).

This book has turned out to be one of my absolute favourites of the year so far and I intend to dive into In The Woods (the first book) and Faithful Place very soon. If Tana French grabs my attention in these books as much as she has done in The Likeness then she is on her way to becoming one of my favourite authors!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read this year!, 4 Nov 2010
By 
Big Bertha (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Likeness (Paperback)
Once in a while I start a book that grips me and keeps me in its clutches from the first page right the way through to the end - this was one of those books.

Cassie Maddox, is a Dublin based detective currently working in domestic violence when a body with an identity that sets alarm bells ringing is found. The dead woman is identified as Lexie Madison, an identity that doesn't exist and was created as an alias for Cassie when she previously worked undercover.

The writing was descriptive, the characters and their surroundings were brought to life, the relationships and personalities realistic. The pace was great throughout, the suspense had a haunting and addictive quality and I really could not stop reading until I'd turned the final page.

Was the plot as unbelievable as some of the other reviewers say? Yes, it was really - but if you can get past that, this really is a terrific book.

This is the second novel by Tana French and both Cassie and Sam O'Neill appeared in her previous novel In the Woods - whilst it's not strictly necessary to read that book first, sufficient references are made throughout this book to Cassies previous partner Rob and events that happened while they worked together on the Murder Squad that you'll probably want to read it anyway.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, 14 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Likeness (Paperback)
What a relief to have finished this, the tension was getting to me. I loved it, more than the In the Woods, which I also loved. Ms French writes so well, so densely, so lyrically that you find it really hard to put the book down and do normal stuff for a while. The plots of both books have been a little confusing and possibly far-fetched but who cares when you get swept up with a bunch of seductive characters with whom you really want to spend all your time. She has that rare and wonderful gift of making you feel more interesting, just because you are reading about these interesting people. Just bought the third book and can't wait until I get it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Double-take and under cover., 6 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Likeness (Paperback)
Dublin Detective Cassie Maddox is called to a murder where the victim is more or less an identical twin. And not only that but the victim has also adopted a name which Cassie herself had used when she undertook an under-cover investigation a few years earlier. This sets the scene for what could be a very intriguing story.

It is just about credible that Cassie could have taken on the victim's persona and return to live with her circle of friends in order to discover what has happened. If this can be accepted, the story rolls itself out in a fairly low key, matter of fact way. While this enhances the credibility of the story, it sacrifices the potential for twists and turns that the opening offered. This leads to a tense novel rather than an heart thumping page turner.

All in all an enjoyable story, if a bit on the long side. Certainly enough there to try another Tana French story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!, 5 July 2011
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This review is from: The Likeness (Paperback)
this is the first Tana French novel I have read and it inspired me to go searching for more!
I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery.
Although the conincidences are a little far fetched the actual story telling is fabulous. Tana really draws you in to her story and you feel emotionally attached to the characters.
It is a beautifully written descriptive narrative which pulled you into the story until you feel you are there too as Cassie/Lexi.
5 *
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insists on a major suspension of disbelief, 12 July 2009
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Likeness (Paperback)
I won't recount the plot as that's already been done here, but have to say that while I loved French's In the Woods, I felt this didn't quite live up to the high expectations that book engendered. Which isn't to say that it's a bad book as it patently isn't: French is a really interesting writer who takes some fascinating scenarios and squeezes the utmost out of them.

Here Cassie Maddox from In the Woods goes back to working undercover when a dead girl is found who looks so exactly like her that Cassie is able to seamlessly slip into her life. This does take a major suspension of disbelief (I could accept the main premise but where is fell down for me was in the small details e.g. Cassie, who dropped out of her undergraduate degree in Psychology, doesn't just pass herself off as an English PhD student to her peers, but also manages to teach for a month with no-one `outing' her...) however not more than many Elizabethan and Jacobean plays (which the text self-consciously alludes to) and, of course, Shakespearean comedy.

And she finds a disturbing liberation in being someone else: in fact, the sub-text is precisely about the extent to which our personas are a performance, a self-fashioning in which we all collude. For the small family of students into which she infiltrates herself are also acting out a life, one in which the mantra is `no pasts' and Cassie finds herself torn between submerging herself in their life, and remaining enough of an outsider to find out who murdered her alter ego.

While I really enjoyed this book I didn't find it as haunting as In the Woods, perhaps because Cassie, for me, is far less intriguing as a character than Rob/Adam Ryan. I also felt that in such a long book (c.700 pages) French suddenly hit us with lots of revelations towards the end that felt tacked on instead of being organically embedded in the text (the relationship between Justin and Rafe, for example).

But these are small quibbles. Overall this is an assured and well-written book, which explores some dark fascinating ideas while masquerading as a murder mystery. Highly recommended and I can't wait for French's next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 31 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Likeness (Paperback)
French has sealed her place in my heart as one of my favourite authors. She is a skillful and inventive writer who writes excellent crime novels based around strange cases dealt with by a police division Dublin.

In The Likeness, I did have to suspend disbelief, but that was fairly easy to do when you trust an author to simply tell a tale well. Det. Cassie Maddox, when she was an undercover cop, used an undercover alias Lexie Madison and invented her entire back story.

Now she is called to the case of a murdered girl. A Lexie Madison who is the spitting image of Cassie. Her division have the perfect chance to slot Cassie in as Lexie in to the house she shared with other students in order to find out who killed Lexie. And who Lexie was. Her friends don't know that she died and they won't know until Cassie finds out what happened.

Yes, you have to suspend disbelief. Would people who lived and studied with Lexie not notice when a doppelganger is slotted in? Really? But you go with it and what you get is an incredibly tense read and a extended version of the Agatha Christie 'the killer is in this room' scenario. I loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem! Brilliant, 20 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Likeness (Kindle Edition)
The second book I have read by Tana French and it was brilliant. The depth she writes with is captivating. A book to get totally lost in. Can't wait to read the next one!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars IT'S GOT AN ENDING!!, 16 Jan 2009
By 
COLSEE "colsee" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Likeness (Hardcover)
After reading the debut novel 'In the Woods' I really wasn't sure if I could face another story with no ending whatsoever.
I needn't have worried and I have almost forgiven her! She has admirably taken on board peoples criticsisms and given a real wrapped up exciting story.

A few people have mentioned that the story line is not really credible, but that is surely not the issue. It is a STORY after all!

A great plot with believable characters had me riveted to the book.
I found the character of Lexie most intriguing, and the subsequent character she became was very clever.

This lady has real talent and one day she MUST return to her first novel and continue it where it stopped before. I think she would gain far more credibilty for it and it would tie these characters in again.

I look forward to her next novel, I am sure she will be around for many years to come
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suspend belief!, 25 Sep 2008
By 
Polly Potter (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Likeness (Hardcover)
I enjoyed French's first novel, "The Woods" and was delighted that "The Likeness" linked the storyline, with Cassie Maddox the main protagonist. I'd read the earlier reviews, but bought anyway, and I'm glad I did. If you can just accept the (admittedly far-fetched) central premise of Cassie assuming another woman's identity, then this is an intriguing story, thought provoking and haunting. It made good holiday reading. I look forward to French's next offering.
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The Likeness
The Likeness by Tana French (Paperback - 28 May 2009)
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