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The Likeness: Dublin Murder Squad: 2 Hardcover – 21 Aug 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Edition edition (21 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340924772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340924778
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.1 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'French's second foray into the dark world of psychological crime more than proves she's the real deal'**** (Daily Mirror)

Begin reading this and you won't want to stop (Choice)

A literary crime stonker. (Lottie Moggach, thelondonpaper)

Creepily melding elements of Donna Tartt's The Secret History and undercover police procedural, The Likeness seduces from the start . . . A nifty tale of desire for belonging, as well as a cool thriller (Time Out)

Claustrophobic, conversational, clever and beautifully written (Literary Review)

riveting... hugely satisfying (Irish Independent)

An intricate and edgy top-notch psychological thriller. (Woman and Home)

Paints a vivid, gritty picture ( Psychologies )

Police procedures, psychological thrills and gothic romance beautifully woven into one stunning story (Kirkus)

The Likeness isn't just a good page-turner, but a skilfully written modern novel . . . French has a brilliant ear for dialogue . . . Also in the best tradition of classic crime writers, such as P D James and Ruth Rendell, her characters are fully-rounded people and she is able to layer plots and storylines with a mastery that belies the fact that it is only her second book. (Anne Marie Scanlon, Sunday Independent,Dublin)

'A truly creepy mystery thriller... so gripping you'll want to finish it in one sitting, no matter how many coffees it takes! ******" ( Now Magazine )

Dense and filled with wonderful characters and atmosphere, The Likeness is riveting. (Globe and Mail, Toronto)

French's writing is lush, intense and gorgeous. She possesses an enviable ability to portray scenes so clearly that you feel you're there and can reach out and touch things or join in the conversation. Snap shots remain imprinted on your mind once the book is put aside. (Sharon Wheeler,reviewingtheevidence)

Book Description

Tana French follows her stunning accomplished debut, IN THE WOODS, with an equally compelling psychological mystery that confirms her place as one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Boof VINE VOICE on 19 July 2010
Format: 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.......
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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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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.
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Format: 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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