… the dysfunctional families living in the Irish neighborhood of Faithful Place? Faithful Place by Tana French was a reread for me, and I continue to be amazed at how well her mysteries hold up against multiple readings. Faithful Place follows the story of Frank Mackey (a secondary character from French’s second book, The Likeness). As a teenager, Frank had made plans to run away from Faithful Place with his girlfriend Rosie and start a new life over in England. But the night they were supposed to disappear together, Rosie never showed up and Frank left for England on his own, believing that Rosie had had second thoughts. He left his dysfunctional family behind and hasn’t returned home in over twenty years.
Fast-forward to the present day. One of Frank’s family members comes across evidence that suggests that Rosie might have been killed the night she failed to show up and Frank finds himself drawn back to Faithful Place, whether he likes it or not.
The main storyline follows the mystery of what happened to Rosie Daly, but the true appeal of the book lies in the characters and their relationships. Each character is so complex and so carefully created, that it felt like I was reading about real people. It didn’t even matter that I knew the ending to the story on my second reading…Tana French’s writing has a magic about it that makes her stories come alive and breathe. Plus, she creates one of the most realistic and powerful love stories I’ve read in a long time.
As with the rest of her mysteries, the story is very dark, full of family secrets, revenge, loyalty, betrayal, and complex, flawed characters. I’ve reviewed and recommended all of Tana French’s novels by this point, and Faithful Place is no exception. Her stories keep getting better and better, and I will continue to devour them until her next book is published. It’s not soon enough for me!
Reviewed by Katie (staff)