Friday, April 13, 2012

Book review-The Likeness

Authors who write mysteries often feature the same character in their books.  Tana French is writing a series of books that follows different characters from the same police squad (The Dublin Murder Squad).  Her first book, In the Woods, follows Rob Ryan.  The second, The Likeness,  follows Cassie Maddox, and the third, Faithful Place, follows Frank Mackey.
The Likeness takes place a few months after In the Woods.  Cassie was Rob's partner, and is still recovering from the fallout of the case they were on.  She has transferred from murder to Domestic Violence and has been spending her days just getting by.  She has started dating Sam O'Neil, one of the other detectives from In the Woods.
She receives a phone call from Sam one day.  He is noticably upset and asks if she is ok.  She is curious about why he is so upset, and even more so when he asks that she come out to his latest murder scene.  When he asks that she wear a hat and sun glasses her radar goes up.
When she gets there, her former boss from Undercover-Frank Mackey, is there as well.  When she sees the murder victim she understands why Sam was so upset---the victim looks exactly like her.  When she finds out the victim's name, Lexi Madison, she understands why Frank is there...Lexi Madison was Cassie's undercover name when she was working with Frank.  Who is this woman??
There are no clues at the scene, it has rained and washed away any footprints or blood traces.  Frank comes up with the idea that Cassie go back undercover and step into Lexi's life to see if they can find out who killed her.  Sam is against it from the get-go, and Cassie is cool to the idea, but her instincts to investigate, and Frank's persuasion, convince her.  The police tell the press and Lexi's friends that she has been stabbed, but will probably pull through.  While Lexi is supposedly in the hospital Frank and Sam find out as much about her as they can and Frank drills Cassie on her life.  She has to get it perfectly because she lives with 4 other post-grads and they are very tightknit.  They would be likely to notice any aberrations.
When Cassie takes over Lexi's life, the first few days are a bit tense, (even her housemates are tense..why?) but after a while Cassie finds she likes living with these people, and this is where the psychological thriller aspect comes into play.  Cassie is supposed to be finding out who killed Lexi, but she is, instead, falling in love with the lifestyle Lexi had.  She has to keep reminding herself to stay on her toes...a couple of times she says or does things that surprise her housemates.  She also has to keep reminding herself that Frank thinks one of the housemates is the culprit.  Amidst the murder investigation is also the inquiry into who, exactly, Lexi was.  Cassie feels that knowing more about the real person will help her understand the murder.
The action moves slowly, relentlessly towards Cassie's finding out what happened the night that Lexi was killed.  While reading, I felt the pressure slowly mount towards the revelations.  I could feel Cassie being lulled into her housemates' world, but always with that feeling that something was subtly off.   This is one of those books that makes you think about what has happened and what will happen even when you are not reading.
The Likeness The Likeness
By French, Tana
2009-05 - Penguin Books
9780143115625 Check Our Catalog

French presents the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the "New York Times"-bestselling psychological thriller "In the Woods." …More

Other books by the same author.
In the Woods In the Woods
By French, Tana
2008-05 - Penguin Books
9780143113492 Check Our Catalog

For readers who like their hard-boiled police procedurals with an international flare ("USA Today"), this thriller marks the debut of an astonishing new voice in psychological suspense. …More

Faithful Place Faithful Place
By French, Tana
2011-06 - Penguin Books
9780143119494 Check Our Catalog

The "expertly rendered, gripping new novel" (Janet Maslin, "The New York Times")-from the bestselling author of "In the Woods" and "The Likeness."
Tana French's "In the Woods" and "The Likeness" captivated readers by introducing them to her unique, character-driven style. Her singular skill at creating richly drawn, complex worlds makes her novels not mere whodunits but brilliant and satisfying novels about memory, identity, loss, and what defines us as humans. With "Faithful Place," the highly praised third novel about the Dublin Murder squad, French takes readers into the mind of Frank Mackey, the hotheaded mastermind of "The Likeness," as he wrestles with his own past and the family, the lover, and the neighborhood he thought he'd left behind for good.

Read Alikes
Before I Go to Sleep Before I Go to Sleep
By Watson, S. J.
2011-06 - Harper
9780062060556 Check Our Catalog

In this gripping psychological thriller in the vein of "Shutter Island" and the film "Memento," an amnesiac attempts to reconstruct her past by keeping a journal and discovers the dangerous inconsistencies in the stories of her husband and her secret doctor.
HPL patron:  Keeps you on the edge of the couch...a thriller with unexpected twists.

The Dark Room The Dark Room
By Walters, Minette
1997-03 - Jove Books
9780515120455 Check Our Catalog

Prominent photographer and millionaire's daughter, Jinx Kingsley wakes up in a private hospital. She does not remember the car accident. Or her fiance leaving her for her best friend. Or the grisly murders of her fiance and her best friend. With all the evidence against her, Jinx struggles to piece together memories of desperation and terror--memories that will save her or convict her. …More

Started Early, Took My Dog Started Early, Took My Dog
By Atkinson, Kate
2011-03 - Reagan Arthur Books
9780316066730 Check Our Catalog BookPage Notable Title

Retired police detective Tracy Waterhouse leads a quiet, ordered life--until she cares for a young child. Meanwhile, Jackson Brodie, the beloved detective from "Case Histories," rescues an abused dog. Jackson is about to learn, along with Tracy, that no good deed goes unpunished. …More

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