The Searcher

The Searcher

Book - 2020
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Mar 14, 2021

Here is a novel that combines two familiar tropes - the "fish out of water" and the
"retired cop lured back in to solve a case." The fish out of water is a Chicago cop who has retired to rural Ireland. He agrees to help find a missing person (hence, The Searcher) at he behest of an outcast 13-year-old for whom has has great sympathy. Since he has no authority in his new community, he is unable to use his typical cop resources and as he lacks knowledge of the community dynamics, he is often creating suspicion and inadvertently causing problems for himself. The novel takes its time. There are two big reveals, one a complete surprise, one no surprise at all. The writing is excellent - you get a terrific sense of place and the relationship between the cop and the kid is very well done - and it has a satisfying conclusion. All in all, a good read.

Mar 11, 2021

I did not like the way this book was written. It reads like a play script and I could not get into the story. The plot seemed great but not the writing style I like.

Mar 08, 2021

I found this to be an enjoyable read. I liked the Irish country setting vibe as well.

Mar 04, 2021

I got this book as a "surprise checkout" and decided to give it a go as I had never read anything by this author before. I really enjoyed it. It wasn't edge of your seat excitement, but there was enough intrigue to keep me guessing right up until the end. I'm definitely going to read more of this author.

Feb 15, 2021

Having read a good review of The Searcher, I wanted to like this story. However, I struggled to get through the first 30 pages and will return the book mostly unread. The story itself had potential, but the writing was immature. I felt as if I were reading a story that a talented high school student had written.

The author's descriptions were weak, almost awkward, and mostly missed their mark. The various curse words she used in the narrative felt gratuitous and forced, not realistic (as if she felt she had to use these words in order for people to like the story). Using those same words when the main character was speaking was okay because that is part of his personality.

French's attempts at description made for a choppy flow, it was difficult to imagine the scenes. I'm probably spoiled by writers such as Pat Conroy ("Prince of Tides") who knew how to compose magnificent sentences with descriptions that put the reader right there in the midst of the story.

Feb 13, 2021

I knew from the first few pages that I would enjoy this book. I would say it’s a light mystery. Being that I don’t enjoy ‘thrillers’ it just suited me fine.

Feb 10, 2021

An enjoyable atmospheric mystery novel set in a small village in Ireland where a retired American detective has come to retire, but gets caught up in solving the case of a neighbor's missing teen son/brother. For me, the novel was like armchair travel as I got to know the village, the villagers' lifestyle, and the landscape through the skilled writing of the author. I loved the descriptions of the Irish countryside (not fillers for me). Certainly, the descriptions of poverty for some of the people in the village was disheartening as was the description of the villagers' current problems as they realized that their way of life was slowly changing. I liked the dialog, the banter, and the relationship between the characters. The characters are sympathetic, especially the 13 year old who trusts that the retired newbie/incomer, not the Garda, will find the missing brother. Although it takes a while to get the detective on the missing person case, the author, then, slowly flushes out the needed clues from his interviews with the teen's friends, his family members, and villagers in order to solve "the case." Based on this work, I would read more novels by Tana French.

Feb 01, 2021

A well written slow burner that really never paid off for me. French handles the characters well, with enough charm and banter to string the reader along, but the pacing of the plot is so dreadfully slow, and ultimately lacking in any surprise or catharsis, that in the end I was left nonplused. The Searcher is just not my cup of tea.

Jan 31, 2021

A long way to go (450 pp) for not much. The writing is fine, with some evocative descriptions and moods of the Irish weather and countryside. A couple interesting characters, with good development and wonderful local customs and idioms. However, the story is slow-going, the protagonist's motivation to engage in this "mystery" seems strained, and the confined setting requires " a wee bitta patience." I hear French's Dublin series is very good; this is the wrong book to get started with her.

Jan 21, 2021

gave up half way through because nothing was happening and it was going nowhere. just 200 pages of a guy fixing up his house and his old coot irish neighbor cracking jokes... did not want another 200+ pages of nothingness

Jan 20, 2021

This novel had all of the qualifications necessary for a well rounded interesting read. The story holds your attention, while the believable characters play out their parts perfectly. .

Jan 20, 2021

Yes indeed, it did meander on and on and on. And Cal was interesting enough. But the kid and the neighbor not so much. Tara French is well written escapism. This one was just not much fun to read.

Jan 18, 2021

Not as good as her earlier works; well-written, but without the usual twist at the beginning and the urgency that usually keeps me reading Tana French's books. This one is somewhat slow and there were several times when I wondered whether it was worth continuing. I slogged through, but can't say that the story or her characters were all that interesting.

Jan 17, 2021

This was such a good book. I read it with pleasure and I hope there is a sequel because there are answers to be had regarding some characters.

Jan 13, 2021

The book has filler and the author's wonderings that make it drag. The characters were pretty good. The author may be over-rated.

Jan 08, 2021

This book is very disappointing. It doesn't work as a mystery or a novel. I'm baffled by all the praise it has received. Read her Dublin Murders series instead and experience outstanding writing.

Jan 07, 2021

She writes well. Characters and story interesting, but she dragged it on too long. When the fate of the older brother was discovered and shared with his sibling was the place to end the book.

Jan 05, 2021

This started out fine, but it really started to drag. Too much about the dreary weather and the plot was glacially slow. I kept reading because of its great reviews, but it was too long and unsatisfying.

ArapahoeAlice Jan 03, 2021

A beautifully written "fish out of water" story. Retired Chicago detective, Cal Hooper, moves to a small town in Ireland, looking to create a new life after his unexpected divorce. Soon after he arrives, a young teenager asks Cal to find the teen's missing older brother. The story builds very slowly, but I was glad I didn't quit reading. While Cal's search for a missing young man drives the plot, this is primarily a character-driven novel. Tana French is an American who emigrated to Ireland, and she uses her insights as an outsider entering Irish culture to create obstacles for Cal. Highly recommended.

Dec 25, 2020

Very engrossing. Well developed characters. This is my first book of hers, and I can't wait to read more.

Dec 23, 2020

The first I have read by Ms. French. Too much of the book is used to describe ALL of the countryside, each day, various weather. Flora, fauna, birds. The 2 main characters are good,

Dec 23, 2020

Her best yet. The language, landscape, atmosphere, are spot on.

Dec 17, 2020

Couldn’t finish reading the book. Got too slow and boring. Quite a disappointment

Dec 15, 2020

A stunning stand-alone thriller from a master storyteller. The atmosphere sneaks up on you just like the cold of the Irish winter, and the brutality can be felt just out of view in the dark fields.

Dec 08, 2020

This is not a flattering portrait of the locals.

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