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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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. .
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.
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.
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.
The book has filler and the author's wonderings that make it drag. The characters were pretty good. The author may be over-rated.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Very engrossing. Well developed characters. This is my first book of hers, and I can't wait to read more.
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,
Couldn’t finish reading the book. Got too slow and boring. Quite a disappointment
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.
A portrait of the west country, its people and custom, by an fine Irish storyteller. Highly enjoyable.
beautifully written as always, the mystery is secondary in this story of a retired chicago cop who moves into an isolated irish village and tries to figure out their various relationships that go back generations. one can almost smell the gorse and hear the far off bleating of sheep, a few of which will end up mutilated.
This story made me want to read the book until the end. Many of the characters were engaging And I wanted to learn more about them. It was surprising how the characters developed and you never quite knew who you could trust. The brutality of some of the people in the story was shocking. All in all a pretty good read although I wouldn’t say it was a mystery or a thriller.