Title: The Likeness
Author: Tana French
Genre: Mystery / suspense / awesome
Rating: 5 / 5
Oh my lord… Remember when I read Tana French’s first book, In the Woods, and I gave it 4.5 stars? Well this one is at least twice as good and yet I only have an extra half star to reward it with. I don’t know that there’s much to say besides “I loved it!”
Again, this is a “mystery” that goes far beyond mystery, and again the mystery itself was, from my point of view, fairly weak. But it’s all the better for it, because what that leaves us with is French’s considerable talents in drawing characters, exploring relationships, reflections on human nature–from family to recovery to jealousy to judgment to trust and truth and so much more, it has it all. Also have I mentioned that I love French’s writing style? Her metaphors are effortless, unique, and perfectly fitting; the creeping, understated suspense; the tiniest hint of–maybe paranormal is too strong a word, but there is a definitely sense of the extra-ordinary that pervades her writing; everything is evocative and engrossing. She gives us complex characters–you don’t have to necessarily like them to be drawn to them, to what they say about people generally. French has a knack for creating narrators that can drive me up the wall, but I have to admit that it improves the novel.
The only real negative thing I can say about it is that the word “bitch” is used a few times (and not as a compliment, as in “that’s a bitchin’ jacket!”). It makes me cringe but I suppose it’s true to life.