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TANA FRENCH

Contemporary Mystery/Thriller

Viking/Penguin Books


Published July 2008


Paperback ISBN: 9780670018864

 

Imagine for a moment being confronted with a stabbed corpse that looks just like you! Horrific vision, for sure!

Cassie Maddox has been transferred to Domestic Violence cases out of Murder because she was just so traumatized by her last two large investigations. Life's been dull but bearable compared to the harrowing intensity of seeking predators and killers with twisted minds and souls. But now, Cassie is challenged by her Frank, the brilliant detective and her former superior, to investigate this case that has traumatized her with its eerie likeness.

This woman and Cassie have something in common - they both used the same name as an alias, Lexie Madison. Cassie used it for an undercover job known as Operation Vestal; now she's got to figure out why this dead woman used it and the real identity of this victim who was obviously killed elsewhere and then dragged into a small shack off the main roads of Glenskehy village, just outside of Dublin, Ireland.

So Cassie, after much mental arm-and-brain-pulling by Frank, agrees to go undercover, enter Lexie's world of co-residents in a home they are renovating while they work in their respective Ph.D. fields. Cassie will again be Lexie Madison, a reality that haunts and disturbs every aspect of her thoughts and psyche, especially when she believes the murderer is one of her roommates!

How much does this inherited house play into the questions behind the crime? How is the real Lexie Madison's background connected to the mystery? How far will Frank push Cassie in her undercover role while Sam, her lover, fight to keep her from becoming totally enmeshed in a very dangerous situation?

Tana French crafts complex layers of a mystery/thriller with multiple diversions and seemingly innocuous conversations that brilliantly eventually all tie together, the reader never able to grasp the connecting threads until the very last page. This is one savvy writer to track, guaranteed to achieve success and popularity with her tales of intrigue and suspense riveting every reader and making them want more and more of the same with the uniquely different twists of each story. Just superb and a keeper!

Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on July 12, 2008

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