BOOK STEW REVIEW: ‘The Searcher’ by Tana French

Below is the latest Book Stew Review from Eileen MacDougall, the host of the 80+ episodes of Book Stew, a 30-minute video and podcast devoted to writing in all forms, featuring authors, playwrights, voice artists, and journalists.

‘The Searcher‘ by Tana French

This eighth of French’s novels displays less ratcheting up of tension than her prior efforts, as the standard setting has moved from Dublin to a rural town in Ireland, where former Chicago detective Cal Hooper has retired after a divorce and an almost disastrous street shooting. Without Irish ancestry and knowing not a soul in the area, his decision to rehab an old cottage seems strange and suspicious to his neighbors in Ardnakelty and also to this reader, but I take everything French writes as thriller gospel. Cal’s pub visits and shopping trips to the tiny village amuse him until he gets a familiar creeping feeling on his neck. When an eleven year old child seeks Cal out to track down a missing older sibling, Cal’s need to investigate subsumes his ill-thought-out attempt to settle into quiet country life. There is the usual cast of vividly etched minor characters and an almost visual sense of land and weather. ” ‘S only gorgeous.”

Quote: “Their focus isn’t much broader than a prey animal’s. They’re all used up by scrabbling to keep their footing; they don’t have room for anything bigger than staying one jump ahead of bad things and snatching the occasional treat along the way.”

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