The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad Series #2)

( 310 )

Overview

The haunting follow up to the Edgar Award-winning debut In the Woods

Tana French astonished critics and readers alike with her mesmerizing debut novel, In the Woods. Now both French and Detective Cassie Maddox return to unravel a case even more sinister and enigmatic than the first. Six months after the events of In the Woods, an urgent telephone call beckons Cassie to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra ...

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The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad Series #2)

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Overview

The haunting follow up to the Edgar Award-winning debut In the Woods

Tana French astonished critics and readers alike with her mesmerizing debut novel, In the Woods. Now both French and Detective Cassie Maddox return to unravel a case even more sinister and enigmatic than the first. Six months after the events of In the Woods, an urgent telephone call beckons Cassie to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who is this girl? A disturbing tale of shifting identities, The Likeness firmly establishes Tana French as an important voice in suspense fiction. And look for French's new mystery, Broken Harbor, for more of the Dublin Murder Squad.

The "expertly rendered, gripping new novel" (Janet Maslin, The New York Times)-from the bestselling author of In the Woods and The Likeness.
Tana French's In the Woods and The Likeness captivated readers by introducing them to her unique, character-driven style and her new mystery, Broken Harbor, is eagerly anticipated. Her singular skill at creating richly drawn, complex worlds makes her novels not mere whodunits but brilliant and satisfying novels about memory, identity, loss, and what defines us as humans. With Faithful Place, the highly praised third novel about the Dublin Murder squad, French takes readers into the mind of Frank Mackey, the hotheaded mastermind of The Likeness, as he wrestles with his own past and the family, the lover, and the neighborhood he thought he'd left behind for good.

Tana French's newest novel, The Secret Place, will be published by Viking on September 2nd, 2014. 

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The discovery of her murdered doppelganger leads a Dublin detective to insert herself into the victim's life. Cassandra Maddox, the Irish cop introduced in French's In the Woods (2007), gets an urgent call from her homicide-detective boyfriend Sam O'Neill. She is to drop everything, disguise herself and hustle to a murder scene that has clearly left Sam shaken. His distress is understandable. The corpse in the abandoned cottage outside the depressed suburban village of Glenskehy is a dead ringer for Cassie. Stranger still, the name on the victim's ID is Lexie Madison, the same name Cassie used during a long, dangerous, undercover operation. Before she was stabbed, Lexie was one of five residents, all Trinity University students, living in Whitethorn House, a mansion inherited by one of the students. Frank Mackey, Cassie's tough supervisor from her days in undercover, thinks the best bet for solving the Lexie murder case is to withhold news of the death from the public. This way, Cassie can pose as Lexie and perhaps get to the bottom of what happened. There are enough clues to Lexie's life in her phone camera that Cassie, against Sam's better judgment, takes the challenge. Several days later, armed and wired for sound, Cassie is dropped off at Whitethorn, where she is taken back into what proves to be a very tightly knit group. There is dark, brilliant Daniel, who owns the house, gay Justin, clever Abby and beautiful Rafe. Using the formidable acting skills that made her so successful in undercover work, Cassie seems able to convince the friends that she is Lexie. As she begins to reconstruct the events leading up to the murder, she finds herself sucked into the group, and her loyaltiesbegin to shift. Police procedures, psychological thrills and gothic romance beautifully woven into one stunning story.
The Barnes & Noble Review
Tana French worked as an actress before she started writing, at age 33, and she inhabits her characters with such ease that one feels genuine regret that they aren't available to, say, grab a pint at the local pub while trading South Park quips and riffing on the kind of over-groomed women who never buy their round. Her debut novel, Into the Woods, was a police procedural about two cops earning their sea legs in the Dublin Murder Squad, but the relationship between Rob Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, was so finely drawn that it could have just as well been simply about the difficulties of platonic friendships between men and women. And yet French deposited not one but two tantalizingly suspenseful mysteries at the core of the novel -- and then had the audacity to leave the most spectacular of the two unanswered at novel's end. What nerve it took, then, to begin The Likeness somewhere else entirely. While Rob narrated the first novel, the voice in this novel belongs solely to Cassie. She is lured back to undercover work when a body shows up that is her exact likeness. Her old boss, Frank, convinces her to impersonate the dead woman in her former life. Once there, however, Cassie becomes so charmed by her new life as a graduate student in literature that she nearly forgets her purpose is to find a killer. French meticulously builds suspense in the most natural, harrowing way -- her characters are so perfectly built that one feels capable of analyzing them and second-guessing them as one would do with friends. Cassie is so well articulated, in fact, that one can imagine a second mystery hovering like some phantom scrim that she is too close to see. If it's there, French is wise enough not to tip her hand; her books work most perfectly in the empty spaces between. --Amy Benfer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143115625
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Series: Dublin Murder Squad Series , #2
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 61,474
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.42 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tana French

Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the United States, and Malawi. She is the author of In the Woods (winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry awards), The LikenessFaithful PlaceBroken Harbor (winner of the LA Times prize for Best Mystery/Thriller) and The Secret Place. She lives in Dublin with her husband and two children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 310 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(144)

4 Star

(105)

3 Star

(32)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(15)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 310 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Gripping, Througout

    Since I enjoy knowing as little as possible before reading a story, I will not give away anything about plot or characters.

    I knew absolutely nothing about this novel before reading it (I chose it because it came up on my "Amazon recommendations" list) and *loved* it. What a terrific idea for a thriller. I haven't felt so afraid while reading a book since I was a kid, and that was thrilling in itself. (Incidentally, I rarely experience books described by reviewers as "frightening" or "riveting" as such.)

    At the very beginning, while a couple of characters were being established, the dialogue was not my favorite - a bit reminiscent of Jodi Picoult or other bestselling authors - but the story completely held my attention, and I think the dialogue would certainly play well were the manuscript converted into a screenplay. As soon as the initial characters were a bit fleshed out, I liked the dialogue much better. I loved the characters and grew attached to many of them. Also, unlike many mysteries with promising beginnings, which too often speed up and fall apart at the end, the pacing was pitch perfect.

    Kudos to Tana French. I heartily recommend this novel.

    21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Much better than In the Woods

    Definitely this one was much better than In the Woods, at least from my humble point of view. I had trouble trying to get into the plot during the first chapters, but once Cassie's mission begins, you get into a comfortable reading pace and before you know it, you're on to the last chapter.
    It is a well written story that sort of keeps with the general idea of Tana French's first novel which is an unexpected ending full of drama and that has the main character fulfilling her duty but at a high physical, emotional and mental cost.
    As I said for her previous book, give it a shot, you might hate it or you might find a good story to spend a nice quiet afternoon with.

    17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic

    I loved The Likeness. It has a story that keeps you entertained for hours. I also recommend In the Woods.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A great read!!

    The protagonist of this book is Cassie Maddox. Cassie is a detective who appears to be on a downward slide. She has lost her zest for living and her enthusiasm for her job. Imagine being confronted with a stabbed corpse that looks just like you!
    This is a story with many complex layers of a mystery/thriller, intrigue, suspense that will captivate the reader. A great read!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2009

    What a disappointment

    I really liked her first book and was excited to get this second one but boy was I like BORED!! I kept thinking, read a few more pages and maybe it will get better but it didn't then I was stuck having to finish it or lay it down. Way Way too wordy.

    5 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2008

    See Your Own Corpse!

    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

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Loved the story

    This was a great book! I really got sucked into the lives of this woman and the people she lived with. I had a hard time putting it down. I didnt relize The Likeness is a follow up to Tana's book In the Woods. There are things that are mentioned in the book that relate to the first one; however, I had no problem following the story having not read In the Woods. I look forward to reading more of Tana's work.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A brilliant psychological suspense police procedural

    When the cops see the murdered corpse of Ph.D. candidate Lexie Madison, found near Glenskehy, Ireland, they agree how remarkably identical the victim is to one of them, Detective Cassie Maddox (see IN THE WOODS). Since they could have been identical twins, in spite of the danger Cassie agrees to pretend to be Lexie in order to trick her killer into exposing him or herself.------------ Cassie as Lexie movies into Whitethorn House, the mansion the victim shared with four other post graduate students (Daniel, Justin, Rafe and Abby) she informs them that she was fortunate to have survived the assault. As Cassie investigates each of her flatmates, she finds she likes each of them because they are so different in personality. However, inside the mansion the quintet begin to argue, but Cassie wonders if the threat to her as Lexie might be from the village.---------- This brilliant psychological suspense police procedural is a strong tale because the four surviving roommates and the cop masquerading as the fifth seem genuine especially inside of Whitethorn House. The relationships between the quintet enhances the tension as Cassie and the readers wonder who of these nice flatmates is the killer, if any and when will the next attempt occur.----------- Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent suspense novel

    The Likeness: Cassie Maddox is a detective in Ireland, assigned to the Domestic Violence Squad. But four years ago she worked briefly undercover as Lexie Madison, a college student who dealt drugs. Cassie gets a call from her former boss to meet him at a murder scene. When she arrives, she is stunned to discover that the murder victim is a young woman who looks exactly like her. She is even more stunned to find that her name is Lexie Madison, the fictitious identity created by Cassie and her then boss, Frank. This Lexie was a post-graduate student living with four others in Whitethorn House, a large estate owned by one of the other students, a very tight close-knit group of friends. Frank convinces Cassie that to solve the murder, she needs to take on the identity of Lexie once again. While Lexie's friends believe she is in a coma, Cassie uses this time to learn everything she can about this Lexie and then moves into Whitethorn House to take Lexie's place. Cassie becomes Lexie so well and becomes fascinated with her alter ego and the life/lies she was living, so much so that it becomes uncertain whether Cassie wants to solve the murder at all or to continue living Lexie's life.


    Cassie Maddox was in Tana French's debut novel, In the Woods, but was not the main character. The Likeness makes many references to the first novel but it is not necessary to read it before reading this one.

    The Likeness is incredibly suspenseful with a well-constructed plot. The first three quarters of the book moved along at a fast pace. The ending seemed to drag a bit, but this may have been because I was reading it a two o'clock in the morning and was very tired. But I didn't put the book down to go to bed because I had to finish it! I had no clue who the killer was and only three quarters of the way through did I begin to have suspects. Not only was this story a great mystery but Cassie Maddox is a great, complex character and I wasn't always sure what she was going to do. This is a must read and I also recommend In the Woods
    http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I'm not a big crime/police novel fan but this one is different.

    I had read In the Woods, Tana French's first novel, and liked her writing style. I was on my way home from a trip and had finished the book I was reading so I picked this one up in the airport bookstore. I really wasn't expecting to enjoy it that much - just wanted something to get me through the plane ride home. Once I started reading it - I couldn't put it down. The characters in this book steal the show - the mystery storyline is just a bonus. She does a great job of involving the reader in the relationships between her players and you really feel as if you are inside the mind of Cassie, the main character. It's a page turner for sure, but it keeps you thinking. I handed it over to my fifteen year old daughter and she read it within a couple of days and liked it as well. Although there are some references to her first book, this one stands alone quite well and can be read without having read the other.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2009

    Well-Written and Entertaining

    This is a well-paced, enjoyable novel. Having read "In the Woods, " I was excited to see that the author had continued with the characters in this novel. I truly enjoyed the suspense, which certainly kept you quickly turning pages throughout the entire book. I'm looking forward to what comes next from this author.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2008

    another Edgar for Tana French?

    The extraordinary follow-up to Tana Frenchà Edgar-winning ¿In the Woods,Å¿The Likeness beautifully combines the narrative and the lyrical, interspersing moments of transcendent illumination with leisurely confident story-telling that doesn let you go for a moment. The language is wonderful, the characterizations are complex and believable, and the suspense builds to a climax that surely will soon be incorporated into â⿬ſa major motion picture. French credits her readers with intelligence and taste, letting this book be read on many levels, from dramatic mystery to speculation on subjects like the guts and work that being loved take the thought that in life you take what you want and then pay for it (though you dont know in advance what the price will be) the changing nature of social subversion (which used to be expressed through discontent and now takes the form of contentment) what happens to people and societies when group memory is lost. A wonderful mystery, but not just a mystery. Highly recommended.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    Enthralling!

    After reading book one, I was excited to read from Cassie's point of view. The book had its confusing moments, and things that could have been left without saying, but overall I was very happy. There were twists and turns that no one could have suspected in a very pleasant way; however, I wasn't too satisfied with the end. I felt it was rushed. I am looking to read the rest of the series though!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Fantastic read

    This is by far the best of Tana French's Dublin series. Edge of the seat reading that will have you up into the wee hours of the morning.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2013

    Outstanding follow up to her debut, In The Woods. An intriguing

    Outstanding follow up to her debut, In The Woods. An intriguing murder mystery/detective novel with a very satisfying ending. Believable and interesting character development balanced with lyrical descriptive passages about settings, landscapes, and moods. The plot is steadily paced, neither rushed nor too slow, and there are no loose ends by the conclusion. As good a book as I've read in some time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    I did not think this book compared favorably to In the Woods. Th

    I did not think this book compared favorably to In the Woods. The story takes a long time to get going, and the premise is so profoundly implausible that it takes a tremendous suspension of disbelief to roll with it. The reason for the detective's affinity for the primary group of suspects in this murder case is never entirely clear, and the detective herself is neither interesting nor particularly likable. (A likable main character isn't  essential to a good story, but an interesting one is.) One of the secondary characters in this book, Frank Mackey, is sufficiently offputting that I have no interest in reading the third book in this series, where he is the central character.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2013

    Great book

    Really well written and great character developement. Tana French does a great job to keep you guessing throughout the mystery. Great book! I will continue to read the rest of these series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Highly recommended...exquisite writing!

    As a writer myself, I appreciate Tana French's exquisite character development. Few mystery writers can match her. This is the third one of her novels I have read and I look forward to the rest. You don't have to be Irish to love them.

    To new readers, start with her "In The Woods".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Try to put it down

    Lost a lot of sleep because I could not put it down. Never have read a plot similar, pulls you right in and keeps you there. I had to exercise all my self control to not skip to the end. Excellent reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Ms. French's first Dublin Murder Squad novel, In The Woods was entertaining, but this story was gripping. The characters were so interesting, I couldn't wait to see what happened next. The story brought tears, hysterical laughter, and sadness. I will read more from Tana French. I have just begun reading Faithful Place.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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