The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad Series #2)

The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad Series #2)

by Tana French

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Overview

The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad Series #2) by Tana French

New York Times bestselling author Tana French, author of The Witch Elm, is “the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years” (The Washington Post) and 
“inspires cultic devotion in readers” (The New Yorker).

“Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting.” —The New York Times


In the “compellingˮ (The Boston Globe) and “pitch perfectˮ (Entertainment Weekly) follow-up to Tana French’s runaway bestseller In the Woods, itʼs six months later and Cassie Maddox has transferred out of the Dublin Murder Squad with no plans to go back—until an urgent telephone call summons her to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used as an undercover cop. Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more important, who was this girl?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143115625
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/26/2009
Series: Dublin Murder Squad Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 30,331
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tana French is also the author of In the WoodsThe LikenessFaithful PlaceBroken HarborThe Secret Place, and The Trespasser. Her books have won awards including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, and Barry awards, the Los Angeles Times Award for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Dublin with her family.

Read an Excerpt

This is Lexie Madison’s story, not mine. I’d love to tell you one without getting into the other, but it doesn’t work that way. I used to think I sewed us together at the edges with my own hands, pulled the stitches tight and I could unpick them any time I wanted. Now I think it always ran deeper than that and farther, underground; out of sight and way beyond my control.
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Likeness"
by .
Copyright © 2009 Tana French.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

" [Tana French] aces her second novel. The Likeness [is a] nearly pitch- perfect follow-up to her 2007 debut thriller, In the Woods."
-Entertainment Weekly

" The Likeness [is] a book even better than the first, which was very good indeed. . . . The suspense is gut-grinding . . . A wonderful book."
-New York Daily News

" For The Likeness, [French] has brought back detective Cassie Maddox and fashioned a plot that harks back to both Donna Tartt and Wilkie Collins."
-The Washington Post

" [French's] already signature blend of psychological insight, beautiful writing and wry humor is on display once more in The Likeness."
-The Baltimore Sun

Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION

The follow-up to Tana French's bestselling debut In the Woods finds Detective Cassie Maddox shaken from the events of a dangerous murder investigation and working a desk job in Domestic Violence at police headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. She's just settling into her new suits and a quieter, if less satisfying, life when her boyfriend Detective Sam O'Neill calls her to the scene of a murder. Cassie looks at the victim, stabbed in the chest and left for dead in a ramshackle rural cottage, and finds her mirror image. Identification reveals the victim's name is Lexie Madison—the very same handle Cassie once used as an undercover agent.

With no leads or suspects to speak of, Cassie's boss, Frank Mackey, recognizes a unique opportunity: they can pretend that Lexie survived the stabbing and Cassie can go undercover as Lexie to solve the crime. At first, Cassie is reluctant to play along, but as she learns more about the case—and its mysterious victim—she realizes that the only way to exorcise the dead girl from her mind is to go into her life and find out what happened to her.

Posing as Lexie, Cassie becomes a graduate student at Trinity College and moves in with Lexie's four roommates, a close but odd and anachronistic bunch sharing and rehabbing an old country estate named Whitethorn House. The roommates, accepting her story, seem to receive Lexie's return warmly and their idyllic life is practically a vacation for Cassie. Amid the lively crew, the guarded detective, orphaned at an early age, finds an unexpected sense of belonging. Soon, though, Cassie learns that Whitethorn is the subject of local lore and a decades-long target of village hostility. And as Cassie goes deeper into Lexie's world she realizes that Lexie's secrets may be more dangerous than anyone imagined. Meanwhile, Frank and Sam worry that Cassie is getting a little too close to Lexie for comfort, endangering the investigation and, quite possibly, her own life in the process.

With her richly nuanced characters and deep psychological insight, Tana French explores themes of self-invention, deception, and the ways truth can emerge from even the most convincing disguises. Set against a backdrop of tightly knit class and cultural tensions, The Likeness goes beyond the conventions of the whodunit to comment on the inequities and misguided values of modern society. In her second novel, French, a seasoned actress, proves that she's also a writer of distinction. Her taut and riveting narrative enchants and thrills at every turn.



ABOUT TANA FRENCH

Tana French is the author of the New York Times bestseller and Edgar Award–winning thriller In the Woods. She has lived in Ireland, Italy, the United States, and Malawi. She trained as a professional actress at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, where she lives, and has worked in film, theater, and voiceover.



A CONVERSATION WITH TANA FRENCH

Q. The Likeness picks up where your first book left off, and while the events of In the Woods inform some of the action here, this story is told from a different character's perspective. Why did you decide to write a follow-up rather than a straight-ahead sequel?

I want to write about the crucial turning points in life, the crossroads that make all the difference; those moments when you know that once you make your choice, your life will never be in the same place it would have been if you'd chosen the other way. In the Woods was about that crucial moment in Rob Ryan's life, but the thing is that any given lifetime just doesn't contain all that many of those moments. So when I started thinking about my second book, I had three choices: keep dumping the poor guy into huge life-defining decisions; lower the stakes and write about less important parts of his life; or switch the narrator. I thought the last one was the most interesting, so I moved on to Cassie. I figured she deserved a book of her own anyway.

Q. Early on in the book, Cassie Maddox describes a profile of the killer. Did you consult with detectives about criminal profiling or draw on your own insight about human nature?

A little of both. Cassie isn't a trained profiler—the Irish police force doesn't have trained profilers; when they need one, they work with someone from the United States. or the U.K. She's just fallen into being the Murder squad's resident profiler by accident. Because she studied psychology in college, her colleagues use her as a fallback profiler, so she's studied it as much as she can so as not to steer them wrong. This made it a whole lot easier for me to match her knowledge. I just did what Cassie would have done: read all the books and case studies I could get my hands on.

Profiling does involve a certain amount of basic knowledge of human nature. If a criminal takes his time at a crime scene, just for example, that implies that he's quite comfortable there and has a high degree of confidence that he won't be interrupted; in other words, there's a good chance that he has prior knowledge about the location. That's common sense. But a huge amount of profiling is based on statistics—some of them counterintuitive—about crime patterns. If the stats tell you that 95 percent of knife attacks in a certain city are committed by white males aged between sixteen and twenty, and you're investigating a knife attack, then you know there's a 95 percent chance that you're looking for a teenaged white male. Real profilers build their profiles on a combination of these elements: probability based on the statistics, and intuition based on their professional experience and their knowledge of human nature. I tried to do the same with Cassie's attempts at profiling.

Q. As an actor, do you see parallels between the process of going undercover and the process of creating or embodying a fictional character?

Definitely, but the parallels have a limit. In acting, in writing a first-person novel, and in going undercover, your goal is basically to keep out of the way as much as possible: to speak for the character, as thoroughly and deeply as possible, and let your audience see the character rather than you.

The difference is obvious, but it's also crucial: in writing and acting, the audience isn't intended to think that the fictional character is real. Their imaginations work together with the writer's or actor's to create the character; it's a collaborative process. In undercover work, though, there's nothing collaborative about it. The "audience" isn't in on the process; they're supposed to believe that the fictional character is completely real. The undercover is carefully, intently trying to deceive them, and the stakes are life and death and serious jail time. Undercover work is much darker, and much more morally charged.

Q. The idea of hiding behind another persona in order to escape a painful past is a recurring theme in this book—most obviously with Cassie and Lexie but we also see it with the other inhabitants of Whitethorn House. Is there any way in which posing as someone else can be a healthy exercise? Do you think a person has to be wounded in some sense to pull off the charade successfully?

On the contrary, actually, I think that the stronger and healthier a person is, the more likely it is that he or she can do a good job of being someone else. To go back to the acting parallel, I know some people do cling to the cliché that only damaged people become actors, and I think that's understandable. There have always been people who see any imaginative process as deeply threatening, so they have a frantic need to say that there must be something wrong with anyone who does it. But I remember my acting teacher telling our class, Unless you can be yourself truthfully and openly, you can't be someone else. The better you are at being yourself, the better you are at being other people. It's true. Playing a character shouldn't be a pose, or a charade, or a way to hide from yourself. It should be an attempt to reach a truth that can't be reached in any other way. For any serious actor, that's what it is. When it's anything else, it becomes both dishonest and dangerous.

The same goes for Cassie. She's essentially a strong, secure, happy-natured person, very comfortable being herself—that's what makes her a good undercover, able to be someone else with conviction and sincerity. At the beginning of The Likeness, though, she's been badly traumatized by the events of In the Woods. For her, in that condition, the process of becoming Lexie Madison is a double-edged sword. It's healing, because by doing a good job of being Lexie she finds her feet in her own identity again; but it's also deeply dangerous, because her own borderlines have been damaged so badly that she's not grounded enough to stop herself blurring into Lexie. And Lexie isn't a particularly healthy person to blur into.

Q. Did you know when you first set out with this book who the murderer was or was that a discovery you made as you wrote?

Here's the defining fact about my writing process: I have no clue what I'm doing. I start with a narrator, a kernel of a premise, and a whole lot of coffee. From there, I just dive in and hope.

I think it's because I'm coming from an acting background. I'm used to taking characters as my starting point, and when I start on a book, I don't know the characters well enough to know what they would do, where they're coming from or where they're headed. As I get to know them better, the shape of the book develops gradually in my head, like a Polaroid. (It makes for an awful lot of rewriting. I'm wildly jealous of authors who have the whole book outlined before they ever start writing.) When I started this book, I had no idea who the victim was or why the heck anyone would want to kill her, never mind who the killer was. As the characters and their relationships developed, though, it became clear that Lexie Madison could be a lot more dangerous than she looked and that whether she intended to or not, she was threatening the people around her in a variety of ways—and, finally, which one of those people was capable of taking the huge leap to murder.

Q. There's an undercurrent of class conflict and English/Irish hostility bubbling beneath the plot in this novel. Are these issues necessary to the telling of this particular story or are they simply part of the rural Irish landscape in which it's set?

I think they're an inextricable part of the story. They're a crucial part of Ireland's past, and one of the core things I was thinking about while I wrote this book is the relationship between past, present and future: how they define and redefine one another, how we try and often fail to balance the three.

This is, I think, the major question that Ireland's dealing with right now: when the past and the present crash into each other at a hundred miles an hour, how do you balance the two without wrecking both? Over the past ten or fifteen years, the country's changed faster than our minds can deal with, and we're still trying to assimilate the changes and find healthy ways of dealing with them. Because this is a question that surrounds me every day, it surfaced in the book: all the characters are trying, from different angles, to find ways to balance past, present and future. The house's past, and Ireland's past, are woven into that process.

Q. Whitethorn House has a powerful effect on people—it is wondrous and inspiring to its inhabitants but malevolent and threatening to the townsfolk of Glenskehey. In many of your descriptions the house is animated and alive. Do you think of the house as a character in its own right?

Definitely, but it's a fluid character, one that's defined by the other characters and defined differently by each one. It becomes a mirror reflecting what they want or need to see—it's a home, a haven, a threat, an inspiration, a symbol of oppression, a golden opportunity. In that way, it's a lot like Lexie herself. She puts her finger on what each of the other characters needs to see, and then she turns herself into that.

Q. Troubled though he may be, Daniel makes an eloquent argument when he critiques contemporary culture and tells Cassie about his vision for Whitethorn House. Do you agree with his views and is this an important theme in your writing?

I don't exactly agree with Daniel—he's a little extreme, if that's the word I'm looking for—but I think he has a couple of good points. At one stage he quotes a Spanish proverb: "Take what you want and pay for it, says God."

That proverb's a lot more complicated than it sounds. We're surrounded by media and other outside forces telling us what we want: You want more stuff! You want bigger stuff! You want stuff you've never even heard of! You want an SUV and new teeth and 2.4 kids! You want to be thinner! You want to be blonder! And on and on and on. It can be hard to ignore all the shouting and figure out what you actually want—which might well be none of the above. And if you don't know, if you allow yourself to be shaped by other people's views on what you should want, then it's dangerously easy to lose hold of your own life. For Daniel, that's one of the two core elements of being an adult: the ability to work out what you want most.

And in the proverb, that crucial question comes with an equally crucial corollary: what you want isn't free. The other thing we get told an awful lot in Western society is that you can have anything as long as you believe in it. There's no mention of having to pay for it—with hard work, with sacrifices, whatever. And the reality is that life does demand payment. Choose between the security of a bank job and your dream of being a musician; choose between staying home with your children or keeping your career moving. Whichever you choose, you pay for it with the other. It's a law of nature, it's one we're told to ignore, and it's one that we can't escape no matter how hard we try.

For Daniel, the two essentials of being an adult human being are knowing what you want and making the commitment to pay for it. What he wants may be a little weird, but he does know what it is, and he's certainly willing to pay for it.

Q. There's not a single sex scene in this book yet between the lines, sexual relationships deeply influence the dynamic between characters. Was it a conscious decision for you to keep sex as subtext in this book?

Part of it was a deliberate choice. I'm not big on spelling things out anyway. I think almost everything—especially powerful stuff like sex and violence—is stronger if it's not hammered home, if the reader is allowed to engage his or her imagination. In In the Woods, the most violent thing that happens "onstage" is someone scratching someone else's face. In The Likeness, the most sexually explicit thing that happens is a kiss.

And part of it was inherent to the book. There's a stage in life, somewhere around high school and college, when the most important people in your world are your friends. You're moving away from your original family, but you're not yet at the age when people are forming lifelong romantic relationships—one of the gang might get a boyfriend or girlfriend and fade away for a couple of months, but everyone knows he'll be back sooner or later. The crucial people are this group of friends, some of them close, some of them a little less close, who surround you.

That's the stage the main characters in this book are at. They're one another's world. And at that stage, sex within the group is a dangerous thing: it could wreck your whole delicate, hard-won balance. So, no matter how highly charged those relationships get, the characters fight to hide the sexual tension from each other and even from themselves. Sex is kept to subtext in the book because it's kept to subtext by the characters—with an immense effort of will that comes at a high price.

Q. The fact that Lexie Madison looks exactly like Cassie and steals her undercover identity is something of an improbable premise. How did you take a fanciful idea and turn it into a believable story?

I knew from the start that I'd bitten off a lot with that premise—the dubious look on my fiancé's face when I told him the idea said it all! But I like a challenge. And I loved the image of the detective looking down at her own dead face, the thought of finding your double when it's too late, when she's beyond reach—when the only way to get to know her is to become her. I didn't want to ditch the idea. I was too interested in finding out what would happen next. So I knew I had to find a way to make it work.

I did it (well, I hope I did it!) by focusing on the same things Cassie and Frank would have had to focus on as they prepared for the moment when Cassie goes into Lexie's life: the practical details, the nuances of personal relationships, all the layers that go into making up a solid, believable reality. Also, Lexie stealing Cassie's undercover identity doesn't turn out to be quite as much of a coincidence as it originally appears.



DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  • Early on in the book, Cassie Maddox says that "all the best undercovers have a dark thread woven into them, somewhere." What is hers?

  • For Cassie, going undercover is almost a compulsion. What drives her to accept Frank's offer and take on Operation Mirror?

  • The rule at Whitethorn House is "no pasts," yet the house is seeped in history and artifacts from earlier eras. How does the house help its inhabitants avoid their own histories?

  • Undercover, Cassie slowly gets drawn into life at Whitethorn House and develops a fondness for Lexie's idiosyncratic housemates. What is it about this world that is so enchanting for her?

  • Cassie says this is Lexie Madison's story, not hers, yet she tells it like it's her own. Whose story do you think it is?

  • Commitment is an issue for Cassie, as she can't seem to settle down with a desk job or her boyfriend. At the same time, she has chosen to work undercover and devote her every hour to this case—a very serious commitment of a different kind. Is this a contradiction in her personality, or are they complementary behaviors?

  • Daniel, Abby, Rafe, Justin, and Lexie's relationship is a fascinating study of group dynamics and each character plays a distinct role. Just as Lexie did before her, Cassie can home in on who she needs to be to fit in. Do you think this is something most people do in social situations or is it a special skill?

  • What does posing as Lexie teach Cassie about herself? What are the differences between the two characters and where does Cassie draw the line?

  • Cassie wonders if Frank Mackey may have had a stronger hunch about the killer than he was admitting all along. Do you think he knew who the killer was?

  • French leaves the story of what happened the night of the stabbing somewhat open. What do you think really happened to Lexie and who was truly responsible?

  • Customer Reviews

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    The Likeness 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 326 reviews.
    MJinPA More than 1 year ago
    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.
    denise_twilight More than 1 year ago
    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.
    theReader278 More than 1 year ago
    I loved The Likeness. It has a story that keeps you entertained for hours. I also recommend In the Woods.
    nancymitchell More than 1 year ago
    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!
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    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
    LittleLAM More than 1 year ago
    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.
    debbook More than 1 year ago
    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/
    ReadMeLikeABook More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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.
    harstan More than 1 year ago
    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
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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!
    Wysaac More than 1 year ago
    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.
    WynStuart More than 1 year ago
    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".
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I recently plowed through all four books in the Dublin Murder Squad Series and this one was my favorite. Not only was the story compelling but the characters were likeable. It did take a bit for the story to get going, but when it did it took off and I just had to get to the end to see the resolution. I recomment the whole series!
    Nookandbooks More than 1 year ago
    This author develops the interior lives of her characters in a unique way. It helps if you read In the Woods, the first novel by Tana French, where she introduces Cassie , the main character in this novel. I think she maintains suspense throughout. Everyone in our mystery book group loved her first novel and I think this one is even better.
    paintr More than 1 year ago
    I hated to Finish this book. In the woods was good, but this one I loved. I found myself wanting to be in the book! French opened up my imagination, that's impressive! My heart was pounding during the Climax of the book, isn't that what books are supposed to do! There are so many books that the ending just lets you down. This one didn't let me down. Thanks Tana, for the great read, please keep writing!
    SongbirdJones More than 1 year ago
    After falling in love with the characters from In the Woods, I did not want the book to end. When I found out there was a follow-up novel, I was ecstatic! This book kept me absolutely absorbed. The in-depth character introductions and scenery descriptions make you feel as though you are actually there. I am so happy to have discovered Tana French.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    Tana French's meticulous prose will sweep you from the first chapter to the last and leave you begging for more. This book proves that In the Woods was only the beginning for this gifted storyteller.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The characters are so relatable and interesting. The story was never dull at any point. I hope her other books are as good.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Didn't see the ending coming
    Go4Jugular More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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!
    AmyKyle More than 1 year ago
    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.
    goguins66 More than 1 year ago
    Ms. French's second novel was definitely tighter than her first, giving the reader less plot lines to try to follow, and tying most of the drama up in the end (something In The Woods did not do). Was I hoping for some of those loose threads to be picked up in this follow up? Absolutely. But I was quickly wrapped up in the new drama following Cassie Maddox and the mystery of Lexie. The Likeness is not the most believable of detective stories, but the author does a good job weaving a tale that helps convince you that a total stranger could replace a person if they looked enough alike. The characters were rich and interesting, mysterious and suspicious. It is generally a good story, and at times I was completely absorbed in the writing. Unfortunately there were too many times when the writing was simply too repetitive, when Ms. French is too obviously playing cat and mouse with the reader, when the conclusion is evident and you just want her to move on and finish the mess. I couldn't help thinking that The Likeness would have been brilliant with 100 less pages, 3 less characters, and 2 less dead ends.