Faithful Place

Faithful Place - Tana French Faithful Place, the third of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, zeroes in on the character of Det. Frank Mackey. Mackey played a more minor role in her second novel as a member of the Undercover division. Here, readers get to know Frank Mackey extremely well as he is reluctantly drawn back into an unsolved mystery from his youth. Growing up in the 80s in the poorer section of Dublin (the titular “Faithful Place”), Frank longed to escape a likely bleak future with his first love, Rose Daly. Rose’s father has a long-standing animosity toward the Mackey clan, so the two young lovers plan to secretly run off to London together one cold winter night. When Rose does not show up at their meeting place, Frank believes that she has abandoned him because of his family’s reputation. Devastated, he vows to never return and turns his back on his past. When Mackey learns that unidentified skeletal remains have been found in an abandoned Faithful Place house, he reluctantly comes back to his former home that holds nothing but bad memories for him and confronts a family that resents his departure. Frank needs to employ his undercover skills of dissembling and detachment to finally learn the truth about Rose’s disappearance. Faithful Place explores themes of family roles and obligations- what degree of loyalty and sense of responsibility is expected when someone comes from an abusive background? French is a fantastic writer who creates fully-formed characters and unflinchingly portrays the darkest issues that people too often must face. Each of the Dublin Murder Squad mysteries can stand alone but are enriched by each other. Many mystery and literary fiction fans extol French’s books as among the best written today, and new readers will find it difficult to resist reading them all.