This is the third in French’s “Dublin Murder Squad” series, but as far as I can tell, there isn’t really a sequential order these need to be read in. There’s no connection between the three, other than some of the same characters pop up. I saw it more of a connection between “In the Woods” and “The Likeness” than in this one. Frank Mackey is kind of a lone wolf, and had a fairly tragic childhood. He’s drawn back to his home, on Faithful Place, when a suitcase is discovered, belonging to Frank’s girlfriend with whom he was supposed to run away. The problem is, she never showed that night. There was a note, which explained things, then. She ran away on her own, without him. But finding the suitcase means that she never did, in fact, run.
When her body is found stashed in the same derelict home where her suitcase was found, it becomes apparent that Rosie was murdered. Frank’s brother Kevin is discovered dead a few days later, having gone out the window at the same home in Faithful Place where Rosie’s body was found. Frank, who is an undercover cop himself, entrusts the Murder squad to discover who killed Rosie and his brother. However, the path they take, and the truth he discovers, don’t exactly match up.
The novel explores both the murder mystery, as well as Frank’s relationship with his highly dysfunctional family. French expertly weaves in enough action and dialogue to keep the story moving, and yet provide insight into the past of the Mackey family and the bad blood with Rosie’s family. Each layer Frank uncovers adds more insight into why Rosie and Kevin may have been murdered.
I can’t say I was totally shocked to find out who was guilty, but the motivation was a twist I didn’t see coming. I am a huge fan of French’s novels, and will read her next one soon!