French, Tana. The Likeness.
I was so delighted to realize that Cassie from In the Woods was the protagonist in The Likeness. Rob gets a few mentions, but doesn't figure into the story, although Sam does.
This one was even better! Cassie is still trying to recover from all of the fallout from Operation Vestal in the previous book. Six months later, a woman identified as Lexie Madison is found dead. Lexie Madison was Cassie's identity when she worked undercover. Weird enough, since the identity was created out of whole cloth by Cassie and Frank, her boss at the time, but stranger still is the fact that the woman appears to have been Cassie's physical double.
Once again, Cassie slips back into the identity of Lexie Madison, but this Lexie has a different personality. Lexie's housemates are told that she survived the attack, and Cassie begins studying to assume Lexie's role before she moves in and attempts to discover who is responsible. This undercover situation, however, is one that Cassie begins to enjoy. She likes her housemates, she loves the house, she really enjoys the relaxed and intellectual lifestyle that these five individuals are living.
Once again, French manages to separate the reader from any questions about the believability of the plot by creating characters that seem fully-fleshed and achingly alive. Her evocative language, her poetic descriptions of the individuals, the setting, and the events enmesh the reader completely.
The book is long, not entirely plausible (nor was In the Woods), and entirely entertaining.
And there will be another one. French is working on a book that features Frank, the undercover fella'.
Other reviews: To the Lighthouse , Hey Lady, Whatcha Readin'?, Bookgirl's Nightstand -- I know that Ann of About this Blog has read The Likeness, but I couldn't find the review.
And, by the way, Hey Lady, Whatcha Readin'? is offering a give-away copy.
This is an interview with Tana French about In the Woods.
Fiction. Mystery. 2008. 466 pages.