- I'm a fan of Tana French's first two novels and was eager to read her latest, Faithful Place. Like the two previous novels, this one has a definite dark edge, but if the edge in the previous novels was a knife blade, the edge in this one is more like an ax.
Francis was crushed on discovering a note that indicates Rosie went to London without him. Nevertheless, he made his own escape, if not from Dublin, at least from his family and his past. He cut all ties with his alcoholic and abusive father, his unpleasant, weird mother, and his siblings until eventually he and his youngest sister develop a friendship
It is his sister Jackie who calls him one night twenty-two years later to tell him that a suitcase belonging to Rosie was found stuffed in the fireplace opening of a derelict house scheduled to be torn down.
Like it or not, Francis must return and try to untangle old relationships and discover what happened to Rosie.
Dysfunctional is an overused term that can mean so many different things. The Mackey's qualify at the worst end of dysfunctional. Given the extent of craziness in the household, it is almost a miracle that any of the children managed normal lives. Each of the children bear scars and suffer damage, but some more so than others.
I didn't like Faithful Place as much as the previous two novels. It was much more brutal. Not the description of the crime, but the family relationships, which were so twisted, so mired in anger and bitterness.
Despite the fact that this in not my favorite of French's 3 novels, French does a masterful job of communicating the warped family relationships, the sense of poverty, the substance abuse, the violence both verbal and physical, and the frustrations and sense of hopelessness of the Mackey family and many of their neighbors.
Fiction. Mystery/ Crime. 2010. 400 pages.