JOPLIN, Mo. —
By Tana French (audiobook)
Frank Mackey spent his childhood in a tenement on a street called Faithful Place, a poverty-ridden slum in Dublin. The flats were so close together that everyone knew their neighbors’ business.
Frank’s dysfunctional family consisted of an alcoholic and abusive father, a domineering and critical mother, and two sisters and two brothers. None of them liked each other very much.
As the novel opens, Frank is waiting outside No. 16 Faithful Place for Rosie Daly. The young couple have been carrying on a secret romance for several months. They plan to elope in London to get away from their families and create a better life.
Frank waited patiently for Rosie at the appointed meeting place, but she never appeared. He gave up after he found a note that made it sound as if Rosie had changed her mind and gone to London without him. Frank went ahead, took the plunge, left his family that night, and went to live in different area of Dublin.
Flash forward 22 years: Frank is now an undercover detective with the Dublin Murder Squad. He was married to Olivia, a successful young lawyer, but they are now divorced and have a 9-year-old daughter named Holly. Frank has never wanted to expose Holly to his dysfunctional family, so he has never taken her to meet them.
Frank’s peaceful existence is shattered one evening when he receives a frantic call from his sister Jackie, the only member of his family with whom he has kept in touch during his 22-year absence. Jackie tells him that Rosie’s suitcase has been discovered in flat No. 16, Faithful Place.
Despite his misgivings about returning to his childhood home and his dread at seeing his family after all these years, Frank wants to know what happened to Rosie. Is she alive as he has always assumed, or did something happen to her to keep her from meeting him that fateful night?
Frank calls the police about the suitcase, but the police inform him that he cannot take part in the investigation into Rosie’s disappearance. After all, if there was foul play, he could be the prime suspect.
However, he does manage to manipulate a young detective, Stephen Moran, into doing some investigative work for him. With Stephen’s aid, Frank manages to put the pieces of the 22-year-old puzzle together.
Tana French has written a powerful psychological crime story. It is more of a literary story, not a typical fast-paced thriller but it is still a tale that makes it hard to press “stop” on the CD player.
A master at storytelling, French vividly describes a dark and creepy Dublin and provides dimension to the characters. French’s use of first-person narration by Frank works very well in this novel. The tension builds as Frank gets closer to the truth.
The use of Irish accents and dialogue by the audiobook’s narrator, Tim Gerard Reynolds, contributes enormously to the story. This is the second time I have listened to “Faithful Place” in audio format, and I highly recommend it.
The novel is available in compact disc, Playaway, and book formats at the Joplin Public Library. I just finished listening to French’s “In the Woods” and I am just starting “The Likeness,” which has already hooked me. The three novels comprise the Dublin Murder Squad series. Tana French is an extremely talented author, and her novels are quite addictive.
Phyllis Seesengood is the technical services librarian at Joplin Public Library.
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Strolling season: As Third Thursday returns, organizers make changes to emphasize art
Since the second year of its existence, Kristen Girard has missed only one Third Thursday. The jeweler, who creates handmade jewelry under her business Kristin's Laboratory, has seen the crowds grow since that second year.
Bentonville exhibit features African-American artists
An exhibit featuring some of the nation's pre-eminent African-America artists will be featured in Bentonville next week.
Joe Hadsall: Close-up episodes important for TV shows' growth
Judging from the howling I hear from friends who love "The Walking Dead," last week's milquetoast Oscars were slightly more exciting than a snoozer episode featuring Daryl and Beth.
Special projects help teens, tweens take advantage of spring break
Spring break is set to start next week for several schools throughout the region, including Joplin and Pittsburg, Kan. In a prelude to summer, kids will get a chance to unwind and relax a bit before entering the school year's home stretch.
Ann Leach: Stray cats teach wise lessons about faith
Take the three feral cats who have adopted me and my significant other. I almost added the comedic "Please!" after that line, but I wouldn't have meant it. These cats entertain us when we need it most; I'd hate to see them go.
Rich Brown: Joplin woman stays active at 100
Gail Boatman was 38 years old when she moved to Joplin. She had already put in 20 years of cross-country travel with her husband, Don Earl, in the ministry.
Jeremiah Tucker: New documentary gives detailed look at rural poverty
Halfway through "Rich Hill," a new documentary about three boys growing up in the titular rural town about an 80-minute drive from Joplin, Harley, an angry 15-year-old who loves knives and can barely suppress his anger when his grandmother balks at using their food stamps to buy his Monster energy drinks, is walking alone on Halloween night.
Benji Tunnell: 'Peabody' continues run of great animated movies
We haven't exactly seen that kick in yet, but we've seen something almost as good: intelligent family entertainment that doesn't pander to children, but instead offers something to be enjoyed by all ages.
Joe Hadsall: #GlobePhoneTest reviews will evaluate how well mobile devices work
The smartphones available today are the definition of diversity. From all-in-one powerhouses to specifically customized tools with a clear specialty, the devices fit into our lives in so many ways -- or sometimes not at all.
- Parents' planner (March 13-19)
- More Lifestyles Headlines
- Strolling season: As Third Thursday returns, organizers make changes to emphasize art