The Secret Place by Tana French

The Secret Place by Tana French Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Format: Paperback
Published: 9th April 2015
Amazon | Goodreads

Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to get a foot in the door of Dublin’s Murder Squad—and one morning, sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey brings him this photo. The Secret Place, a board where the girls at St. Kilda’s School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

I’ve always just assumed that I don’t like crime novels, apart from the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith I haven’t found any crime books I’ve liked. But I think the problem is I’ve been reading bad crime books. Because I really enjoyed this. It was less CSI-ey and more people talking to people trying to work out what happened. It was more a book about problem solving and I really liked that.

The only thing I noticed (and this may just be me and not a problem with the editing) was towards the beginning of the book someone mentions the fact that the girls in this school are not allowed to have phones with them. However the girls having phones is a large part of this mystery. In fact the girls having phones is an extremely important part of this novel. I can’t tell if I misread something or if this was a plot bunny that the editors missed.

The only other tiny thing that annoyed me was with all the references to Facebook and WTF amazeballs not to mention Voldemort this felt like a very modern book, so the fact that these girls were using flip phones felt very out of place. I realise I’m getting picky here but it’s been at least 10 years since I saw someone use a flip phone. However apart from those little problems I really enjoyed this book. In fact I enjoyed it so much I think I’m going to read Tana French’s other books.

Buy The Secret Place on Amazon

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*I received a copy of this book from Hodder Paperbacks in exchange for an honest review.


10 thoughts on “The Secret Place by Tana French

  1. I, too, love Tana French, but don’t consider myself someone who loves to read crime novels. I stumbled upon her book, In the Woods, then went back and read all her books. They do have a bit of a backstory going on, so I recommend starting back with her first, then reading them in order. Each one can stand alone, but I think you’ll enjoy them more in order.

  2. I recently read her Broken Harbour and thought it was pretty good. One thing I don’t like much about many crime novels is that it seems the writer is focusing so much on the puzzle and hiding the clues that the characters are flat or stereotypical. French’s characters aren’t like that; they’re much more human and complicated.

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