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The Searcher: A Novel Hardcover – October 6, 2020
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New York Times |NPR | New York Post
"This hushed suspense tale about thwarted dreams of escape may be her best one yet . . . Its own kind of masterpiece." --Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post
"A new Tana French is always cause for celebration . . . Read it once for the plot; read it again for the beauty and subtlety of French's writing." --Sarah Lyall, The New York Times
Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.
"One of the greatest crime novelists writing today" (Vox) weaves a masterful, atmospheric tale of suspense, asking how to tell right from wrong in a world where neither is simple, and what we stake on that decision.
"Agnes's Place" by Marit Larsen
Agnes knows she is at home before she even opens her eyes in the morning. | Learn more
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The New York Times | Cosmopolitan | Buzzfeed | Bustle | E! News | Parade | The Washington Post | Vox | Entertainment Weekly | TIME | Vogue | Parade | CrimeReads | The Week | New York Post | The Millions | PopSugar | Kirkus | Publishers Weekly Top 10
"The west of Ireland looked good to Cal Hooper on the internet. But now that he’s living there, the rugged beauty of the region overwhelms him, as it will anyone reading Tana French’s The Searcher, an audacious departure for this immensely talented author… Not to be missed." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Tana French is… like a poet. She writes beautifully…If you haven’t read her yet, I really highly recommend that you do.” —Harlan Coben
“Taut, chiseled and propulsive." —Vogue
"French's writing here is on fire. Eerie and nuanced and spellbinding." —Fresh Air
“French avoids the fireworks of conventional crime fiction, instead taking a classic setup—the lone outsider revealing the dark side of a small town—and imbuing it with simmering menace. There’s also an unexpectedly moving friendship and storytelling so atmospheric you can practically smell the peat bogs.” —People
“The perfect cold-weather escape…French’s writing style is so unhurried and pleasurable…and every page smells and sounds like Ireland. At a time when travel is impossible and we’re spending more time at home, staying safe, it’s thrilling to be transported to another place entirely, gripped by suspense and a sense of danger as I turn the pages in my cozy lair.” —Glamour
“Nuanced and compelling.” —The New Yorker
“Thriller mastermind Tana French's . . . work is as consistently thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is entertaining...[In The Searcher] French finds interesting angles and dynamics, and her cast is, as always, wonderfully drawn." —The Los Angeles Times
"Vivid and poetic." —Associated Press
"French takes this standalone novel at a measured pace, easing readers into Cal's quiet life before the thrills unravel."—TIME
“The Searcher feels different from French’s previous books—there’s a sparseness to the setting that contrasts with the bustle of the Dublin Murder Squad, or even the gathered family in The Witch Elm—but is no less addictive; the pages practically turn themselves.” —The Seattle Times
"A creepy slow burn that focuses just as much on the central characters’ inner lives as on the mystery at the heart of the story . . .packed full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals.” —BuzzFeed
"All things atmospheric and mysterious, this one may keep you up past your bedtime.” — Cosmopolitan
"A moving new tale of friendship and healing, set in an Irish countryside populated with eccentrics, curmudgeons, and a hilariously weird British woman obsessed with fairies." —CrimeReads
"Evocative and lyrical, The Searcher is a mystery worth reading slowly to savor every perfectly rendered detail." —Bookpage
“It has everything you love–the suspense, the questions, the unraveling of lies…. obsessively fascinating.”—Marie Claire
“The queen of crime returns with a thriller about a retired Chicago police officer who discovers the sinister underbelly of a seemingly quaint Irish town.” —Entertainment Weekly
“In The Searcher, Tana French stakes out new territory: a rural Irish setting quite different from the urban and suburban Ireland of her previous works, and a central character who is an American . . . The Searcher blends qualities of French’s best novels, the first and third of her “Dublin Murder Squad” police procedurals . . .”—Los Angeles Review of Books
“Readers who share her interest in exploring the lives of flawed and compelling characters will find much to love in the atmospheric story of a retired cop who moves to Ireland for relaxation, only to be asked to find a missing teen.” – St Louis Post-Dispatch.
“As always, French’s prose is spellbinding and lyrical . . . The beautiful imagery combined with the dialect of the earthly, witty characters creates an appealing atmosphere that engages the reader . . ." – The Austin American-Statesman
“Insightful characterizations, even of minor figures, and a devastating reveal help make this a standout. Crime fiction fans won’t want to miss this one.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A slow-burn stunner that will keep readers turning the pages late into the night. Recommend to the author’s legions of fans, as well as those who enjoy crime fiction set in small towns like Julia Keller’s or Jane Harper’s novels.”—Library Journal, starred review
“In another stand-alone, French again displays impressive versatility…French skillfully builds suspense…a fine thriller, but also a moving story of an unlikely friendship that grows from refinishing a ramshackle desk to rebuilding two nearly broken lives.”—Booklist
“Just pre-order and call in sick for a couple days after October 6 when the book comes out.”—The Millions
“Deliver[s] plenty of twists, shocking revelations, and truly chilling moments.”—Kirkus
- Publisher : Viking; 1st edition (October 6, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 073522465X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0735224650
- Item Weight : 1.45 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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**Important to note; Cal could not just retire to Ireland, as an American he would have to apply for a Stamp Zero, he would need have an Irish CPA audit to verify that he had enough liquid assets (he did not) and prove he had health insurance, no criminal record, etc. he would only be approved for 1/2 to 1 year at a time and he would need to apply each time it expired and pay €300 each time. There would be NO guarantee of receiving the Stamp, even if he owned land. He would never in in a million years get a license to own a gun, he is not a citizen or on a long term visa.
(Don’t believe it? Check out the An Garda Síochána Immigration Bureau)
Stories must be grounded in fact in order to make them believable, this one is not.
Just poor research, poor character development and a far fetched story.
While I did enjoy the mystery, I am having great difficulty rating it positive.
LANGUAGE: After about the fifth “eff-word,” I did a search. More than 100. Mind you, for me, I can get dismiss the eff words and take the story for what it is. Heck, I enjoy Stephen King and Elmore Leonard. Still, one has to wonder about the editing...
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: That is where this writer scores well. Same for description and world building.
Four stars out of five.
I was quite put off by sections of the book where the author put speeches into characters’ mouths against political correctness and language policing, or had them expounding boringly about morals and manners. Bad examples of telling not showing. I don’t expect to be skipping multiple pages in a book by an author as talented and experienced as French.
Anyone else notice the resemblance between Trey and John Sandford’s Letty West (adopted daughter of Lucas Davenport and Weather)? Feral and fierce tomboy?
This book was mind of a mess. Really not her best work.
Top reviews from other countries
And when you see the ads like "mesmerising thriller," and "impossible
to put down," you just know you're on to a winner!
It's a cutesy little story...ex Chicago policeman moves to Ireland for a
quiet life, but a local boy goes missing....ex policeman interacts with the
locals...and searches for answers....and then...
It all peters out into a right old tame affair.
Even the come-uppance time never even materialises.
So I look around at these rave reviews, then look at mine, and I guess
I must be reading a totally different book to everyone else.
Time for me to quit reviewing.
The story is set in Ardnakelty a rural small town in Ireland, not that far from Dublin. Cal Hooper is an ex-detective from Chicago, who for a mixture of reasons buys a shack, last owned by Marie O’Shea some 15 years or so ago. The only active connection he now has with the States is with his daughter, Alyssa, whom he speaks to regularly on the phone. Renovating his living quarters is going to occupy him for some time ahead. However, all changes in his life when a 19-year-old, Brendan Reddy, the eldest child of Sheila Reddy goes missing. Despite his promise to himself to stay well clear of anything approaching his previous work, through the intervention of the sullen, independent and enigmatic Trey, another of the impoverished Sheila’s five children, he becomes increasingly involved in the search for the missing boy. Other characters give life to the small town, which to me often seems more like somewhere in the American South or mid-west than Ireland. A notable introduction is Cal’s closest neighbour, a self-confident, quick-witted older man around whom questions arise as the plot moves steadily forward. However, at the centre of all is the growing relationship between Cal and his visitor, Trey. This is really where the heart of the novel lies, far more than in the solution to the mystery of Brendan’s whereabouts.
It is an atmospheric novel, which needs the leisurely pacing to allow time for the people and place to draw in the reader. There are some striking incidents in advance of the climax, but rather like the very different Lord of the Rings, there are long waits between them. I hope to explore other of Tana French’s writing in the near future.
My test for knowing if I have read an excellent piece of fiction is to ask myself whether its world lingers in the imagination, like some after image when you shut your eyes to a strong light. It is the difference between an impeccably written work(which Tana French has surely produced ) and one that has had some magic imparted within it. By that standard, The Searcher got near, but did not quite succeed.
Many of the preceding pages had been spent building the relationships between characters and drawing their psychological hinterlands, in Cal Hooper's case, one of disillusionment and flight both from a career as a cop on the mean streets of Chicago, and from an unsalvageable marriage. I found it was hard work, I have to admit, and struggled to find myself caring enough about Cal or the youth, Trey, who will be the cause of Cal's reluctant return to crime solving in his adoptive home town of Ardnakelty.
Another slight disappointment was that the tale was built around an Irish version of a county lines trafficking operation, in which Hooper is entangled when Trey's brother Brendan, a gobby teenager with a precocious knowledge of chemistry (hat tip to Netflix's Breaking Bad?) upsets a Dublin gang. This was a modest plot, when you consider the palette available to paint scenes of suspense and darkness in a secretive, rural mountain community . This was no Wicker Man or Deliverance.
However, the writing style was engaging and the characters believable, so, on balance, a mom entertaining read!