Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2017
This is the first novel I've read by Tana French, and I loved it! Though crime fiction/thrillers aren't a genre I've read extensively in my reading career, this is one of the best ones I have read. (Dark Places by Flynn is another one of my favorites.) In previous crime fiction type novels I have read, it felt like a drag reading the interviews of suspects and waiting for them to figure it out, but I was really stumped the whole time during this novel and wanted to keep reading to find out the truth. French does this intricately by weaving a story that is difficult to put together when none of the teen girls will talk.

The concept of friendship in the novel is authentic: teenage girls feel like friends are everything, and sometimes they will do anything to protect their best friends. I laughed at the dialogue between the friends and between teenagers and parents because it was so realistic and I could imagine them saying those things with the inflection that French wrote it with. The girls are sassy and brutally honest (not about everything), which made the dialogue really authentic for me.

I don't know that the girls in the novel would honestly avoid talking about such a big elephant in the room like they did in the story, but there are definitely always secrets in friend groups, and I think French highlighted that appropriately and realistically. I felt for Selena's heartbreak, but again, I thought it was unlikely (as did the detectives) that her friends would do nothing to comfort her.

I didn't understand some of the supernatural things in the story like the thing with the lights and Chris's ghost, but those things seemed to play out and fit in the story in the end, so I appreciated the closure.

French created memorable characters across the board--detectives to teenagers. The plot kept me reading, and it was surprising to me to find out the truth when all the stories were untangled.
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