The Searcher

by Tana French | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 9780735224650 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 9/30/2020
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, September 30, 2020
I love French's "Dublin Murder" books, starting with In the Woods, and was curious about her newest stand-alone thriller. Got this hardcover at Toadstool Books in its new Nashua location.

Later: while the "Dublin Murder" books are still my favorites, I really enjoyed this one. It introduces Cal Hooper, a former Chicago cop who's moved to a remote Irish village in the aftermath of a bitter divorce, and is trying to build himself a new life in these lovely and tranquil surroundings. But there are dark elements in this place - from the casual cruelties of nature (the story opens with Cal observing rooks tearing apart a young rabbit) to those of people. Oh, in the beginning Cal uses his well-honed observational skills to work out some of the cliques in the town, noticing some probably-drug-business-related folk who don't quite fit in with the locals, and in general enjoying a detached view of all this as a welcome relief from a job where he'd have to do something about it. But when a scruffy local kid starts haunting his place and eventually asks Cal to help search for the kid's missing older brother, Cal finds himself involved in a new case - though without any of the official sanction or backup to conduct a proper investigation.

The lush descriptions make the setting come alive, whether it's on balmy days or misty, rainy ones, and the cast of characters grows more colorful as Cal learns more about them. The village busybody who's oh-so-helpfully trying to hook Cal up with her widowed sister, the eccentric neighbor whom Cal strategically befriended early on, knowing how important it would be to show himself willing to become a part of the community, the roistering group of farmers and retirees at the local pub, and of course the scruffy and half-wild kid Trey... The book definitely made me feel as if I'd visited there.

Cal's an interesting character - American in an Irish setting, from a crowded city but with a youth spent in the North Carolina woods, so he's not as fish-out-of-water as one might have expected. His combination of skills, which also include a fondness for do-it-yourself tasks such as carefully rebuilding a battered old desk, make him appealingly competent - and even when we learn more about his estrangement from his wife and daughter, some of which is clearly due to his own mistaken views of how to be a good husband/father, he remains sympathetic.

There are some surprises in the story - both for Cal and for the reader - and some growing suspense as Cal's investigations ruffle some feathers in dangerous quarters. Will he find out what happened to the missing young man, and will he manage it without wrecking his relationship with his new neighbors?

The only part of the book that disappointed me at all was the main mystery, which turned out to be rather mundane, however tragic the consequences were. And even there, I found the way it all played out to be so well-balanced that I could feel Cal's emotions.

While I'd like to see French revisit some of her Dublin Murder Squad characters in future, I expect I'll pick up whatever she writes next!

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, November 19, 2020

Released 2 mos ago (11/19/2020 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I'm sending this to BCer dabercro, to fill a wish for the US/Canada wishlist tag game. Enjoy!

*** Released for the 2020 The The challenge. ***

Journal Entry 3 by dabercro at Clinton, Utah USA on Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Arrived in today's mail. Thanks for the tag.

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