“Of all the things which man can do or make here below, by far the most momentous, wonderful, and worthy are the things we call books.” ~ Thomas Carlyle
Mystery, suspense and police thriller readers, rejoice! This book is a rare delight – you will absolutely love every scrumptious word of the 464 pages. Stephen King called it “incandescent,” and we all know Stephen chooses his words carefully.
A beautiful young woman is found dead in her small cottage home in the Dublin neighborhood of Stoneybatter, apparently murdered in the midst of preparation for a romantic dinner for two. Antoinette Conway and her new partner Steve Moran, detectives on the Murder Squad, are assigned to the case. Suspicion immediately falls on her new boyfriend, Rory Fallon, who came early for the 8 o’clock dinner date and was unable to get Aislinn (Ash-lynn) Murray to come to the door or to answer his text messages. After about 30 minutes of trying everything while shivering in the cold, he chalked it up to another rejection and headed for home.
When Moran and Conway arrive at the scene, Conway is convinced she knows the victim from somewhere, but cannot
remember where. This inkling proves to be important in solving the case, as she later remembers Aislinn from Missing Persons, Conway’s post before she made it to Murder Squad. This realization is the beginning of the intricate plot that Ms. French has gifted us with in this lovely book. The characters are as complex as the plot and it a joy to see the story unfold in your mind as you read.
It is written in first person with Conway as the narrator. In the early part of the book she seems rather paranoid, never leaving her coffee cup on her desk when she leaves the room, putting her coat on the back of her chair, not hanging it on the coat rack. She is aware of conversations that abruptly end when she enters the area. But since she is the only female in the Murder Squad and has found her locker contents urinated on, her desk drawer jimmied, we come to understand there is a basis for the paranoia.
The relationship between Moran and Conway seems okay, but we know Conway doesn’t reallytrust any of the people in her squad, although Moran is there because she recommended him. So, there is a certain level of mutual respect. One of the most pleasing aspects of the book was watching their relationship grow.
As far as the storyline is concerned, to say it is complex is a profound understatement. The web of interconnections that Ms. French brings to life in this book is astounding. She is quite simply a genius storyteller. If you liked the surprises in “Gone Girl,” you will adore “The Trespasser.” Conway is a strong, independent, no-nonsense person but her paranoia about work relationships, and her family situation with her mother make her vulnerable/relatable to the reader. The story covers a time period of a week and boy, what a week it turns out to be. Not until the very final 10 pages of so of the book do we find out for sure who did it, how and why.
“The Trespasser” is #6 in the Dublin Murder Squad series but it is not necessary to have read any of the previous books to enjoy this. The books have overlapping characters but each features different detectives in the squad. When I enjoy a book this much, I always think it should be made into a movie or TV miniseries. Apparently, Paramount had an option on one of the books, but they didn’t make the movie and the option expired. Some UK TV producers picked it up as well as the TV rights to the first three books (“In The Woods,” “The Likeness,” “Faithful Place”). Not sure when it will air here in the States.
This book is available at all the major vendors in hardcover, large print, e-book, and audio. My rating is 4.9. I was given a galley of this title by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Happy Halloween – celebrate safely!
Maggie Gust has been an avid reader all her life. Her past includes working as a teacher, as well as various occupations in the healthcare field. She shares a hometown, Springfield, Illinois, with Abraham Lincoln, but Florida has been her home since 1993. Genealogy, reading, movies and writing are among her favorite activities. She is self-employed and works from her Naples home. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or maggiesbookinblog.com.