Thursday, August 27, 2015

You probably haven't heard of it, but... The Likeness by Tana French

**author's note: I'm bad at keeping up with things. I'm even worse at remembering to take photos. Don't judge me. Enjoy book reviews every other week instead!**

There's not much more I dislike than a really long book series. Raise your hand if you have felt personally victimized by authors such as J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and Patrick Rothfuss (good God, man. Can you please just come out with the 3rd book already?!). If you're late to the game, you have to figure out what the first book is and where to find it and if it's even part of a series. Authors, can you help us out here? Can you say, "Book 1" and so on? It'll make my life so much easier. It's a headache and most endings of a series leave me a little traumatized and confused (I'm looking at you, Harry Potter). 

Do the above sentiments resemble everything you've ever thought about a book series? Then I have the gal for you.

Tana French is an Irish novelist who specializes in not making me want to punch babies. She wrote a book in 2007 entitled In the Woods and I was definitely not paying attention at that time, despite working in a bookstore. I didn't pick up a Tana French book until about a year ago, and it's the book you see above, The Likeness. I had never really gotten into mystery books, despite loving Nancy Drew and the Olsen Twin's Detective movies (don't judge). The reason I love this woman so much is that she has 5 books surrounding the same people and yet, they're all different stories. 

That's right. Tana French follows a few people from the Dublin Homicide Department and you can read her books in any damn order that you want. Each book follows one specific person on one specific case, but usually mentions the other main characters from the other books.

The Likeness follows Cassie Maddox, who was briefly introduced in the first book in her series (I later learned). Her team found a dead woman. A dead woman that is Cassie's doppelgänger. Instead of doing what most detectives do, such as investigate the murder, Cassie's team decides that the best idea would be to insert Cassie into Lexie's life... As Lexie. Basically, everyone pretends that this dead chick isn't dead, just SUPER badly hurt (this way, she can fake amnesia when she forgets things) and hope that the killer comes forward and is like, "Whoa, I thought I killed you." 

Yeah. That doesn't happen.

Even though that's one of the worst ideas ever, this book actually really works with it. You get to see Cassie become more and more involved with the suspects of Lexie's murder and you, of course, become more and more involved with them as well. What makes a really good twist is when it hurts the most and Tana French certainly delivers.

After I read this book, I went backwards and read her other ones. They're fantastic. French keeps me guessing until the very end and most books leave me wanting to re-read the whole thing to see if I can catch all the little signs that the murderer gave throughout the story. This book was also the first "grown up" mystery novel I ever read and I'm so very thankful. Since then, I've become enthralled with the mystery genre, despite it pissing me off 99% of the time.

So if you have any recommendations, let me know in the comment section!