Tuesday, August 19, 2014
The Secret Place: A Review
All that to say, when Dana suggested I read In the Woods by Tana French, I was not running right out to buy it. However, Dana insisted I would love it, and 9 times out of 10, that girl is right about me and books. I read it. I was hooked. I read every novel Tana had out and then started stalking Net Galley in hopes of snagging her next one.
And I did!
I started reading The Secret Place last weekend, but Corey was out of town so I stopped until he got home. Her books don't scare me the way I thought they would, but reading about an unsolved murder while all alone in the dark didn't seem wise.
I finished yesterday.
It was every bit as good as her other books. But also different, which is another thing I appreciate about Tana's stories. Each one is very much it's own. You do not need to have read the others, but if you have read the others, you will pick up some extra atmosphere and detail. Each new story has some sliver of connection to the last. Usually, a side character from the last book becomes a main character in the next book. In this case, you get two side characters from the last book, Detective Moran and Holly Mackey.
The setting in The Secret Place is ripe for drama - hello, all girls school. It touched on the kind of friendship I dreamed about as a teen girl and also the intricate and often dangerous relationship dynamics of teen girls in cliques.
Every time I was certain I knew who did it, one tiny detail would be revealed and I'd have to question myself. By the end, I somewhat figured it out, but not entirely. That's a good mystery to me. I don't want to be totally blindsided with, "Oh, actually, that guy from chapter 1 did it, even though the story gave you NO INDICATION that was possible." A good writer leads the reader. Sometimes she leads you in the wrong direction and then draws you back, but when you get the answer, you should be able to see the trail of clues left behind you.
As usual, Tana is amazing.
And the best part?
The book starts with the popular girls being dubbed The Daleks. I laughed out loud and tweeted about it immediately. Whovians rule the world, y'all.
Oh, and, after reading one of Tana's books, I go around saying "arse" and "bollix." You've been warned.