A Review: The Likeness by Tana French

Moving towards the finish line on the RIP VI Challenge, I picked up Tana French's The Likeness.  Having read the first and the third of the Dublin Murder Squad series, I had this one sitting on my shelf for quite some time and thought it was the perfect novel to help me works towards completion.

The premise: Cassandra Maddox, a leading player in the first novel, In the Woods, has decided to dive, head first, into the world of the undercover agent.  Taking the place of a murdered victim, who she almost identically resembles, Cassie must take residence in a brilliant Irish country house, with the deceased's closest friends. Cassie must maintain her role, in order to track down her killer, without forming attachments, despite the allure of the fellowship the four offer.  True to the genre, expect characters to crawl out of the wood work, and twists and turns that complicate matters to the extreme.

The novel, was, for the most part, completely unrealistic. When you begin, you'll certainly question whether or not someone, who, in every sense of the word creepy, looks just like you, could fool your closest friends or family. I'd like to believe that I have certain quirks that no one could ever recreate. However, for the purpose of the story, I was able to suspend disbelief and join the party.

There's something about French's language that is almost indescribable for me.  It's exciting and draws my attention. It's well crafted and funny. I usually don't want to put it down but almost always end up doing so just so I don't finish too soon.  The characters are highly excitable, infectious even, despite their obnoxious commentary and mostly disagreeable attitudes.  Furthermore, she's able to create unique voices that clearly define each character, making the story much more engaging.  She spends her time delicately balancing between setting up the landscape, the characters and the action, leading to an ultimately enjoyable, thrilling read.

It may not be as solid as some readers prefer, but I found it highly entertaining and quite witty.  I found that this particular title had more closure than the first or third novels in the series, which may persuade readers to pick this up instead.  While you don't have to read them in order, I find that it's probably good advice.

3 of 4 RIP VI Challenge Reads 
(Although, I think I might have just added two more considering I'm doing so well so far!) Stay tuned for my review of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which I'll be finishing up in the very near future.)


  1. You are cruising through RIP! The way you describe French's prose really makes me want to pick up In The Woods, which I swore I would do this RIP but didn't.

  2. Love your review! In The Woods has been sitting on my shelf for a while, but now I'm more excited to pick it up. I've always been a sucker for engaging writing even when the story isn't very believable.

  3. Brenna, I am. Only one more to go and I'm sure to finish The Night Circus within the next day or so. In The Woods wasn't a favorite of mine but it's a good starting point with the series.

    Jenna, Let me know and I'll lend it to you if finish In The Woods soon.


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