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The Likeness New York Times bestselling author Tana French, author of The Witch Elm, is “the most important crime novelist to emerge in the pastyears” The Washington Post and “inspires cultic devotion in readers” The New Yorker“Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting” —The New York TimesIn the “compellingˮ The Boston Globe and “pitch perfectˮ Entertainment Weekly followup to Tana French’s runaway bestseller In the Woods, itʼs six months later and Cassie Maddox has transferred out of the Dublin Murder Squad with no plans to go back—until an urgent telephone call summons her to a grisly crime scene The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used as an undercover cop Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, important, who was this girl?

10 thoughts on “The Likeness

  1. says:

    I’ll never be free of her. I wear her face; as I get older it’ll stay her changing mirror, the one glimpse of all the ages she never had. I lived her life, for a few strange bright weeks; her blood went into making me what I am, the same way it went to make the bluebells and the hawthorn tree
    Some books hurt. They squeeze your chest, they make your eyes sting with unshed tears. It's a rare author who is able to evoke that kind of emotion in their readers, and I can only say that reading Tana French always brings a stab of exquisite pain to my heart.

    It's ridiculous, really. It's so incredible. She is one of my favorite authors, and for me, there's just no words for how stupidly wonderful I find her books, because I have not the talent with words that she has. I can't adequately sum up my emotions for her books except to say, from the bottom of my heart, that I love them, utterly.

    I have the shortest attention span with books. I read them once. I enjoy them, or not. I forget about them. Re-reading anything is a rare, rare, rarer than once-in-a-blue-moon event with me, and yet I've found myself going back to her books time and time again. Exquisite. I can't describe it as anything less than that.

    Like Rob Ryan in the previous book in this series, our main character, Cassie Maddox is broken. Broken, damaged characters within literature are a dime a dozen. It is up to the skill of the author to make them truly believable, and I fell in love with Cassie as I did with Rob. She feels like a sister, someone I want to hold and protect against the harshness of the world. Like Rob, Cassie has a darkness inside her that made her former position with the Undercover squad so exhilarating.
    Some people are undercovers all the way to the bone; the job has taken them whole.

    I was never afraid of getting killed and I was never afraid of losing my nerve. My kind of courage holds up best under fire; it’s different dangers, more refined and insidious ones, that shake me. But the other things: I worried about those. Frank told me once—and I don’t know whether he’s right or not, and I didn’t tell Sam this either—that all the best undercovers have a dark thread woven into them, somewhere.
    This book is about Cassie. Yes, we get a few brief mentions of Rob, but he is not the focus. This is a good thing, because it shows that Cassie is strong, she is able to move on, and this, after all, is her story.

    They say that everyone has a double, somewhere; Cassie may have found hers, only that twin is dead. Her former boss, Frank, with his rather sadistic and unconventional streak, wants Cassie to go undercover as the dead girl. Infiltrate an impenetrable group of friends - and the thrill, the need for an answer is too much temptation for our girl. She goes into it with trepidation, excitement.

    And beyond all expectations, Cassie finds so much more than a mystery to be solved.
    It was as if none of the jagged edges had ever existed; it was close and warm and shining as that first week again, only better, a hundred times better, because this time I wasn’t on the alert and fighting to get my bearings and stay in place. This time I knew them all by heart, their rhythms, their quirks, their inflections, I knew how to fit in with every one; this time I belonged.
    This is a story about love. About the love of friendship and family, arguably more important than romantic love itself. Anyone who has never felt like they belonged will know this feeling, that there's nothing like the feeling of finding your place among others, and that's what Cassie finds here.

    I know I am doing a shit job of describing the book. There is just so much depth to it that I am out of my depths trying to describe it. Just please, please, read this and judge for yourself.

  2. says:

    (B+) 77% | Good
    Notes: Promises dark and edgy but turns up blunt. Its holdover heroine's not nearly as interesting not being commented on.

  3. says:

    There are times when trying on someone else's life for size seems like a very tempting idea. But how do you not lose yourself in it?

    This book shredded my heart into tiny little pieces.

    It made me reexperience that hollow, empty, lonely, lost feeling you have when you remember the intense and seemingly 'forever' friendships that have somehow, inexplicably just disintegrated.

    It made me miss people who once were crucial in my life - and are not there any more, for one reason or another. And I miss them.

    Here is one of my favorite quotes by Stephen King, another author who is excellent at depicting real friendship:

    Maybe there aren't any such things as good friends or bad friends - maybe there are just friends, people who stand by you when you're hurt and who help you feel not so lonely. Maybe they're always worth being scared for, and hoping for, and living for. Maybe worth dying for too, if that's what has to be. No good friends. No bad friends. Only people you want, need to be with; people who build their houses in your heart.

    The Likeness is the second book in the series by Tana French, focusing on Cassie Maddox, the partner of Detective Rob Ryan from her first book, In The Woods. It's a rather standalone work, however, despite being a part of a series. The only reason you should even read In The Woods before this one is to appreciate the intense friendship that Cassie once shared with Rob, and her emotional scars and utter emptiness in the aftermath of the death of their friendship.
    I used to think I sewed us together at the edges with my own hands, pulled the stitches tight and I could unpick them any time I wanted. Now I think it always ran deeper than that and farther, underground; out of sight and way beyond my control.
    This book is not about Rob; he is only here in Cassie's memories. It is about Cassie Maddox, the kickass Detective who in an attempt to pull herself together is on the verge of her own downward spiral, who in the attempt of recapturing of what she once had and creating something that she never had almost loses herself and everything that matters to her. Yes, just like In The Woods, The Likeness is less of a crime whodunit (honestly, there's no reason why you would not figure out the killer's identity halfway through the book) and much more of a psychological f*ckery story, the attempt to explore people's inner desires and inner darkness - and the consequences of that.
    I wanted to tell her that being loved is a talent too, that it takes as much guts and as much work as loving; that some people, for whatever reason, never learn the knack.
    If you have a problem with an unbelievable premise, this book will frustrate you to no end. Luckily for me, I can easily accept the unbelievable setup (after all, one of my favorite writers is China Miéville - 'nuff said). Cassie Maddox needs to go Undercover - to impersonate a dead woman who, by a strange coincidence, happens to be Cassie's almost perfect mirror image, the titular Likeness. And she needs to do that in front of dead woman's friends - her surrogate family. Not to mention that the dead woman in question has herself been impersonating Cassie's long-forgotten undercover identity from the past. Still with me? Still willing to see what happens next? Then this book should be just fine for you.

    Unbelievable premise or not, once Cassie gets into the middle of action... Actually, scratch that. The whole point is Cassie getting away from the action and smack into the middle of an unusually intense family-like friendship that seems so old-fashioned and tranquil and based on the defiance of the rules of this fast-paced commercialized world.
    Our entire society is based on discontent. People wanting more and more and more. Being constantly dissatisfied with their homes, their bodies, their décor, their clothes, everything – taking it for granted that that’s the whole point of life. Never to be satisfied. If you are perfectly happy with what you got, especially if what you got isn’t even all the spectacular then you’re dangerous. You’re breaking all the rules. You’re undermining the sacred economy. You’re challenging every assumption that society is built on.

    Daniel, Abby, Justin and Rafe. And Lexie/Cassie - still broken over Rob. This environment becomes seductive. It is beautiful - and yet with every page, right after seducing you into loving this quintet and giving them your heart, Tana French builds up a feeling of the inevitable doom of all of this, of the darkness lurking right under the surface, of the fleeting nature of everything that Cassie comes to hold dear in this new life. And this hurts - hurts a lot since French is so excellent at making you really CARE about her characters.
    Regardless of the advertising campaigns may tell us, we can't have it all. Sacrifice is not an option, or an anachronism; it's a fact of life. We all cut off our own limbs to burn on some altar. The crucial thing is to choose an altar that's worth it and a limb you can accept losing. To go consenting to the sacrifice.
    Cassie Maddox is a lovely character. Hurt and broken, ready to latch onto something that has a promise of life and hope for her - and yet fiercely strong, independent and very capable. This is a woman who is shown to value true friendship and know love that is not exclusively romantic (unlike so many female protagonists in modern literature). She is a person who I'd be honored to be friends with, who I'd love to spend my evenings with, sipping wine and swapping stories (I'd skip on chain-smoking, however - just reading about the never-ending unfiltered cigarettes smoking makes me want to cough and get a chest x-ray to look for lung cancer).
    This much is mine, though: everything I did[...] Someone else may have dealt the hand, but I picked it up off the table, I played every card, and I had my reasons.

    I would've decided exactly the same way if you'd been standing right here, I said. I'm a big girl, Sam. I don't need protecting.

    This is how I kept imagining the house they all lived in - the cross between these two.

    And Ireland - I love French's portrayal of Ireland, allowing me to feel like I actually know something about this country, allowing me to feel a bit of its spirit and heart, both good and bad aspects of it. The little mentions of Irish women having to take the ship to England if they wanted an abortion for instance - I actually had no idea, and this threw in a little reality check on my newly developed love for Irish landscapes. Or the frequent allusions to the consequences of the economic boom - the unaffordable housing, the dead-end jobs, the worship of money - all thrown in the middle of the story, firmly grounding it in the 'real world' - the concept that some of the characters of this story do have an issue with. This portrayal of Ireland, the setting of the scene for the story is so nicely achieved, creating an immersing atmosphere, and I applaud French for job well-done.

    Tana French paints a vivid and beautiful scenery in this book. She creates moods that are almost palpable, dripping with life. She may be a bit wordy at times - but somehow that does not seem excessive. And her characterization is just superb, in my humbled opinion.
    I wanted to tell her that being loved is a talent too, that it takes as much guts and as much work as loving; that some people, for whatever reason, never learn the knack.
    I loved this book even though it has stolen quite a few hours of sleep from me. I loved everything about it, even the sadness it made me feel at the end. I will miss it, and it will stay with me for quite a long time. 5 stars.
    And here is my review for the first book in the series, In the Woods.
    The third book in the series, Faithful Place, is reviewed here. And you can find the review for Broken Harbour, the fourth book in the series, right here. My review of the fifth book, The Secret Place, is here.

  4. says:

    This is the second Tana French novel I've read in just over a week and I have to say I'm rapidly becoming a big fan. The Likeness is an excellent story that is about psychology at least as much as (if not more than) it is about a murder mystery. Like In The Woods, the book's greatest weakness is also perhaps its greatest strength: the comprehensive portrait of the characters and their personalities.

    French makes certain you know your narrator almost as well as you know yourself. Their habits, fears, background, influences and desires are gradually laid out before you as the story progresses. And despite some of the far-fetched plot elements, Cassie Maddox and her life seemed very real to me. But it's not just the main character who gets such treatment - French builds up a detailed personality for everyone she introduces to make them seem like not just an accessory to the plot, but a person with thoughts, feelings and a past. It's a technique carried out by a number of authors to varying degrees of success but French's novels are my personal favourite so far. It only becomes a weakness when the plot stalls so we can explore the characters and I'm longing to know where the mystery will go next.

    The actual idea proposed by French here is rather ludicrous. A girl looking exactly like Detective Cassie Maddox turns up dead. And not only that, but the girl has assumed the fake identity which Cassie had played the part of a few years previously. Coincidences like this surely do not actually happen. Cassie then goes undercover as the girl - Lexie Madison - into the home she shares with four other students and attempts to find clues that will lead the police towards her killer. Somehow, however, it doesn't seem to matter that the idea is totally unbelievable, Cassie in herself is convincing enough to carry this story.

    We are soon dragged into a The Secret History-type set-up where we are introduced to an isolated circle of intelligent and weird students. In my opinion, though, I found these characters and the story a lot more entertaining and realistic than those in The Secret History. Perhaps because their obsessions were with living simply and each other rather than a subject. It becomes clear straight away that something is not quite right in the house and that there are a number of secrets being kept. But does this mean one of them is the killer?

    Again French shows the mental impact of an investigation on her characters. Cassie finds herself becoming increasingly involved on a very personal level and discovers just how hard it is to become someone without feeling a certain attachment to their life and friends. In the end, even Cassie's loyalties to the police force are tested - what if she could have what she's always wanted by being Lexie Madison? A family, people who love her, a sense of security... would she want to give that up and go back to the stresses of her job?

    One last note: Sam. Look, you're adorable and everything and I really don't want to see you get hurt... but I'm holding out for Cassie and Rob. That's all I have to say to you. Please, Ms French?

  5. says:

    okay, i enjoyed this tana french book much more than the first one. and against all odds; the premise of this book is so staggeringly unbelievable.check it out: so there's a murrrrrder, and the body is that of a young woman who looks just like detective cassie maddox! awesome! so why doesn't she just pretend to be the murdered girl, slip unnoticed into her life, and take it from there? because, dummy, her life is made up solely of a group of four other insular postgrad nerds who reside in a huge crumbling house together, and live only for each other without any boundary issues, and with the fiercely intense loyalty that's mostly only seen in the conjoined, and wouldn't they notice the difference?

    but she's a really good undercover police detective, so...

    i don't care, it works, it's fun. and it comes closer to secret history than most others claiming to be the same, but has the humility not to broadcast it on the jacket.

    rewriting secret history has become a goal for suspense writers everywhere, and anytime anyone writes a book featuring intelligent young people who share secrets and there is a murder, the great donna tartt is invoked. and i remember really liking secret history, so i always read the impostors. this one, for all its necessary suspensions of disbelief, is not a bad comparison. in fact, this reminded me of the house at midnight, just in the characters' dynamics,and the house, of course, and that was one of the better tartty books i have read. there are huge logic gaps and come on! moments, but it is a quick read and she writes claustrophobic tension very well. i had some time to kill before work yesterday and was cold and poor, so i just took the 7 train alll the way out and then alll the way back to read this - it's completely engrossing, as long as you suppress your protests.

    hiding out
    just one of the guys
    desperately seeking susan
    soul man
    weekend at bernie's

    in the 80's these secret-identity movies were ubiquitous. they all involved the seemingly implausible plot of being able to fool others into believing you were a different age, gender, race, or that you were, you know, alive.

    and if we could believe it in the 80's we can believe it now. because let's face it, dustin hoffman wasn't fooling anyone.

    i always thought that tana french would be more psychologically complicated literary fiction than a genre-book. blame it on the trade paperback format or the awards or the refined cover art; as opposed to the more cartoony norm:

    (do not click to look inside)

    (almost forgot about this one - it may be my favorite. i wish it was bigger (like all girls) because mrs. jeffries hiding is pretty funny/creepy)

    but it's a mystery novel, pure and simple; suspects confess in long speeches, every glance can be analyzed and stripped of its meaning, detectives pull out all the interrogation clichés and there's nothing wrong with that, because it is good old fashioned leisure reading. and that's the genius of its presentation, and what i have learned from the identity-movies of the 80's. if this book ever witnessed a crime, it could just be put into witness protection program with the other trade paperbacks in the general fiction/literature section, and be more or less undetectable.

    unless i was on the case...

    come to my blog!

  6. says:

    5 million stars

    The Likeness is an extraordinary novel. It is one of the 2-3 best books I have ever read. After reading just two Dublin Murder Squad books this month, I have made a spot for Tana French as one of my 3 all time favorite authors. She is a brilliant writer, and in my opinion has penned the quintessential psychological thriller with The Likeness.

    How refreshing not to have the plot spotlighted on a kidnapped child, amnesia, or spouse-beating. This story focuses on the killing of a young woman and the cat and mouse games between the victim’s four housemates and an uncover detective who has moved into the house. The detective, Cassie Maddox, who bears an uncanny likeness to the victim, also is not being completely honest with her superior. The mind games are not only intriguing, but tension-filled with a gradual buildup of almost unbearable pressure as the story progresses. I had no idea where the author was taking us on this journey and loved the total unpredictability of the story. Every sentence holds substance. Readers who skim through novels are going to be at a disadvantage. There were several times when I went back to reread a paragraph or even a page to make sure I had squeezed all the juice out of that passage. This tale is not for action fans that want the facts, just the facts, bam bam bam. This is for those who are not in a hurry and love to be slowly seduced by the gradual rise of dread and trepidation. The ending is well done and the wrapup is leisurely and detailed, just the way I like it.

    Though the mystery is superb, what I loved most was the masterful character study of Cassie Maddox. We are allowed wide-open access to Cassie’s thoughts and emotions. Underlying this is the unparalleled consummate writing style of Ms. French. Cassie is faced with countless crossroads during the investigation, many of which require split second decisions. Watching this process play out time and again was spellbinding. Cassie was relatively unscarred prior to coming to Dublin except for the unfortunate early deaths of her beloved parents, but during In the Woods and The Likeness she was battered emotionally. I found it nail-biting to see if she could hang on long enough to get the job done.

    Some reviewers have downrated The Likeness because the reader must be willing to go with a couple of improbable circumstances necessary for the premise. I recognized these issues, but was fortunate to be able to run with them and become totally captivated by the story.

    The Dublin Murder Squad novels have quickly become one of my 3-4 most loved series. Though the The Likeness can be read as a stand alone, with Ms. French feeding back data from In the Woods on an as-needed basis, I strongly recommend In the Woods be read first in order to preserve the total richness of The Likeness. Don’t miss this remarkable collection.

  7. says:

    If Operation Mirror was a real thing, you would have to look out for the broken pieces on the floor. Because I would have smashed it.

    Sigh. Have you ever felt like you weren't reading the same book as your - trusted, I might add - friends, that you don't get it? Because right now I do. Holy fuck I do.

    And yet, I was so ready to love everything about The Likeness : In the Woods crushed me in the best way possible, the premise of this sequel, while rather ludicrous (shoot me, I don't believe for one second that someone could look so perfectly like me that she could fool my closed friends - call me arrogant, but Pl-ease), still awoke my interest and pretty much fascinated me... I thought I would love the shit out of this book. I thought I would dive in the third story instantly after finishing it. Ha. Not right now I won't. If you hear a crushing sound, it is more likely to be my expectations painfully dying than any sob coming from me. Why would I, when I felt nothing?

    First of all, I still very much enjoyed Tana French's writing, most of the time at least. Sure, some of her descriptions made me itch to skim sometimes, but overall it was consistent with In the Woods : evocative and beautiful.

    Moreover, as I said earlier, no matter how ridiculous and unbelievable the premise could be, I overlooked my problems with it and enjoyed it for what it was : a fascinating incursion into someone else's life. Tana French hooked me on this one, this I can't dismiss.

    ... And unfortunately, that's pretty much it.

    The Likeness tried hard to be something it just wasn't. A psychological thriller. A character-driven journey. A dark diving into humans tricky mind.

    Key word being : It tried. For me, it failed.

    The problem is, if the premise was interesting, in my opinion the story wasn't near as developed as it could have been and my expectations were destroyed pretty fast. It was just so boring, okay? I'm not one for blaming a book for being character-driven, and many of my all-time favorites aren't action-packed. But for this kind of books to work, I need to feel something for the characters, to crack their layers and connect to them.

    I didn't. Not for even a second, and if any, this is the reason why I disliked The Likeness and am so mad.

    Where the fuck is the great characterization? No, really. Tell me.

    So the Fantastic Four are weird? So their reactions are a little - or a lot, depending on the moment - odd? So they're hiding something? SO WHAT? When, and I mean it, do they become something else than what Cassie is telling us? WHEN? After more than 400 pages, I still can't picture one of them, I still can't say one interesting thing about them as characters, I still can't point to one hidden layer in their personalities. They're transparent, and very much one-dimensional to me. In the end, if there's something I will never forgive them, it's this : they never surprised me. Never. Past the first chapters, they never showed me something I didn't already know - or guess - about them, but played their parts as the good little soldiers they were.

    Granted, I didn't mind any of them, including Cassie. But that's the thing, isn't it? Cassie changed through the story, alright, but I still can't get a sense of who she really is. I didn't mind the characters, I didn't hate nor love them, I didn't care, they're not real to me and never have been.

    I don't know them.

    Don't even get me started about Sam. Who the fuck is this guy? For someone who's supposed to have such a big involvement in the MC's life, the only thing I can say about him is that he's a nice guy. Cheers.

    Finally, if I didn't abhor the ending, I can't say that I was satisfied either. Whilst I wasn't frustrated with In the Woods's conclusion, and thought that the somewhat openness suited the story, everything in The Likeness's ending feels lazy to me. Lazy, convenient, rushed, and worst than all that, it crushed any pretense I had of caring about these characters. It crushed the tiny hope I still held that the ending would somehow made it worth it. It didn't.

    I'm not over Rob, though. Actually, I contemplated the fact that my dislike of this book could come from a wicked sense of loyalty towards him. I think that it's more complicated than that, but it wouldn't be fair to dismiss this possibility, even if it's only part of the problem. Caring for Rob didn't annihilate my ability to appreciate other characters, and it would be ridiculous of me to think so. Yet his disappearance into thin air contributed to my frustration - I'm lucid enough to acknowledge it, even if it sounds unfair, given that it wasn't his story. I KNOW THAT. Tell this to my broken heart. Stubborn little shit.

    Now, what do I know? Most of my friends praised this book, so don't mind me too much. I'm gonna go sulking alone in my corner.

    PS. I'm still completely devastated over Rob and I cannot let it go - my heart ache when I think of the way he's hanging somewhere, so please tell me, should I lose all hope for him?

    PS2. (view spoiler)[I just realised that the call scene of book 1 must have taken place AFTER the end of book 2 (because Sam and Cassie are engaged). No I'm not crying. No. (hide spoiler)]

  8. says:

    First of all, and I just must say it, this is about as unlikely a premise as can be explained outside the realm of speculative fiction. This is after all a contemporary (published in 2008) murder mystery set in a real live place on the planet Earth.

    That said, and in the spirit of Ray Bradbury - “let’s get in the rocket ship and go to Mars.”

    OK, now that that is out of the way, this is an AWESOME second book in Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. Not – not – not a sequel. No. French makes mention of 2007’s In the Woods and there are some of the same characters, and same Irish setting, and same police force. Other than that, this is something altogether new.

    This features a co-protagonist from In the Woods: badass spunky Celtic detective Cassie Maddox. She has taken some time off after the events from French’s first book, switched from the murder squad to domestic violence and is dating Sam. Rob Ryan has moved on – he may as well be chasing the man in black across the wasteland – he’s mentioned sparingly.

    But prior to being in murder, she was an undercover cop, and she and Detective Frank Mackey created an undercover alias for Cassie – Lexie Madison. Made her up. She wasn’t real, just a fake name and ID so that Cassie could work undercover.


    Imagine everyone’s surprise when Lexie Madison – who bears a striking LIKENESS to Cassie winds up stabbed in an abandoned famine house in County Wicklow, south of Dublin.

    And so begins Tana French’s brilliant The Likeness. A murder mystery in the same way that Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is a crime fiction – it is that and so much more.

    And just like Porfiry and Raskolnikov's inevitable confrontation is hypnotic and magnetic, so too is Cassie’s frenetic, improbable but terrifyingly seductive infiltration of a tight group of friends. By the end French has us, hook, line, and sinker; we are enmeshed in her taut web of psychological intrigue and group dynamic thriller.

    As In the Woods, French here has created a microcosm of Irish and western civilization history wound up in a tight ball of sociological have-at-you that creeps in on the reader and leaves us tied up in a muddle of empathy and shared understanding.

    French evokes a sense of friendship and loyalty that can be easily understood, yet is intoxicating in its abstraction. The five friends described – Daniel, Abby, Justin and Rafe. and Lexie – have created a nirvana of twenty-something belonging. They have constructed a couch pillow fortress meant to stand the test of time. But just as any house of cards is doomed, French has revealed the fatal flaws in this group of friends that is heartbreaking in its inescapability.

    Also like In the Woods, the author has conjured a sense of Ireland’s past that becomes tangible, and in this context, weirdly becomes an anachronistic suspect. Can the ancient scars of slavery and class distinction manifest into a motive for violence? Can the ghosts of Oppressions Past animate the spirit of malevolent reality? French suggests, plausibly, that old wounds are gothicly slow to heal and still capable of harm.

    French has also given us a unique dual mystery to solve – not only must we move towards a finding of the murderer, but here we must also establish who is the victim. Recall that Lexie Madison was not real – she was a construct of an undercover police department, used briefly to investigate criminal activity. When detective Maddox moved on to the Murder Squad, Lexie was a part in a play discarded and discontinued. Until her very real cold body was found and colleagues of Cassie feverishly located her to discount that the discovered corpse was not her. Here, French has crafted a voyeuristic treasure of unequaled complexity that serves as a thinly designed framing device for the inimitable investigation.

    Finally, the author has given us a psychological character study of loneliness and Donne-esque severance. Can we escape family and friends and all connections? What does it mean to lose parents, to be separated from our roots? Can we really just pick up and go and start over? These questions are explored in an introspective, thoughtful manner that invites further inquiry into solipsism long after the last page is turned.

    A very well written, entertaining and thought provoking work.


  9. says:

    It was easy to get behind Tana French's work and bear with some of the problems I had with it. It had glitches like pacing and organizing the chapters in their order.

    But I was also pleasantly surprised by the ease with which I could recall the characters and their motivations.

    I thought the book deserved 4 stars, which is a score that I don't give willy nilly. The Likeness earned this score. I realize not many people will be swept by my recommendation, if it's not their favorite genre.

    For those who have stuck with this series, I think I'll join you in waiting for the next book and I hope the author does not lose her inspiration.

  10. says:

    693 pages in this book and at least 593 of them were the biggest load of waffle I've ever read! So, going against most other reviews, this book was so yawn making boring, just coudnt get to the end quick enough to get it over with.

    Tana French's first novel In The Woods was a good crime novel, this was not even in the same league, in fact I lost hope that it was a crime novel at all really. It's wordy, very wordy, her prose is spectacular at times but why oh why does this book have to drag out paragraphs of mindless waffle?

    The plot is barely believable, a female detective looks so much like a dead girl that she slips into the dead girls life and home and nobody bats an eyelid? Pfft, as if that's going to happen, why was that even chosen as the storyline? I don't get it, Woods is (or was) a good writer so why? Baffled me.

    I did a lot of eye rolling reading this and wondering what was wrong with me for not loving this like most others who have reviewed it. It was too long, particularly as most of it is pretty much about nothing. It took 100 pages for Detective Maddox to decide to go undercover or not, please, don't insult the reader, the whole book is based on her being this undercover doppelgänger so we KNEW she was going to do it.

    And the ending? Let's not go there, I've wasted too much time already on this book and this short review, there are better books to conquer.

    I want the hours of my life back please, very disappointing after enjoying her first novel, certainly not rushing for the next.

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