Tana French’s “The Likeness”

They say that every one of us has a double, somewhere. Hard to believe, but it’s possible, I suppose. If so, what chance is there to meet your “identical twin”? In Tana French’s thriller, The Likeness, Detective Cassie Maddox (from In the Woods) gets such a chance. Unfortunately, her double, Lexie, has just been murdered. So Cassie is assigned to impersonate this young woman and integrate herself into her home and school with the purpose of identifying her killer.

French describes Cassie’s undercover experience in such a meticulous and convincing way that the incredible becomes quite credible.

I love this author! Even if the plot wasn’t suspenseful and the characterization was weak, I would read her work solely because of her language, which is so beautiful it’s poetic.

But, as much as I find this novel captivating, I have a problem with the depth of Cassie’s love for Sam. It feels forced. I believe that the one man she feels deeply about is Rob Ryan, her ex-partner from French’s first novel, In the Woods. In the sequel, The Likeness, Cassie’s memories of Rob, their extraordinary connection, are triggered constantly by minor things, and she feels the painful loss of him over and over. As opposed to it, her “love” for Sam is not convincing to me at all.

Whoever read these two novels, I’d love to hear your opinion on this. Thanks.

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2 thoughts on “Tana French’s “The Likeness”

  1. I am still reading In the Woods, haven’t gone onto this novel yet, but I agree completely about French’s use of language- it is such a joy to read, captivating and poetic.

    • Yes, Beth, POETIC! Even if I didn’t care for the suspenseful plot and great characters in this novel, I would read it just to enjoy French’s language. It’s a joy, indeed.

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