Faithful Place, Tana French REVIEW

Cover of "Faithful Place: A Novel"

Cover of Faithful Place: A Novel

**** ½

Title: Faithful Place: A Novel

Author: Tana French

Authors’ website:

First Edition: 2010, Viking Adult

Original language: English




“The hotly anticipated third novel of the Dublin murder squad from the New York Times bestselling author 

Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was nineteen, growing up poor in Dublin’s inner city, and living crammed into a small flat with his family on Faithful Place. But he had his sights set on a lot more. He and Rosie Daly were all ready to run away to London together, get married, get good jobs, break away from factory work and poverty and their old lives.

But on the winter night when they were supposed to leave, Rosie didn’t show. Frank took it for granted that she’d dumped him – probably because of his alcoholic father, nutcase mother, and generally dysfunctional family. He never went home again. 

Neither did Rosie. Everyone thought she had gone to England on her own and was over there living a shiny new life. Then, twenty-two years later, Rosie’s suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank is going home whether he likes it or not.

Getting sucked in is a lot easier than getting out again. Frank finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind. The cops working the case want him out of the way, in case loyalty to his family and community makes him a liability. Faithful Place wants him out because he’s a detective now, and the Place has never liked cops. Frank just wants to find out what happened to Rosie Daly – and he’s willing to do whatever it takes, to himself or anyone else, to get the job done.”


“Women prefer to hate a each other at close range, where you get more bang for your buck” (Kindle loc. 803)

“Every time you say no to your big brother, God kills a kitten.” (Loc. 1247)

“eyebrow semaphore” (loc. 2286)

“Boys wreck your house and girls wreck your head.” (loc. 3910)

“The ‘Very Sad Café’” (loc. 4205)

“The Hearnes’ looked like someone had fires Santa’s grotto at it out of a bazooka.” (loc. 5513)



Tana French’s use of language is fantastic.  I can hear the characters in my head saying “Jaysus!” and “fair play to yous.”   The plot was good- I love her creepy mysteries and how the atmosphere of the places and character she builds seem to envelop the reader.  I had kind of figured it out by the middle, but still LOVED it.



NPR Interview with Tana French

Picture of Faithful Place, Dublin, 1913.  From the National Archives of Ireland.