Tana French has turned the concept of crime novels on its head. Yes, a crime has been committed to start things off but this book, like French’s previous five, are more about the characters doing the investigating than the crime itself. The main characters, Conway and Moran of Dublin’s Murder Squad, are the same as in The Secret Place with Conway, the only woman on the squad, taking the lead this time. She’s fighting the contempt and bad attitude of her colleagues as well as investigating what looks like a domestic quarrel gone horribly awry. Things are never as neat and tidy as they appear and despite the lack of hard evidence, Conway struggles through to find the real truth. This is a great place to start with the Murder Squad. Jump in but beware of the dark – short days in wintery Dublin, cops with axes to grind, and murky intentions from all sorts of characters.
“While French's mysteries stand alone, a minor character from the previous book always becomes the main character in the next one. In this case, it is Antoinette Conway, the lone female detective in the 'Boys Club' that is the Murder Squad of the Dublin Police Department. Antoinette is desperate to get ahead in her career as well as fit in with her colleagues, but it is not going well. She is partnered with Stephen Moran, a young and inexperienced detective, and assigned nothing but domestic disturbance cases. The latest one appears to be no different: Aislinn Murray is found murdered in her flat with the table set for dinner, but there is no sign of anyone else on the scene. Is this a romantic evening that took an ugly turn, or is there something more sinister afoot?”
— Sharon K. Nagel (M), Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI