Books that take you to plot school: Tana French
The Likeness

The Likeness

In the second of Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, which can be read in any order, detective Cassie Maddux is pulled off her current beat and sent to investigate a murder. When she arrives at the scene, she finds the victim looks just like her, and—even more creepy—she was using an alias that Cassie used in a previous case. The victim was a student, and her boss talks her into trying to crack the case by impersonating her, explaining to her friends that she survived the attempted murder. The victim lived with four other students in a strangely intimate, isolated setting, and as Cassie gets to know them, liking them almost in spite of herself, her boundaries—and loyalties—begin to blur. A taut psychological thriller that keeps you guessing till the end.

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Faithful Place

Faithful Place

The third book in the Dublin Murder Squad series follows detective Frank Mackey and the demons from his past. His dysfunctional family lived in a small flat on Faithful Place in Dublin's inner city but he yearned to get out and even planned to run away to London with his girl Rosie but she never showed the night they planned to leave. Frank figured it was what his worthless self deserved and never went home. But neither did Rosie and now 22 years later, her suitcase is discovered behind a fireplace in an abandoned house where it all started. The cops don't trust Frank will be unbiased in his childhood neighborhood but Faithful Place doesn't trust cops period, not even one of their former own, leading Frank to take up his own unauthorized investigation. Faithful Place is a character study, examining the way home can be bring out the best or the worst of us. More info →
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The Witch Elm

The Witch Elm

This is French's first standalone novel and what an undertaking it is. Per usual, the character development is paramount but French weaves in a few mysteries to drive this plot forward. Toby is a privileged self-proclaimed lucky bastard but his luck takes a turn for the worst when he's attacked by two burglars and left for dead. He heads to his uncle's home to recover and all is well...until a skull is discovered in the garden, leaving Toby questioning everything he thought he knew about his family and himself. More info →
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