The Likeness by Tana French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After the evens of In the Woods, Cassie Maddox is struggling to get her life back together. When a woman resembling her is found with an ID bearing the same name Cassie used in an undercover case years before, Cassie is thrust into a life that isn't her own in an effort to find out who killed the woman with her face...
The Likeness was a tough nut to crack. The setup is fairly preposterous and was a big hurdle to overcome before I could dig into the book and enjoy Tana French's superb stylings. A woman pretending to be another woman that looks just like her in an effort to find out who killed her? Is this an episode of The Bloodhound Gang I missed?
Once I got over my initial misgivings with the setup, I enjoyed The Likeness immensely. I still loved Cassie from Operation Vestal so I was already invested in the story. Tana French is no slouch, either. Just as in In the Woods, she crafted a great cast of characters. As Cassie's identity eroded and merged with Lexie's, I have to admit that I didn't blame Cassie for getting attached to Lexie's friends and their relationship.
There were some tense moments on the road, like every time Cassie/Lexie slipped up. I had no idea what actually happened to Lexie until it was spelled out for me, nor did I guess the identity of the father of her baby.
Cassie's relationships with Sam and Frank were also one of the more interesting parts of the book. French could have easily glossed over some of those details but I'm glad she didn't. French creates some of the richest characters in crime fiction. I still wish things would have went differently with her and Rob in In the Woods, though.
Four out of five stars but French had to work harder for that fourth star than she did in In the Woods. Luckily I've got the next Dublin Murder Squad book on deck.
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