The Secret Place

The Secret Place

Book - 2014
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The sensational new novel from “one of the most talented crime writers alive" ( The Washington Post )

The photo on the card shows a boy who was found murdered, a year ago, on the grounds of a girls' boarding school in the leafy suburbs of Dublin. The caption saysI KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.

Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to get a foot in the door of Dublin's Murder Squad—and one morning, sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey brings him this photo. “The Secret Place," a board where the girls at St. Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

But everything they discover leads them back to Holly's close-knit group of friends and their fierce enemies, a rival clique—and to the tangled web of relationships
that bound all the girls to Chris Harper. Every step in their direction turns up the pressure. Antoinette Conway is already suspicious of Stephen's links to the Mackey family. St. Kilda's will go a long way to keep murder outside their walls. Holly's father, Detective Frank Mackey, is circling, ready to pounce if any of the new evidence points toward his daughter. And the private underworld of teenage girls can be more mysterious and more dangerous than either of the detectives imagined.

The Secret Place is a powerful, haunting exploration of friendship and loyalty, and a gripping addition to the Dublin Murder Squad series.
Publisher: New York :, Viking,, 2014
ISBN: 9780670026326
Branch Call Number: MYS FRE
Characteristics: 452 pages ; 24 cm


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Sep 05, 2017

French is a talented writer, no doubt, but this novel is not one of her finest. It starts off OK but quickly becomes tedious and predictable. The characters are unappealing and exceptionally long winded. The main detectives are stereotyped and contrived and totally without appeal. Then when the main suspects all obtain magic powers and see ghosts, I skimmed the rest and guessed the ending which also was predictable.

A bad book from a talented writer.

Dec 30, 2016

The Guardian reviewer noted "It's on the long side, and could have benefited from some editorial fat-trimming in places". OMG, like how true?!

At times, quite interesting, but way too long and sometimes needlessly complicated. Not French's best.

Nov 26, 2016

I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. Starting the book, the extra modern slang of the teens put me off and I thought, "Oh boy, it's like that, is it?" But then I got into the story and couldn't put the book down. I was taken back irresistibly to when I was a teen, and the turmoil - and magic - of those years. Think I will read her other works next.

Nov 25, 2016

Not a favorite and I did not even want to finish the book. Poorly written through out. I have never been so disappointed in a Novel. I thought for sure I would have loved this read. But even trying to force myself to carry on in hopes it would get better did not work. First Novel I have never been able to finish. Next in line she is all yours

Aug 08, 2016

This novel is less of a mystery and more an exploration of the lives of teenage girls, which was quite well done. However, there were a few missteps, such as the ghost, and the book was repetitive and overly long. For a book set near Dublin and written by an Irish writer, there did not seem to be anything Irish about it - in its dialogue, setting or sensibility.

Jun 02, 2016

Extra twists and turns

multcolib_susannel Mar 29, 2016

Can Detectives Conway and Moran tell truth from lies when they investigate a cold case murder at a private girl's school?

Mesmerizing Read!

Mar 09, 2016

This is my first book by Tana French and I loved it. I could not put it down. I had no trouble interpreting it, nor did I think it too lengthy. The best part I felt was the expression of a female life from adolescence through adulthood. It was very refreshing to read about a group of girls who wanted to stay free, then echoed in the last pages by the heroine's mother. Great read!

Jan 24, 2016

The more I read by this author, the more I like her style of writing. Good story, great characters, well written: recommend!

Dec 21, 2015

I really loved her earlier works but this effort falls flat when she gives the girls super powers. If she wanted to start a murder mystery fantasy drama it would have been better to market this one as such. It was off putting starting off trying so hard to keep things real in one's mind as one tries to figure out the murder and then be confronted with fantastic events.

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multcolib_susannel Mar 29, 2016

"It was beautiful. I love beautiful; always have. I never saw why I should hate what I wish I had. Love it harder. Work your way closer...Find a way to make in yours"- p.31

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