The late great political pundit William F. Buckley was once asked what one book he would bring with him if he was stranded on a desert island. He shot back his response: a book on shipbuilding.
Nevertheless, a friend recommended a new writer last week, and I have to pass on the tip. Well, she's new to both B and me, but she's not brand new. She published her first book in 2007 and has four books out in all -- still, she's new compared to the likes of Patricia Cornwell, Michael Connelly or Sue Grafton, each of whom has over two dozen books to their credit.
Her name is Tana French and she currently lives in Ireland. Her father is an economist who worked in resource management. He did extensive traveling all around world and often brought his family with him. French was born in the United States, but also lived in Ireland, Italy, Malawi and elsewhere. She has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Italy.
|Colaiste Na Trionoide, Baile Atha Cliath (Trinity College)|
After our friend casually recommended Tana French over the dinner table, B brought home two of her books from the library. B is now reading Faithful Place, and I just finished the author's most recent work Broken Harbor.
Broken Harbor features Detective Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy and his rookie partner Richie Curran, who are investigating the murder of a family in a new but never finished housing complex outside of Dublin, in the wake of the country's recent economic collapse. I'll admit the book is a bit "talky" and perhaps a bit too long at 450 pgs. (B says I complain that every book I read is too long). But the dialogue is sizzling and the story is riveting. There are a few extraordinary plot twists -- but as a reader you believe them because the writer has the talent, and has taken the care, to draw out her characters as real people who sometimes do crazy things.
Anyway, I can't wait to read Faithful Place -- if B will just hurry up and finish it! Otherwise, I'll have to download it onto my kindle.
And if you're about to be abandoned on a desert island (for spring break maybe, or your retirement home?) you could do a lot worse than bring along a Tana French mystery to keep you company.