The Secret Place

The Secret Place

Large Print - 2014 | Large print edition.
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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: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2014.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410469786
1410469786
Branch Call Number: Large Print FRE
Characteristics: 845 pages (large print) ;,23 cm.

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ellenmargaret1953
Feb 08, 2019

Always good for an intriguing read, Tana French delivers in The Secret Place unravelling the secrets and relationships at an exclusive school. You will find the detectives to be full blown characters worth knowing as well. Love the lead teen and her dad.

g
goddessbeth
Jan 17, 2019

Here's another great murder mystery by Tana French, with plenty of atmosphere, a tense and fast pace, and beautifully layered elements. You don't have to have read any of the other books in the series (although this one does slightly involve the fact that one of the protagonists, Stephen Moran, met the other protagonist, Holly Mackey, in Faithful Place- and the relationship between Stephen and Holly's father in that story). But even without that backstory, this is a great story.

It's less single-character-focused than French's previous stories, told from alternating perspectives and centering around not only who committed the murder, but the complex and complicated reasons behind why it was committed. The entire story takes place over a day (or a day and a half- it was a little unclear), but there are flashbacks to the establishing timeline that go back a year and a half prior to present day.

I loved it. I was on board, every scene. The only complaint I had was that the denoument was about three times longer than it needed to be. That section felt like "this scene is too poignant to cut, even though it doesn't add to the plot or character development". Unless the second book is focused around Holly Mackey, we didn't need more of it.

As always with this series, I listened to this one via audiobook, and the two narrators did a great job. I was totally sucked in and had no trouble differentiating voices/characters.

n
nhoj
Dec 24, 2018

Not her best story. It seems as if she's trying to hard to be poetic and capture the feel of adolescence - uncertainty, distrust of adults and petty rivalry. The story gets lost.

TSCPL_Miranda Apr 15, 2018

A surprise stunner. My second novel by Tana French, so I expected a gripping mystery, fast-paced and engrossing. The extra layer of magic in this one, a friendship between young women and just a bit of supernatural power, elevated it to a 5 star read for me. I'll want to read this one again, at least all of the lovely, poetic scenes with the circle of friends. French caught something real here, both beautiful and painful.

s
sandfordross
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.

t
toby65
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.

r
rcho70
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.

j
jennifergeorge1984
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

u
uncommonreader
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.

b
bdunton
Jun 02, 2016

Extra twists and turns

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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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