The Searcher: A Novel (Hardcover)
The Searcher is a departure from this prolific author’s Dublin Murder Squad series. Her protagonist, Cal Hooper, is retired from the Chicago Police Department; is partly estranged from his adult daughter; and is not over his semi-recent divorce. Cal has relocated, in search of quiet -in a tiny town in a small country- which he finds in the house he is renovating outside the (fictional) village of Ardnakelty in the West of Ireland. He is taking his time with the house and getting to know his neighbors and town.
Besides the nesting rooks on the edge of his property, Cal senses he is being watched. His watcher finally approaches – a scrappy adolescent named Trey Reddy. Though Trey is drawn in by Cal (or the other way around) and the work on the house, his ulterior motive eventually reveals itself. Trey’s beloved older brother, Brendan, disappeared months ago and Trey needs Cal’s help finding him. Cal is loath to take on exactly what he has tried to escape, but the local garda have been no help to Trey’s beleaguered family. They, and everyone else, seemingly believe Brendan left on his own accord.
As Cal delves into Brendan’s disappearance, his cop instincts seem to fail him - the harmless neighbor, clannish characters down at the local, and even the market owner and her sister are not all what he thought. At the same time, Cal also starts to rebuild a relationship through phone calls with his daughter, eight time zones away, while teaching Trey all of the manly things – refinishing furniture, plastering, carpentry and hunting – that Trey seems to devour. Only when the adolescent’s welfare is threatened, does Cal fully engage in his investigation.
Tana French weaves brutal acts and circumstances through her beautifully literary narratives of the landscape and nature surrounding them. This book is part coming-of-age story, suspense and crime drama, and Western novel all in one. I couldn’t put it down.
New York Times |NPR | New York Post
"This hushed suspense tale about thwarted dreams of escape may be her best one yet . . . Its own kind of masterpiece." --Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post
"A new Tana French is always cause for celebration . . . Read it once for the plot; read it again for the beauty and subtlety of French's writing." --Sarah Lyall, The New York Times
Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.
"One of the greatest crime novelists writing today" (Vox) weaves a masterful, atmospheric tale of suspense, asking how to tell right from wrong in a world where neither is simple, and what we stake on that decision.
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"The west of Ireland looked good to Cal Hooper on the internet. But now that he’s living there, the rugged beauty of the region overwhelms him, as it will anyone reading Tana French’s The Searcher, an audacious departure for this immensely talented author… Not to be missed." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Tana French is… like a poet. She writes beautifully…If you haven’t read her yet, I really highly recommend that you do.” —Harlan Coben
“Taut, chiseled and propulsive." —Vogue
"French's writing here is on fire. Eerie and nuanced and spellbinding." —Fresh Air
“French avoids the fireworks of conventional crime fiction, instead taking a classic setup—the lone outsider revealing the dark side of a small town—and imbuing it with simmering menace. There’s also an unexpectedly moving friendship and storytelling so atmospheric you can practically smell the peat bogs.” —People
“The perfect cold-weather escape…French’s writing style is so unhurried and pleasurable…and every page smells and sounds like Ireland. At a time when travel is impossible and we’re spending more time at home, staying safe, it’s thrilling to be transported to another place entirely, gripped by suspense and a sense of danger as I turn the pages in my cozy lair.” —Glamour
“Nuanced and compelling.” —The New Yorker
“Thriller mastermind Tana French's . . . work is as consistently thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is entertaining...[In The Searcher] French finds interesting angles and dynamics, and her cast is, as always, wonderfully drawn." —The Los Angeles Times
"Vivid and poetic." —Associated Press
"French takes this standalone novel at a measured pace, easing readers into Cal's quiet life before the thrills unravel."—TIME
“The Searcher feels different from French’s previous books—there’s a sparseness to the setting that contrasts with the bustle of the Dublin Murder Squad, or even the gathered family in The Witch Elm—but is no less addictive; the pages practically turn themselves.” —The Seattle Times
"A creepy slow burn that focuses just as much on the central characters’ inner lives as on the mystery at the heart of the story . . .packed full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals.” —BuzzFeed
"All things atmospheric and mysterious, this one may keep you up past your bedtime.” — Cosmopolitan
"A moving new tale of friendship and healing, set in an Irish countryside populated with eccentrics, curmudgeons, and a hilariously weird British woman obsessed with fairies." —CrimeReads
"Evocative and lyrical, The Searcher is a mystery worth reading slowly to savor every perfectly rendered detail." —Bookpage
“It has everything you love–the suspense, the questions, the unraveling of lies…. obsessively fascinating.”—Marie Claire
“The queen of crime returns with a thriller about a retired Chicago police officer who discovers the sinister underbelly of a seemingly quaint Irish town.” —Entertainment Weekly
“In The Searcher, Tana French stakes out new territory: a rural Irish setting quite different from the urban and suburban Ireland of her previous works, and a central character who is an American . . . The Searcher blends qualities of French’s best novels, the first and third of her “Dublin Murder Squad” police procedurals . . .”—Los Angeles Review of Books
“Readers who share her interest in exploring the lives of flawed and compelling characters will find much to love in the atmospheric story of a retired cop who moves to Ireland for relaxation, only to be asked to find a missing teen.” – St Louis Post-Dispatch.
“As always, French’s prose is spellbinding and lyrical . . . The beautiful imagery combined with the dialect of the earthly, witty characters creates an appealing atmosphere that engages the reader . . ." – The Austin American-Statesman
“Insightful characterizations, even of minor figures, and a devastating reveal help make this a standout. Crime fiction fans won’t want to miss this one.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A slow-burn stunner that will keep readers turning the pages late into the night. Recommend to the author’s legions of fans, as well as those who enjoy crime fiction set in small towns like Julia Keller’s or Jane Harper’s novels.”—Library Journal, starred review
“In another stand-alone, French again displays impressive versatility…French skillfully builds suspense…a fine thriller, but also a moving story of an unlikely friendship that grows from refinishing a ramshackle desk to rebuilding two nearly broken lives.”—Booklist
“Just pre-order and call in sick for a couple days after October 6 when the book comes out.”—The Millions
“Deliver[s] plenty of twists, shocking revelations, and truly chilling moments.”—Kirkus