The Likeness - Tana French

The Likeness

Author: Tana French

  • Publication Date: 2008-07-17
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
4.5 Score: 4.5
(From 598 Ratings)


The haunting follow up to the Edgar Award-winning debut In the Woods

Tana French astonished critics and readers alike with her mesmerizing debut novel, In the Woods. Now both French and Detective Cassie Maddox return to unravel a case even more sinister and enigmatic than the first. Six months after the events of In the Woods, an urgent telephone call beckons Cassie to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who is this girl? A disturbing tale of shifting identities, The Likeness firmly establishes Tana French as an important voice in suspense fiction. And look for French's new mystery, Broken Harbor, for more of the Dublin Murder Squad.

The "expertly rendered, gripping new novel" (Janet Maslin, The New York Times)-from the bestselling author of In the Woods and The Likeness.

Tana French's In the Woods and The Likeness captivated readers by introducing them to her unique, character-driven style and her new mystery, Broken Harbor, is eagerly anticipated. Her singular skill at creating richly drawn, complex worlds makes her novels not mere whodunits but brilliant and satisfying novels about memory, identity, loss, and what defines us as humans. With Faithful Place, the highly praised third novel about the Dublin Murder squad, French takes readers into the mind of Frank Mackey, the hotheaded mastermind of The Likeness, as he wrestles with his own past and the family, the lover, and the neighborhood he thought he'd left behind for good.


  • The author CLEARLY based her characters on the characters in “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt

    By DORI3262
    As the title notes, the structure of the student “family” is a clear riff on the earlier work by Pulitzer Prize winner, Donna Tartt. That said, it’s rather a nice homage to the original concept, although the plot gets muddled in places.
  • Soooooo slow and stupid plot line

    By 3penny
    I had a lot of problems with this book. First, the basic plot was a ridiculous stretch. Seriously, someone is replaced by someone else and her roommates (at least most of them) don't even notice? Second, our heroine, a hard-nosed detective,gets completely enamored of this group of flighty immature students. Doesn't seem realistic. In terms of the writing, I found it to be excruciatingly slow and way too wordy. I only finished reading it because I spent $12.99 on it, but don't make the same mistake I did. Reread something by Raymond Chandler instead.
  • Agonizingly Slow

    By MNnm2
    Loved Tana French’s first book, In The Woods. While I figured out who dunnit, was excited to read the ending. This book was soooo in your head, touchy feely and maudlin that while it was obvious who the major suspects were, I really didn’t care who dunnit. And not particularly interested in the victim. The premise requires a lot of buy in, which didn’t seem likely. Also, I had no empathy for any of the characters, all are “off.” There are no winners here, no sense of accomplishment, no examples of clever police work. I was on a long and dull part of a road trip, and just wanted to finish the book before the end of the road. Not sure if I will read any more in the series, started the next book sample and didn’t continue.
  • The Likeness

    By Laure Belle
    I loved In The Woods, and The Likeness is a great story as well. I would recommend both books to readers. That said, Likeness was a little difficult to read in spots. I found myself often having to search for quotation marks to comprehend between current dialogue and background dialogue she constantly provided. For example, a character would be asked a question, and it would be answered 2 pages later! It got to be too much, but still I muddled thru it to the end.
  • A slow read

    By Avalma
    It took me forever to finish this book. I wasn't too crazy about the fantasy world the characters created. I felt it was creepy. But, I'm glad I finally finished the book. The writing is good.
  • Tana French

    By Glei
    ANYTHING!!! by this author so brilliantly (& visually) portrayed is a feast for the senses....not only does she invoke the taut connection between reader and protagonist but she invokes colors and memories and the 'sense' of them in their place common to alls' past...
  • Great read

    By 08 Dessie Mae
    I found it to be quite compelling. It was an interesting book with unusual circumstances. I quite enjoyed it and will be reading other books by this author. Check it out!
  • Just... don't.

    By chripchirpchirp
    It has the consistency of a short story that had been watered down to a novel. Three out of every five sentences should have been striked. This made the reading excruciating. Writing aside, the plot is absurd. I finished it out of a stubborn desire to find out how it ends. Don't do yourself the disservice of starting.
  • Simply not up to her standards

    By Reidsvillegirl
    I have loved every one of French's books, until THE LIKENESS. Is this an early work? I forced myself to finish it. Keep writing, Ms. French! We can't score high every time. I will remain your fan!
  • Painfully slow

    By Gatehall
    Nowhere near as author's first book. Plot and character development took forever, and much longer than necessary. By the time it started to move, I couldn't wait for the book to end. Also told in first person narrative, which was clever. Nevertheless, very simplistic plot.