What will be found: The Searcher by Tana French

The Searcher: A Novel

The Searcher is a standalone novel by Tana French who has also written the marvelous Dublin murder series. Start at the beginning with In the Woods and come up for air when you get to the end.

The Searcher is a brooding novel with a strong sense of place and character. French, herself, has described it as being a Western, but one set in Ireland. I think that this is because of the concept of the stranger coming to town. Cal is that stranger. He is a divorced policeman from Chicago who thinks that the will find a simpler and more satisfying life in the small Irish town where he fixes up his house and gets to know the locals. His existence is upended by Trey, a thirteen year old who wants to know what happened to brother, Brendan. Cal gets involved in what is a sad and somewhat dark story.

Many of the characters in this novel are well portrayed, from Cal’s neighbor Mart to the busybody who runs the local store to Lena (and her dogs) and, most especially Trey, a fully realized, scrappy, vulnerable. teen. Other town people blended together a bit for me.

Will Trey find out what Trey wants/needs to know? What will it mean if/when Trey does? These are some of the questions of the novel.

At times, I could imagine this novel as a tv show because the places were so well described. At other times, the sense of menace could very much be felt. The relationship between Trey and Cal was nuanced and is a critical part of the story.

I still prefer the Dublin murder series but truly admire what French has accomplished in this book. Give it a try!

Author: joycesmysteryandfictionbookreviews

I love to read, recommend books and open the world of reading to others. I tutor to ensure that the next generation of readers will know the joys of a good book because their reading skills have improved. I am an avid reader, especially of mysteries and fiction. I believe that two of the world's greatest inventions were the public library and eyeglasses!

3 thoughts on “What will be found: The Searcher by Tana French”

  1. Enjoyed your review Joyce, but you are giving away the surprise by telling prospective readers that Trey is a girl. When I found out I was blown away as I was sure Trey was a boy up until that point.


    1. Hi again,
      I changed the review. Thanks. I remember trying to decide what to do in referring to Trey but got stuck on my pronouns. I agree with you. That is one big surprise of the novel and I should not spoil that for readers. I really appreciate your feedback!


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