Satisfying mysteries come in two flavors. The first kind of engaging mystery is driven by the plot – the twists, turns and surprising character developments keep you guessing throughout the entire novel. It’s like a brain teaser, or LSAT logic game, in reading form. The second kind of engaging mystery is plot driven, focusing heavily on the major characters, their backgrounds, their motivations and their particular circumstances. All of Tana French’s novels, especially Faithful Place, fall into the second category.
Frank Mackey escaped his poor Irish neighborhood more than twenty years ago, abandoning his family to become an undercover cop after his high school girlfriend Rosie Daly left him a break up note the night they were supposed to run away together to a better life. Or so he thought. Twenty years later, Rosie’s suitcase turns up in the run down neighborhood building where Frank and Rosie were supposed to meet, and Frank sets in on figuring out what happened to Rosie, and whether or not she left him.