The Secret Place, Tana French

Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting to get a foot in the door of Dublin’s murder squad. One random morning his chance arrives in the form of 16 year old Holly Mackey. She brings him a photo of Chris Harper who was found murdered one year ago on the grounds of her boarding school. Chris’ murder has remained unsolved. The photo was pinned to ‘The Secret Place’, where the girls can pin up their secrets. With the caption “I know who killed him”. Stephen joins Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who murdered handsome and popular Chris Harper and why.

The Secret Place takes place over a single day. Flashbacks show events leading to Chris Harper’s death. Told from Moran’s and Holly’s point of view. As evidence leads back to Holly’s close-knit group of friends and their rival clique. A tangled web of relationships is revealed that bound each girl to Chris Harper.


 Every book in Tana French’s murder squad series has a different protagonist we’ve met in her previous books. I’ve loved every book in Tana’s French’s Dublin murder squad series. This one fell a little flat for me. Definitely my least favourite. I found the language from the girl’s really annoying and quite distracting. All the ‘likes, hello’s and omg’s” grated on me. So it does tone down in the last half of the book, thankfully. While there is also a small supernatural element that really bothered me and that’s when the book lost me. Maybe too much of a stretch and I felt the book was enough without it. The main theme was friendship in the screwed up girl’s teenage way of thinking. All have secrets from one another – their loyalty is unwavering in thought, not actions.

Maybe because the character’s only cover a short period of time – but I didn’t feel as invested with Moran and Conway as I have for her other detectives. Finally, I did like to have the narration flick from detective’s point of view in the present to the girl’s in the past.


Two pegs

Read her other’s! Skip this one.

If you like it though try The Dry by Jane Harper next.

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