Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Published by Viking Penguin July 2010
Source: this one is all mine
Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was nineteen, growing up poor in Dublin's inner city, and living crammed into a small flat with his family on Faithful Place. But he had his sights set on a lot more. He and Rosie Daly were all ready to run away to London together, get married, get good jobs, break away from factory work and poverty and their old lives.
But on the winter night when they were supposed to leave, Rosie didn't show. Frank took it for granted that she'd dumped him-probably because of his alcoholic father, nutcase mother, and generally dysfunctional family. He never went home again.
Neither did Rosie. Everyone thought she had gone to England on her own and was over there living a shiny new life. Then, twenty-two years later, Rosie's suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank is going home whether he likes it or not.
Getting sucked in is a lot easier than getting out again. Frank finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind. The cops working the case want him out of the way, in case loyalty to his family and community makes him a liability. Faithful Place wants him out because he's a detective now, and the Place has never liked cops. Frank just wants to find out what happened to Rosie Daly-and he's willing to do whatever it takes, to himself or anyone else, to get the job done.
I'm done. I've now read all five of the Dublin Murder Squad books. I'm so sad.
I read the series out of order, sort of. I was introduced to French's books with book four in the series, Broken Harbor and then read The Secret Place when it came out. In August, I went back to the beginning. Which leaves me ending with Faithful Place.
Because French brings one or two characters from one book into the next, it's probably best to start with book one and work your way through the books, although it's certainly not necessary. On the other hand, had I done that, I would not have ended my French reading spree with what I think is the best of the books.
Frank Mackey first appeared in the second book, The Likeness. I did not like him at all. He was a cop who was all about getting the results that he wanted and his methods were not entirely on the up and up. He was not a nice guy.
In Faithful Place, French takes us back and let's us see what made Frank Mackey the person he became. A tough neighborhood, abusive parents, and terrible heartbreak turned a young boy into a tough guy who's not necessarily interested in the rules. Frank's also really, really not interested in getting involved again with his screwed up family. So unwilling to do it that his ex-wife and seven-year-old daughter have never even met any of them except one sister. When she calls him in hysterics, though, and drops the name of Rosie Daly, Frank can't help but be pulled back in and we spend a lot of time getting to know them and his complicated relationship with them.
As interesting as solving the case is, the relationship between the characters and Frank's relationship with Faithful Place were the most interesting things about Faithful Place. Frank still may not be the nicest guy or most ethical cop, but he's a complete person, a devoted father with a sad past and a deep love for the girl he thought left him. I've kind of got a soft spot for ol' Frankie now.
Now how much longer to I have to wait for the next book?!