Audio Review : The Likeness by Tana French

December 8, 2014 Audio Review, Book review 4 ★★★★★

I’ve just finished listening to the audiobook of The Likeness and I feel bereft.  I want to lie down on the floor like a child and just sob my heart out.  Not in a bad way but just because all my feels are jumbled up and my heart aches at having to leave this book behind.

Audio Review : The Likeness by Tana FrenchThe Likeness by Tana French
Series: Dublin Murder Squad, #2
on 17th July 2008
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Psychological, Suspense, Thriller
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

Six months after the events of In the Woods, Detective Cassie Maddox is still trying to recover. She's transferred out of the murder squad and started a relationship with Detective Sam O'Neill, but she's too badly shaken to make a commitment to him or to her career. Then Sam calls her to the scene of his new case: a young woman found stabbed to death in a small town outside Dublin. The dead girl's ID says her name is Lexie Madison (the identity Cassie used years ago as an undercover detective, and she looks exactly like Cassie.

With no leads, no suspects, and no clue to Lexie's real identity, Cassie's old undercover boss, Frank Mackey, spots the opportunity of a lifetime. They can say that the stab wound wasn't fatal and send Cassie undercover in her place to find out information that the police never would and to tempt the killer out of hiding. At first Cassie thinks the idea is crazy, but she is seduced by the prospect of working on a murder investigation again and by the idea of assuming the victim's identity as a graduate student with a cozy group of friends.

As she is drawn into Lexie's world, Cassie realizes that the girl's secrets run deeper than anyone imagined. Her friends are becoming suspicious, Sam has discovered a generations-old feud involving the old house the students live in, and Frank is starting to suspect that Cassie's growing emotional involvement could put the whole investigation at risk. Another gripping psychological thriller featuring the headstrong protagonist we've come to love, from an author who has proven that she can deliver

This was my third read of this book and I can guarantee you it won’t be my last.  I just adore it so much, am full of feels and this review is going to spew them all straight out you.

The first time I read The Likeness by Tana French, I wrote a quicky review :

This book is a masterclass in how to create a well written psychological thriller. Intense, darker than dark and with characters so real that I can’t believe they only exist within the pages of a book. Ok you have to suspend belief to go with the plotline but just do it, it’s worth it. A book about fitting in and belonging but the catch is it’s in a place you should never be.

Subsequent Thoughts:

And my feels haven’t altered.  If anything they have intensified.  This book is so complex and I know no matter how times I read it or listen to it that I’ll never figure all the characters out.  And I know I’ll never tire of trying.  I love Cassie (the murder detective) and how she just fits in so well with her undercover role.  I know she found herself in that role and lost herself there too and in my head I do picture an alternative ending for this book.  It could never have worked but the possibility is just so enticing.

Mackey (her boss) is another character that I adore.  He is ruthless and ballsy and knows how to get his man.  Definitely one who believes that the end justifies the means.  I love how he alternatively protects Cassie but also pushes her to her limits and pushes all the buttons of everyone around him.

And the real star of this book is the house and housemates where Cassie goes undercover.  The gang of friends that she lives with, the risks she takes and the quirkiness of their lifestyles.  The chemistry between this very unconventional gang just makes me want to abandon everything and dive right into the book to live there with them.

“In all my life I had seldom wanted anything as wildly as I wanted to be in there, get this gun and this phone off me, drink and dance until a fuse blew in my brain and there was nothing left in the world except the music and the blaze of lights and the four of them surrounding me, laughing, dazzling, untouchable.”

I can’t even write a coherent review of this book.  I love it too much, it resonates deep within me and feels personal.  Which is crazy as I have no connection personally with any of the themes in the book.  But that’s the magic of Tana French, she doesn’t just write books, she creates characters and places that explode into life in your head.

By the way you might have noticed this book is part of a series but you can read them in any order.  I know it’s a question I get asked a lot but apart from some minor interactions between characters, reading out of sequence won’t matter.

The narrator for this book does a fantastic job.  Her accents are authentic and I loved her phrasing.  Tana’s words sound even more impressive when they are read out loud and I really recommend this format for the book.  Oh and it’s over 22 hours long but I wish it was double that!

Now that I’ve read this book a few times I have established beyond all doubt that this is my favourite book.  Not just my favourite Tana Fench book.  But my favourite book EVER.  It makes me shake with emotion and I’m already looking forward to revisiting it again sometime in the future.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: five-stars


Who should read The Likeness by Tana French?

Hello!  Have you not just read my review?!  Everyone should drop everything, cancel all plans and read this.  You are in for a treat 🙂



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4 Responses to “Audio Review : The Likeness by Tana French”

    • trish

      I have re-read 3 of this series now using the audiobooks and they are a fantastic way to experience these books. The accents are authentic and that was really important to me as I hate fake Irish accents that are too Oirish!

    • trish

      I love this whole series but this one is just the best! Into The Woods (book 1) is the one I like the least but it’s still really good, just a bit….ambiguous!

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