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Dublin Murder Squad Back on Track!

The Trespasser: A Novel - Tana French

I loved this one. Loved it, loved it. So many call-backs to the previous books. That the one person I hadn't really thought about (O'Kelly, the gaffer for the detectives) was the real guiding force in this one. Antoinette and Stephen were fabulous. All the ugly came out in this one and I think has made them stronger partners. I cannot wait for the next book in this series. 


"The Trespasser" follows Antoinette Conway. We were introduced to her in "The Secret Place". It's been 8 months since the events in that book. She is now partnered with Stephen Moran (see "Faithful Place and "The Secret Place") and feels ready to make a change. She was focused on getting on the Murder Squad, but it's not what she thought it would be. She's the subject of jokes, put-downs, someone keeps messing with her and her cases, and she feels like the gaffer (O'Kelly) hates her too since he isn't putting a stop to things. She starts thinking she should put in her papers and go work for a friend at a private security firm. O'Kelly comes in and throws her and Steve (I love that Antoinette does not call him Stephen) what looks like a slam dunk domestic. A woman (Aislinn Murray) is found murdered and though an anonymous call called it in, everyone assumes her boyfriend/husband/etc. killed her. However, things look weird on the scene, and Conway and Moran start thinking that something more sinister is at play here. When Conway and Moran get one of the senior detectives assigned to their case to help them with their witness skills (Breslin) the two of them start to wonder if he could be part of some mysterious cabal that killed Aislinn. 


There's a lot going on in this book. Conway we find was raised by a single mother who wouldn't tell her who her real father is. Due to her mother's constant lies about things it caused Conway to run head first into being a police officer. We know that she's really good at her job and she likes partnering with Moran. However, she's getting worn down everyday by fighting with the other detectives in the squad. Initially, Moran thinks it may be a good thing to have Breslin along since maybe Conway can practice being nice (yeah that made me laugh too). When the two of them start to think that Breslin may have something to do with Aislin's murder it becomes interesting to read the tension between Conway and Breslin along with Moran and Breslin. The whole time reading most of this book I felt tense that something terrible could happen to Conway and Moran.


I also loved that French went back to having a woman being the POV for one of the Dublin Murder Squad books (I like to pretend "The Likeness" didn't happen) and that she was a WOC. Conway is tough and abrasive at times, but we get little peeks into her throughout this book. She does wonder about her father, but has moved past it. She owns her own home, but did most of the work herself and likes it. She loves to run and that seems to settle her. Doesn't cook and doesn't see the point of it. Her and Moran compliment each other, but even Conway is realizing that if things don't change soon, she's going to have to quit, cause even Moran can't keep a lid on her temper for very long. 


Conway's thoughts on the victim were interesting to read/hear. She has some contempt towards Aislin for her home, for her inability to let go of her past and move on from it, and even from her harebrained ideas. I think the contempt was there due to her feeling frustrated with her for not being as strong as Conway was in similar circumstances. 


The secondary characters were good in this one. Since the first book, I don't think I had a clear idea who is on the squad, Conway does a great job talking about each detective. There is even some reference to former detectives (Scorcher) too. 


The writing was so good. I could follow everything and loved where the book went and you get to who killed Aislin and why. 

The ending was fantastic. I think if you wanted to end the series here you could. Because things come to an end in a way that I had not thought of at all and you have Conway and Moran realizing things that they thought were true were false.