Thursday, December 18, 2014

THE SECRET PLACE by Tana French Audio Edition

With impressive theater backgrounds Stephen Hogan and Lara Hutchinson bring amazing voices to the fifth Dublin Murder Squad mystery.  They seemingly inhabit the characters bringing an intriguing story to vivid life.  This is a series that just gets better and better, but what else would one expect from Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry award winner Tana French? She tells this story from different perspectives, each building to a startling conclusion.

Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting not too patiently to become a part of Dublin’s Murder Squad.  It appears his time has come when sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey, the daughter of a colleague and a student at St. Kilda’s boarding school, beings him a notice from her school’s notice board known as The Secret Place.  It is secret because girls can pin up what they wish anonymously.  What Holly brings Moran is a bit of a shocker - the year before Chris Harper, a well-liked teenager from the neighboring boy’s school had been murdered, a killing still unsolved.  Holly brings a photo of Chris with the phrase “I know who killed him” on it.

Moran takes the photo to a tough detective whose case this had been - Antoinette Conway.  The two of them visit the school and their appearance as well as their interrogation sparks happenings that draw in Holly and her close friends.

Of course, solving the murder is at the core of this tale but along the way French explores secrets that teenage girls might keep as well as  cleverly drawing in questions of friendship and loyalty.

The Secret Place is an aces tale from start to finish, rich in atmosphere and hidden places of the mind and heart.

- Gail Cooke

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