The Searcher by Tana French ~ Set in Ireland ~ Character Driven #LiteraryFiction #Audiobook #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Tana French

Performed by Roger Clark

Released: November 2020 by Penguin Audio

Category: Murder, Mystery, Literary Fiction, Audiobook, Review


Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a remote Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force, and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens.

But then a local kid comes looking for his help. His brother has gone missing, and no one, least of all the police, seems to care. Cal wants nothing to do with any kind of investigation, but somehow he can’t make himself walk away.

Cal Hooper, retired from the Chicago PD after 25 years, relocated to the rural west coast of Ireland after the break up of his marriage and having become disenchanted with the way things were going in America.

His run down cottage—surrounded by fields, hedges and stone walls with distant mountain views—is a far cry from his life in the city, but he was craving peace and a slower pace of life where he can lay the cop part of himself to rest and just work on renovations to his new home, go for walks and fish. He’s learning, however, that even here life isn’t as loose and laid back as he first thought, and although people are friendly—in particular his nearest neighbour, Mart, and sisters Noreen and Lena—Cal keeps a fairly low profile.

Just lately Cal has had the feeling of being watched on several occasions, his well developed instincts coming to the fore. After several near misses trying to catch out whoever it is, he eventually discovered his intruder is thirteen year old Trey Reddy.

The kid’s eyes snap wide and his muscles snap tight. He’s on the verge of flight, toes barely touching the grass.

‘You’ve been keeping a pretty good eye on me, ’Cal says. ‘Any reason for that?’

After a moment the kid shakes his head. He’s still ready to run, eyes fixed on Cal to catch the first signs of a lunge.

‘There’s something you want to know? Because if you do, now would be a real good time to go ahead and ask straight out like a man.’

The kid shakes his head again.

‘Got any problems with me?’

Another head shake, this one more vehement.

It turned out Trey’s elder brother had gone missing and Trey wanted Cal’s help in finding him. Somehow Trey had found out Cal is an ex cop. No-one else but Trey seemed bothered about Brendan’s disappearance, including the local police. Cal couldn’t make himself turn Trey away despite Trey’s problematic methods of persuasion and his own reluctance to interfere or cause any trouble.

The Searcher is a slow burning, multi-layered, character driven tale packed full of atmospheric, descriptive and evocative prose, insightful characterisations and a vivid sense of place.  I love the relationship that builds between Cal and Trey, both are excellently portrayed and interesting—the unfavourable circumstances and poverty surrounding Trey and Cal’s compassion and rough kindness.

There’s a growing underlying sense of menace and danger as Cal digs deeper in his search for the truth, bringing somewhat unwelcome attention to himself while uncovering things he might have preferred not to know. But he’s not one to give up at the first sign of trouble. With several unexpected twists this was, for me, a compelling and absorbing listen. Roger Clark’s excellent narration brought the characters to vibrant life and the accents were spot on.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

About the Author

Tana French is the New York Times bestselling author of In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, The Secret Place, The Trespasser and The Witch Elm. Her books have won awards including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry Awards, the Los Angeles Times Award for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Dublin with her family.

Author links ~ Website | Facebook

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