Andy Nicolaides

January 6, 2022

Micro Book Review - The Searcher by Tana French

Hey, World 👋

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We’re four days into 2022 and I’m one book down in my reading challenge for the year. I’ve been tracking my reading via Goodreads for years, and more recently via Literal and, this year, I’m going to start tracking them via my blog as well by way of some short micro-reviews.

Initially, for those of you that want to just get to the point, I’ll share a small general overview via a great template that Matt Birchler has created. For now, you will see the TL;DR at the top of this post.

If you’re after a bit more detail, read on dear reader ...

The official synopsis for The Searcher, by Tana French, goes as follows:

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. Soon Cal will discover that even in the most idyllic small town, secrets lie hidden, people aren't always what they seem, and trouble can come calling at his door. Our greatest living mystery writer weaves a masterful tale of breath-taking beauty and suspense, asking how we decide what's right and wrong in a world where neither is simple, and what we risk if we fail.

This synopsis sums up the story very well, and to be frank there aren’t too many further layers to discover beyond this initial paragraph. I don’t know Tana French, the author, well enough to question the statement that she is the ’greatest living mystery writer’ but it doesn’t appear evident from reading this novel.

The story rolls along at a decent pace, but is definitely lacking any real thrills or the aforementioned suspense. It’s hard to go into much detail here without spoiling anything, but the mystery is solved very suddenly and without much fanfare or follow up.

This was a very relaxing read (or listen in my case) and was very well written from a realism standpoint. Nothing in the story felt contrived and it flowed along wonderfully. The book certainly has heart, but the stakes felt very low and the conclusion and resolution come out of nowhere.

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I had fun listening to this book, but it really could have done with less world building that didn’t really go anywhere and more actual mystery to be investigated. All in all, you could do a lot worse if you’re after a relaxing read. If you’re actually after a mystery novel, however, you may need to look elsewhere.

Next, I’m moving on to Gerald’s Game from my favourite author Stephen King. This one seems to have mixed reviews so we’ll need to see how that goes!

Thanks for reading. Look after yourself.

Kind regards,

Andy