Audiobook Review: The Likeness, by Tana French

When Detective Cassie Maddox is called to a murder scene--six months after she left The Murder Squad--she is shocked to find that the victim is her. Not only does the girl look like her, and have the same build, but she is carrying the identification Lexie Madison--of one of Cassie's old undercover aliases. Despite the dangers, she finds herself going back undercover--this time as herself, or as someone who was impersonating herself, or as someone who was impersonating her past impersonations. The undercover assignment gets at the very core of Cassie's identity, and she quickly finds herself captivated by Lexie's life as a student, her seemingly perfect friends, and her idyllic, isolated living situation. But she is, at heart, still a detective, and must root out Lexie's murderer, whatever the cost.

The Likeness is Tana French's second Cassie Maddox mystery, the sequel to her debut novel, In the Woods. But it is also more than a mystery novel at heart, proving to be poetic, reflective, and thoughtful in its considerations of the Irish landscape, culture, social atmosphere; the world of student life; the simple pleasures of loyal friends and good company; the joys of turning a house into a home. French's writing is captivating in its own right, simple and elegant, poised and exact, only further enhanced by Heather O'Neill's crisp, clear narration (with an Irish accent, to boot).Which is not to say that the plot is not engaging as well--it is, in its slow and steady pace. The combination of the two results in a stunning novel of psychological suspense, and I look forward to reading more from French.

Side note: Apparently I have a knack for accidentally reading sequels first, as I didn't realize this carried forth the same characters from In the Woods. I'll still go back and read In the Woods at some point, but there were some spoilers in The Likeness. So if you've read neither and are considering either, start at the beginning.


Thoughts from other bookworms:
Bookworm Meets Bookworm 
Book Confessions
NYC Book Girl


You might also like:

In the Woods by Tana French
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright
The Secret History by Donna Tartt


The Likeness | Tana French, nar. Heather O'Neill | Recorded Books | Audio CD | September 2008 | Buy from an independent near you


  1. I just reviewed this about 2 weeks ago! I really enjoyed the audio version of this, and the next book (Faithful Place). But, spoiler alert, I did NOT like In the Woods at all. So I think starting with #2 is just fine. :)

    1. Good to know! Now I don't feel so bad for reading them out of order!

    2. Oh, also -- Heather O'Neill also narrated Anne Enright's The Forgotten Waltz, which I picked up on audio just because I really liked her narration.

  2. This sounds like a good book. Thanks for the review. I love escaping into a good thriller! I just finished one called, The Rx Factor by author J. Thomas Shaw. This is a fiction medical thriller, which is about a failed cancer researcher who meets a female scientist who reignites his passion and interest in medical researcher when she decides to open a low cost clinic in Mexico for terminally ill patients. She plans to offer them an experimental medication. An explosion on the island leads them into a journey of twists and turns as they discover that the United States Government will stop at nothing to block their efforts.

    This book made a very dull work week exciting!


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