Tana French is able to create a web of characters that envelope the reader, making her novels seem completely real. I enjoyed following Detective Cassandra Maddox from French’s first novel into this one, as she went undercover to solve the murder of Lexi, or rather someone pretending to be Lexi. A woman assumed a fake identity Cassie created several years ago when she was working undercover, and also had but had an uncanny resemblance to Cassie. Since both Cassie and the woman pretending to be Lexi looked so much alike, it was plausible for Cassie to assume her identity and life to try to discover who killed her. Although the plot was a bit far-fetched, it was very creative and unique.
I actually found it enjoyable to watch Cassie pretend she was Lexi. Since Lexi was a made up person, discovering who the young woman was that assumed this identify was an interesting element to the plot. The story was suspenseful as the reader watched “Lexi” interact with her roommates, knowing that every conversation could be the one where Cassie says the wrong thing and blows her cover. It soon became apparent that the close-knit bond shared among the five roommates Lexi lives with, and who are all suspects in her murder, is eerie, but Cassie has no idea how dangerous it will be to her own safety. Again, French made the investigation of Lexi’s death very believable through an intricate plot.
French managed to resolve the ending in a manner that would please readers, unlike her first book, “In The Woods.” I suppose the endings of her books are a bit like a Perry Mason episode, with the killer confessing every detail to the detectives, but in some ways I like that everything is tied up. Overall, the novel was an intriguing murder mystery. I really liked this book and would recommend it.