The Secret Place

Since his turn as Frank Mackey's sidekick in The Faithful Place, Detective Stephen Moran has been biding his time working in Cold Cases, hoping to get his foot in the door with the elite Dublin Murder Squad. He gets a lucky break in the form of Mackey's daughter, Holly. A teenager attending the prestigious girls' boarding school St. Kilda's, she ditches school and shows up at the station. In her hands is a card with the words "I know who killed him" glued across a picture of Chris Harper, a popular boy who was found dead on the campus of St. Kilda's months ago.

Moran talks his way into the investigation alongside Detective Antoinette Conway, an ambitious officer two years Moran's junior: Moran's universal likability and optimism make him the perfect good cop to Conway's cynical, bullish bad cop. As they face down a tight-lipped headmistress, a bevy of teen girls who may as well have "razor blades in their hair," and a ticking clock before they're shoved off the school grounds, Moran and Conway must learn to trust each other if they're going to catch a killer.

Tana French expertly lays bare the striations of age, class and gender that keep people apart while making them need each other more. With carefully crafted characters and motives, French not only makes a boarding school murder seem plausible, she makes the reader wonder how teenagers could ever live in such close quarters without doing each other grievous bodily harm.  --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

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