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The Likeness
Cover of The Likeness
The Likeness
A Novel
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New York Times bestselling author Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher, is "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years" (The Washington Post) and "inspires cultic devotion in readers" (The New Yorker).
"Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting." —The New York Times

Now airing as a Starz series.
In the "compellingˮ (The Boston Globe) and "pitch perfectˮ (Entertainment Weekly) follow-up to Tana French's runaway bestseller In the Woods, Cassie Maddox has transferred out of the Dublin Murder Squad—until an urgent telephone call brings her back to an eerie crime scene.

The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used as an undercover cop. Suddenly, Cassie is back undercover, to find out not only who killed this young woman, but, more importantly, who she was.

The Likeness is a supremely suspenseful story exploring the nature of identity and belonging.
New York Times bestselling author Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher, is "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years" (The Washington Post) and "inspires cultic devotion in readers" (The New Yorker).
"Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting." —The New York Times

Now airing as a Starz series.
In the "compellingˮ (The Boston Globe) and "pitch perfectˮ (Entertainment Weekly) follow-up to Tana French's runaway bestseller In the Woods, Cassie Maddox has transferred out of the Dublin Murder Squad—until an urgent telephone call brings her back to an eerie crime scene.

The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used as an undercover cop. Suddenly, Cassie is back undercover, to find out not only who killed this young woman, but, more importantly, who she was.

The Likeness is a supremely suspenseful story exploring the nature of identity and belonging.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover

    This is Lexie Madison's story, not mine. I'd love to tell you one without getting into the other, but it doesn't work that way. I used to think I sewed us together at the edges with my own hands, pulled the stitches tight and I could unpick them any time I wanted. Now I think it always ran deeper than that and farther, underground; out of sight and way beyond my control.

    This much is mine, though: everything I did. Frank puts it all down to the others, mainly to Daniel, while as far as I can tell Sam thinks that, in some obscure and slightly bizarro way, it was Lexie's fault. When I say it wasn't like that, they give me careful sideways looks and change the subject—I get the feeling Frank thinks I have some creepy variant of Stockholm syndrome.
    That does happen to undercovers sometimes, but not this time. I'm not trying to protect anyone; there's no one left to protect. Lexie and the others will never know they're taking the blame and wouldn't care if they did. But give me more credit than that. Someone else may have dealt the hand, but I picked it up off the table, I played every card, and I had my reasons.

    This is the main thing you need to know about Alexandra Madison: she never existed. Frank Mackey and I invented her, a long time ago, on a bright summer afternoon in his dusty office on Harcourt Street. He wanted people to infiltrate a drug ring in University College Dublin. I wanted the job, maybe more than I had ever wanted anything in my life.

    He was a legend: Frank Mackey, still in his thirties and already running undercover operations; the best Undercover agent Ireland's ever had, people said, reckless and fearless, a tightrope artist with no net, ever. He walked into IRA cells and criminal gangs like he was walking into his local pub. Everyone had told me the story: when the Snake—a career gangster and five-star wacko, who once left one of his own men quadriplegic for not buying his round—got suspicious and threatened to use a nail gun on Frank's hands, Frank looked him in the eye without breaking a sweat and bluffed him down till the Snake slapped him on the back and gave him a fake Rolex by way of apology. Frank still wears it.

    I was a shiny green rookie, only a year out of Templemore Training College. A couple of days earlier, when Frank had sent out the call for cops who had a college education and could pass for early twenties, I had been wearing a neon yellow vest that was too big for me and patrolling a small town in Sligo where most of the locals looked disturbingly alike. I should have been nervous of him, but I wasn't, not at all. I wanted the assignment too badly to have room for anything else.

    His office door was open and he was sitting on the edge of his desk, wearing jeans and a faded blue T-shirt, flipping through my file. The office was small and had a disheveled look, like he used it mainly for storage. The desk was empty, not even a family photo; on the shelves, paperwork was mixed in with blues CDs, tabloids, a poker set and a woman's pink cardigan with the tags still on. I decided I liked this guy.

    "Cassandra Maddox," he said, glancing up.

    "Yes, sir," I said. He was average height, stocky but fit, with good shoulders and close-cut brown hair. I'd been expecting someone so nondescript he was practically invisible, maybe the Cancer Man from The X Files, but this guy had rough, blunt features and wide blue eyes, and the kind of presence that leaves heat streaks on the air where he's been. He wasn't my type, but I was pretty sure he got a lot of female attention.

    "Frank. 'Sir' is for desk jockeys." His accent was old inner-city Dublin, subtle but deliberate, like...

About the Author-
  • Tana French is the author of In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor and The Secret Place. 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.
    Heather O'Neill is a novelist, poet, short-story writer, screenwriter, and essayist. Lullabies for Little Criminals, her debut novel, was published in 2006 to international critical acclaim and was short-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Born and raised in Montreal, O'Neill lives there today with her daughter.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine In the sequel to French's Edgar Award-winning debut, IN THE WOODS, Detective Cassie Maddox attempts to track down the killer of a woman who assumed the persona of a fictional character created to assist in drug busts in Dublin. Maddox must now go undercover as the mystery woman to find the killer. Narrator Heather O'Neill is a perfect choice for narrator. She commands her audience as she steps into Maddox's shoes with ease. O'Neill's Irish accent is pitch-perfect, and the story's emotions come through her words. The novel's climax is frightening and intense, but O'Neill guides listeners through the darkness. L.B. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 19, 2008
    Edgar-winner French blurs the boundaries between victim and cop, memory and fantasy, in this stunning sequel to her debut, In the Woods
    . Det. Cassie Maddox, a dead ringer for Lexie Madison, whose body has been found on the outskirts of the Irish village of Glenskehy, agrees to masquerade as Lexie in a police effort to identify her murderer. Cassie journeys to Whitethorn House, the rambling mansion Lexie shared with four fellow Ph.D. students and tells the friends that she survived the attack. As she probes deeper into the close-knit group, Cassie finds herself becoming emotionally attached to the stoic Daniel, sensitive Justin, gadabout Rafe and dependable Abby. But as tensions rise in the house and in Glenskehy, Cassie must decide if the biggest threat comes from without or lurks within. French cleverly subverts the conventions of the locked room mystery, ratcheting up the tension at every turn with her multidimensional characters. Readers looking for a new name in psychological suspense need look no further than this powerful new Irish voice.

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The Likeness
A Novel
Tana French
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