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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Recommended Reading: The Trespasser by Tana French

What is it that I think I know? And, am I right?

These are the questions Dublin Murder Squad Detective Antoinette Conway must ask as she and her partner, Steve Moran, investigate when a woman is found dead in an apartment, surrounded by all the elements for hosting a cozy dinner party for two. Conway and Moran work the night shift where they catch an endless series of cases in which one spouse murders the other; domestic cases which, as their boss knows, make Conway mad, and which, professionally speaking, are not particularly challenging to investigate. Now their boss - the gaffer in Dublin speak - has handed them this case, one that appears to be yet another "slam-dunk domestic." But is it?

In addition to the case, the gaffer also gives Conway and Moran backup, an experienced murder squad detective named Breslin. The two partners dislike the implication that they need help to clear the case. And Conway has additional concerns. She wonders if Breslin is on board as part of an effort to get her kicked out of the Murder Squad, a place that has not made her feel welcome or comfortable.

By the time I made it onto the squad, something had changed. . .  I came in at the wrong time, and I got of on the wrong foot. 
. . .
Deep down, though, it wasn't about me being a woman. That was just their in; that was just the thing that they thought would or should, make it easy for them to push me around. Deep down, this was simpler. This was about the exact same thing as primary school, when Ireland was still lily-white and I was the only brownish kid around, and my first ever nickname was Shiteface. It was about the same thing as everything else humans have done to each other since before history began: power. It was deciding about who would be the alpha dogs and who would be at the bottom of the pile. 
I went in expecting that. Every squad hazes the newbie . . . and Murder was already growing a rep for doing it that bit harder, fewer laughs, more edge. But just because I expected it, that didn't mean I was gonna take it. If I learned one thing in school, it's this: you never let them get you on the bottom of the pile. If you do, you might never get up again.
Fighting office politics colors Conway's investigation. Her work has been sabotaged before. But she is determined that it will not happen here, on what may be her last case. And where this dogged determination leads her is an engaging and surprising story.

What does Conway know? And is she right?

The Trespasser is another great read from Tana French.

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