Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dear Great Book Guru,

My friends Carol and Bob are going to Dublin for the first time and I'm jealous! Can you think of a book about Dublin that I could read and, yes, tour along with them vicariously? Armchair Traveler

Dear Armchair Traveler, The book I have in mind might be the perfect antidote for your pangs of jealousy . FAITHFUL PLACE by Tana French is set in modern day Dublin but it is the gritty, hard living, crime-ridden city that is seldom seen by tourists. Frank Mackay grew up in a housing project known as Faithful Place but left as a teenager for many reasons: abusive father, irritating mother, damaged siblings, and most of all- a broken heart. Frank had been planning a secret midnight elopement to England with his girlfriend Rosie Daly. Rosie never showed up that night but left a note indicating she had changed her mind. Neither Frank nor her family ever heard from her again. The next twenty-two years saw Frank marry, have a child, divorce, and become a highly regarded undercover Dublin police officer, but he remained tortured by what he saw as Rosie's betrayal . He never returned to Faithful Place until…. During a building demolition, Rosie's suitcase is unearthed and shortly after, her body is also found. Frank finds himself entangled with a people and a place he thought he had left forever. The author gradually intertwines past and present events until we come to the inevitable realization that terrible crimes have been committed and many are guilty. You will never think of Dublin without remembering the denizens of Faithful Place.

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