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The Trespasser by Tana French

The Trespasser

by Tana French

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Quick take

An intricately-plotted thriller and a love letter to strong-willed women.

Why I love it

Tana French’s novels about the Dublin Murder Squad are among the most unique and beloved of contemporary crime fiction series. Rather than feature the same hero over and over again, in each book a new detective takes center stage. This allows the tone and perspective to change, even though the fast-pacing and intricate plotting remain consistent.

The Trespasser, the sixth novel in the series, comes with a fresh edge: not only is protagonist Antoinette Crowley a woman (the only one on Murder Squad), she’s a mixed race woman. Working on the Squad is Crowley’s dream and she’s damn good at it, but she has to be 'œfour times as good' (as the writer Roxane Gay would put it) as her white male co-workers. So while her colleagues waste their time pissing in her locker, stealing her witness reports or otherwise trying to intimidate her, she can’t afford to be shaken'”she must handle her cases with the utmost, jaw-clenching seriousness.

Antoinette’s case is a seemingly routine domestic murder that, as they tend to do in great thrillers, becomes way more complex than it originally seems. And the victim, or what we learn of her in life, is a fascinating, twisted woman in her own right. Antoinette puts on a brave face, but might be flawed narrator as well '“ is she being paranoid, or are her co-workers actually trying to impede her investigation? Come for the cool women and their complicated stories, stay for the hilarious descriptions of entitled men.

The timing for this novel could not be more apropos, as our country is poised elect our first female president. Now, I’ve never investigated a murder (or run for president!), but the micro and macro aggressions that plague Antoinette at work feel more than relevant to my own life. I’m a woman working in entertainment and on the internet. When I post a video to my YouTube channel, I can guarantee comments about my weight, my hair, my tone of voice, my anything '” I have to be as determined and single-minded as Antoinette to get my job done.

The Trespasser is a love letter to strong-willed women, and when I finished it I felt seen. Validated. Depicted. You should read it if you love intricately-plotted thrillers. You should read it if you love Tana French. And you should read it especially if you, like me, work in a sexist field and want to experience how thrilling it is when we not only succeed, but we take the fuck over.

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Member ratings (2,477)

  • Nicole R.

    Angels Camp, CA

    This was a great departure from the Dublin Murder Squad books Tana French is known for. It hasn't gotten the greatest reviews, but I was caught up in the story and the characters and enjoyed the read

  • Chrissie W.

    Indian Trail, NC

    Tana French's writing is so smooth its like liquid. A thick honey-like plasma that oozes in and dribbles down into the crevices of your gray matter, reminding you precisely why it is you love to read.

  • Stephanie A.

    Portland, OR

    The setting, the characters (especially the main lady), and the story - I loved it all! This was a "can't put it down!" status... difficult for me to have in my busy life these days, but so worth it!

  • Elizabeth C.

    Vancouver, WA

    Tana French is an excellent writer and she really delivers with The Trespasser! I love how she writes of the same squad, a different point of view each time. She keeps you interested until the end!

  • Alyssa R.

    Ringwood, NJ

    I loved this book so much I started reading the rest of the Murder Squad novels in the series. I highly recommend for those who are fans of crime and mystery novels. Very well written and enjoyable!

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