Tana French's gripping psychological thriller spotlights Frank Mackey, a hard-edged yet respected detective with the Dublin Police Undercover Unit. Twenty-two years ago, when Frank was 19, his girlfriend Rosie jilted him. Or did she?
Frank and Rosie grew up in the Dublin slums, and because her father would not allow Rosie to date Frank, the two lovers were forced to meet secretly. Frustrated, they decided to run away to England together. Their plan was to meet very late on a winter night at No. 16, Faithful Place, a vacant house. Rosie never showed up. Frank found a note from her implying that she had decided to make her way to England on her own -- that it would be better that way. Hurt beyond description, Frank, too, left home that fateful night in 1985, determined never to return.
The cliché "Time heals all" applied in this case, and for more than 20 years Frank carries on with life, believing Rosie is living somewhere in England. But when he learns that a suitcase, certain to be Rosie's, has been found, he breaks his vow and returns to the old neighborhood. Frank's suspicion that the discovery of the neatly packed suitcase means that Rosie never left Dublin is tragically confirmed. Her skeletal remains are uncovered beneath a concrete slab in the horrific rat-infested basement of No. 16, Faithful Place.
As plot twists unfold, suspense heightens. And because, in the character of Frank Mackey, French has created such a likable protagonist, readers will be relieved to learn that a second note from Rosie is found, one that expresses her love for Frank and her conviction that they will be happy together forever.