Is there any better antidote to Minnesota this time of year than a mystery with a plot that won't stop heating up? Tana French's "The Trespasser" was scorching by the time I finished it. Told from the point of view of a fierce Irish detective who worked her way up to leading a Murder Squad investigation, the book's tension comes not just from the protagonist being female in a male-dominated world, but also from its "interoffice politics." Somehow French keeps the plot tight and swift while also creating distinct characters, sharp dialogue and a narrator who's relentless, colorful and memorable. And often profanely funny.

Joan McGrath, Minneapolis

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