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The Searcher

The Searcher

Book - 2020
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Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.
Publisher: [New York] : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2020].
ISBN: 9780735224650
Characteristics: 464 pages ; 23 cm.


From Library Staff

Retired Chicago police officer and recent divorcee has retreated to an idyllic Irish village. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing convinces him into investigating, he starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.
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Mar 14, 2021

Here is a novel that combines two familiar tropes - the "fish out of water" and the
"retired cop lured back in to solve a case." The fish out of water is a Chicago cop who has retired to rural Ireland. He agrees to help find a missing person (hence, The Searcher) at he behest of an outcast 13-year-old for whom has has great sympathy. Since he has no authority in his new community, he is unable to use his typical cop resources and as he lacks knowledge of the community dynamics, he is often creating suspicion and inadvertently causing problems for himself. The novel takes its time. There are two big reveals, one a complete surprise, one no surprise at all. The writing is excellent - you get a terrific sense of place and the relationship between the cop and the kid is very well done - and it has a satisfying conclusion. All in all, a good read.

Mar 11, 2021

I did not like the way this book was written. It reads like a play script and I could not get into the story. The plot seemed great but not the writing style I like.

Mar 08, 2021

I found this to be an enjoyable read. I liked the Irish country setting vibe as well.

Mar 04, 2021

I got this book as a "surprise checkout" and decided to give it a go as I had never read anything by this author before. I really enjoyed it. It wasn't edge of your seat excitement, but there was enough intrigue to keep me guessing right up until the end. I'm definitely going to read more of this author.

Feb 15, 2021

Having read a good review of The Searcher, I wanted to like this story. However, I struggled to get through the first 30 pages and will return the book mostly unread. The story itself had potential, but the writing was immature. I felt as if I were reading a story that a talented high school student had written.

The author's descriptions were weak, almost awkward, and mostly missed their mark. The various curse words she used in the narrative felt gratuitous and forced, not realistic (as if she felt she had to use these words in order for people to like the story). Using those same words when the main character was speaking was okay because that is part of his personality.

French's attempts at description made for a choppy flow, it was difficult to imagine the scenes. I'm probably spoiled by writers such as Pat Conroy ("Prince of Tides") who knew how to compose magnificent sentences with descriptions that put the reader right there in the midst of the story.

Feb 13, 2021

I knew from the first few pages that I would enjoy this book. I would say it’s a light mystery. Being that I don’t enjoy ‘thrillers’ it just suited me fine.

Feb 10, 2021

An enjoyable atmospheric mystery novel set in a small village in Ireland where a retired American detective has come to retire, but gets caught up in solving the case of a neighbor's missing teen son/brother. For me, the novel was like armchair travel as I got to know the village, the villagers' lifestyle, and the landscape through the skilled writing of the author. I loved the descriptions of the Irish countryside (not fillers for me). Certainly, the descriptions of poverty for some of the people in the village was disheartening as was the description of the villagers' current problems as they realized that their way of life was slowly changing. I liked the dialog, the banter, and the relationship between the characters. The characters are sympathetic, especially the 13 year old who trusts that the retired newbie/incomer, not the Garda, will find the missing brother. Although it takes a while to get the detective on the missing person case, the author, then, slowly flushes out the needed clues from his interviews with the teen's friends, his family members, and villagers in order to solve "the case." Based on this work, I would read more novels by Tana French.

Feb 01, 2021

A well written slow burner that really never paid off for me. French handles the characters well, with enough charm and banter to string the reader along, but the pacing of the plot is so dreadfully slow, and ultimately lacking in any surprise or catharsis, that in the end I was left nonplused. The Searcher is just not my cup of tea.

Jan 31, 2021

A long way to go (450 pp) for not much. The writing is fine, with some evocative descriptions and moods of the Irish weather and countryside. A couple interesting characters, with good development and wonderful local customs and idioms. However, the story is slow-going, the protagonist's motivation to engage in this "mystery" seems strained, and the confined setting requires " a wee bitta patience." I hear French's Dublin series is very good; this is the wrong book to get started with her.

Jan 21, 2021

gave up half way through because nothing was happening and it was going nowhere. just 200 pages of a guy fixing up his house and his old coot irish neighbor cracking jokes... did not want another 200+ pages of nothingness

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Feb 18, 2021

After his wife leaves him, Cal, a retired ex-cop leaves Chicago for small village in west Ireland. Gets involved with young boy from a derelict and shunned family, whose brother has disappeared. Very strange neighbors!


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