–Post by Molly
Tana French worked as an actress before she began writing her Dublin Murder Squad series, and the psychological insight she brings to her novels reflects her previous career. French started off her life in crime fiction with the brilliant Edgar-award winning debut, In The Woods, and this year, she published her fifth novel in the loosely connected series, The Secret Place. Each of French’s crime novels features a different detective in the Dublin police force working on a case designed to erode the boundaries between personal and professional life. Here are a few recommendations for the fan of Tana French…
1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize earlier this year for her novel The Goldfinch, and many have been revisiting her earlier novels in light of her recent accolades. In Tartt’s debut novel, particularly suggested for those who enjoyed Tana French’s The Likeness, six classics students at a small, insular private college in the northeast murder one of their own group and suffer a slow and steady psychological breakdown from that point on.
2. Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg
Peter Hoeg wrote Smilla’s Sense of Snow in the early 90s, sparking a revival of international interest in Scandinavian detective fiction, and yet today what I consider the greatest crime novel to ever come out of the Nordic nations has been eclipsed by Steig Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy and those authors that have followed since. Smilla’s Sense of Snow is an icy, beautiful novel. A glaciologist, torn between her indigenous Greenlander identity and her life in Copenhagen, goes on a quest to solve the murder of a child and explores her own identity and that of her nation’s while doing so.
3. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
If you like Tana French, then you like psychological insight, buried crimes, and complex investigations, all of which are present in Kate Atkinson’s brilliant crime novel Case Histories, where all characters are complicit and none are to be blamed. Kate Atkinson has written many novels, all distinct and only some shelved in the mystery section, but each work Atkinson crafts has that perfect combination of psychology, literary prose, and deeply humanistic characters.
Copies of the above listed books can be found on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.