The Trespasser

Tana French and her Ireland

Tana French
Tana French
1 JAN 2017
by

While Ireland is the silent protagonist of all Tana French works it is her imaginary detectives who really have such an appeal to be magnetic in every situation she decides to put them in. In this specific case they are dealing with the brutal murder of a young, beautiful woman who had recently taken some drastic decisions about herself and her life. Choices that might have led to such a savage finale.

Detective Conway has to solve the case in no time, having all the murder squad against her as they hurry her to close some paperwork which seems obvious from the very beginning. However, the certainly of having already met the victim in the past (even though she doesn’t remember the circumstances) convinces her to go ahead and face an uneasy truth that will also involve her past.

These books which look like ‘mere’ detective stories with a tangled plot and an eagerly awaited coup the theatre at the end, are – in reality – classic literary works, with echoes from the XIX century masters. Her sublime finesse in the narration makes her unique and almost impossible to translate in other languages, maintaining the same level of pathos. Her writing style is very raw and direct while still keeping masterful nuances. Her chapters close as little masterpieces that make the book impossible to put down.

The Trespasser follows a fortunate series with memorable characters and Irish settings reminding of T.S. Eliot’s wilderness. Starting from In the Woods up to Broken Harbour that have also given a ferocious account of the psychological and physical consequences of the economic crisis. It is no chance, French has often talked about the Arthurian Legends as one of her main literary influences, as her narration reminds us of the Celtic classic storytelling, because it is focuses on the crucial moments in the protagonists’ lives, on the choices after which it is impossible to go back and the less positive and more subtle aspects of interpersonal relationships.

Tana French definitely doesn’t like to repeat herself, for this reason it would be intriguing to see her deal with different literary genres, apart from the one which has made her one of the most loved contemporary writers in the world.