Faithful Place

Faithful Place

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The course of Frank Mackey's life was set by one defining moment when he was nineteen. The moment his girlfriend, Rosie Daly, failed to turn up for their rendezvous in Faithful Place, failed to run away with him to London as they had planned. Frank never heard from her again. Twenty years on, Frank is still in Dublin, working as an undercover cop. He's cut all ties with his dysfunctional family. Until his sister calls to say that Rosie's suitcase has been found. Frank embarks on a journey into his past that demands he reevaluate everything he believes to be true.
Publisher: London : Hodder & Stoughton, 2010.
ISBN: 9780340977613
Characteristics: 434 p. ;,24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Sep 28, 2019

Set in Dublin, Frank is an undercover cop who left his dysfunctional crazy family behind years ago. But he does talk to one fairly normal sister. A suitcase has been found in an old haunt of his and it looks as if it his girlfriend’s who was set to run away with him twenty years ago but never showed up. Her murdered body is also found in the creepy house and the story is on. I can’t say I didn’t guess the killer correctly but I am in love with the prose of Tana French.

Sep 17, 2019

Dublin Murder Squad 3

Mar 28, 2019

Dublin Murder Squad #3

Jan 17, 2019

I'm making my way through Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, and although I'm liking the books, it's clear that French's style is inconsistent. So after finishing the third (which I liked better than the second, in many ways), I can say with confidence that if you loved the atmospheric creep factor and unanswered possible-magical-realism mystery of In The're not gonna get that with her other books (at least not so far). On the one hand, that's frustrating because I liked the style and pace of book one. On the other hand, these are still solid mysteries. Also, "Dublin Murder Squad" is a misnomer- they're all about solving murders, but only the first book involves a detective *on* the Dublin Murder Squad. Books 2 and 3 involve detectives in Undercover. So that's my PSA.

One of my favorite things about this book was Frank's turns of phrase. I don't know if this is classic Irish wit and language, or he's meant to be snappy (for the reader- the other characters certainly don't notice or comment on it), but some of his phrases made me laugh out loud. Also, for all that I mistrusted him while reading The Likeness, I do like him as a main character. And I hope young Stephen is the MC of the next book.

Without giving too much away, this story centers on a very personal cold case, and the story is as much about how family shapes (and breaks) you as it is about solving a murder. Most of it is fairly heartbreaking, for someone who had a great childhood and a loving family. It also feels very realistic (not to Ireland specifically, but to those areas of high poverty and misery rate, with attitudes that 'getting out' makes you a lesser person).

The mystery itself is a bit twisty for the first half of the story, but then it holds the same direction. Again, at that point it's mostly the story of Frank, more so than solving the murder. The end if a bit....mellow? lackluster? It holds no punch, it isn't a cliffhanger (none of hers are, really), and it leaves us well able to walk away from Frank, the mystery, and all.

To be honest, I'm considering setting it aside, the reading of this series. Without an overarching mystery, or an investment in the recurring characters (because there basically are none), I find myself wondering why I should grab the next one. Maybe in the winter they'll feel like a better choice, when I gravitate toward more introspective and contemplative stories.

Jan 08, 2019

An Irish detective finds himself pulled back into his old working class neighbourhood when his teenage sweetheart turns up dead...20 years later.
This is the second book I read by Tana French, and I'm glad I did--because I regret to say the first one bored me to tears. (The Trespasser) Faithful Place was an excellent read... intriguing plot, gritty and occasionally a little wry humour.

I like British/Irish crime novels with good characters & a good story. This one reflects the societal & economic struggles of a down-trodden Dublin neighbourhood over time. The story slowly peals back the layers and jumps between the present & the 1980s past. "Whodunnit" wasn't obvious to me...there's a lot of unpleasant characters & a lack of apparent motives.

Audiobook on cd, read by Gerard Reynolds: In this engaging compelling story set in present-day Dublin, Frank Mackey is a divorced police officer with a daughter. When he was 19 and living at home, he made plans with girlfriend Rosie to get out of Ireland and start a life together in England. When Rosie doesn’t show up at their secret meeting place, Frank assumes that she has left without him and he decides to run away on his own. He doesn’t make contact with his family again until he hears that a suitcase has been found walled up in the house where he and Rosie were going to meet. He goes back to find out what happened on the night that his life changed forever. This is a wonderful story brought to life by listening to it. While it is not uplifting, I was left with a sense of hope for Frank. (submitted by LL)

Aug 02, 2018

Love this book. What is fascinating is that even as you might well guess who might be the killer, the motives and the characters still take me by surprise.

Mar 11, 2018

I admire the quality of the writing in her unflinching portrayal of a dysfunctional, unhappy, working class family in Dublin. The author also has a gift for rendering realistic dialogue and capturing accents. But the depressing story drags on too long, the characters are all unlikeable, and the likely killer is fairly obvious. Unpleasant with little satisfaction.

Jul 23, 2017

This is my 4th book by this author. Her stories are unique and compelling, set in Dublin, Ireland and featuring the Murder Squad (homicide) and the Undercover Squad. I never quite know what to expect from her stories, they are all somewhat different and unpredictable. I truly enjoyed this book.

TSCPL_Miranda Jun 25, 2017

Gripping from the start, and hard to put down. The main character is complicated--admirable in some ways and irritating in others (like a lot of humans I know). The conclusion was satisfying and uplifting, and I immediately put another book by this author on hold.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Apr 19, 2021

My favorite Tana French novel. All of her novels have a tasty mix of character development, dramatic tension, and action, with plot twists that keep one off balance. I thought the resolution in this novel was particularly satisfying.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top