Y’all, you simply must read all of Tana French’s crime fiction books —the Dublin Murder Squad series— as well as Chanel Miller’s memoir, Know My Name. French’s books are set in and around Dublin, are fabulous thrillers with deep emotional pull and character development, and provide such a riveting sense of place. I’ve devoured six and am about to jump in to the last; I’ve been saving it as I’m crushed to have come to the end of French’s offerings. If forced to rank, I’d start with In The Woods, closely followed or perhaps tied with The Witch Elm, and then, all tied, Faithful Place, The Likeness, and Broken Harbor. The Trespasser is a distant last, and the one that remains is The Secret Place.
These books are so smart, the best sort of exciting, suspenseful escapism. This is a great article about French and her books, while this offers other wonderful Irish crime fiction writers to read once you have, sadly, bid the Murder Squad slán.
The good news, at least, is that Starz is, in mere days, releasing an 8-part series called Dublin Murders based on French’s books. True love is that Tom, without telling me, subscribed to Starz this morning because he knows how much I love these books and will want to watch the show. WOOT!
In the meantime, I must send you in a completely different direction to an extremely non-fictional memoir: Know My Name. Written by Chanel Miller who was, for years, known as Emily Doe, the woman assaulted and abandoned by former Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner, Know My Name is a profoundly gorgeous, powerful, important work. It is searing, painful, strong, inspiring, and human. I considered things I’d not before and was furious with the realizations that we expect so much more of victims than I ever conceived of. What happened to Chanel is appalling, that Brock served just three months is as grotesque, but if there is a silver lining of any sort, it’s that Miller turned her trauma and pain into something truly remarkable, something that I suspect has offered comfort to millions more than she will ever know. I hope it also offered her some form of healing.