When Tana French's psychological thriller In the Woods was released, it took the literary world by surprise, becoming a national bestseller, receiving critical acclaim, and winning the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award. Several years later she has followed her debut novel with a sequel, The Likeness. Fast-forwarding a year later, Detective Cassie Maddox is no longer working with the Dublin murder squad. However, that changes when the body of a stabbing victim is discovered. To complicate matters, the victim's appearance is nearly identical to Cassie's, and her "identity" (Lexie Madison) matches one of Cassie's old undercover names. So, what happens when one comes across her own doppelganger? If this were a comedy, wacky high jinx would ensue, but this is a gritty police thriller, so expect tension, crisscrossing plotlines, and red herrings. Going undercover, Cassie picks up where her mysterious (and presumably undercover herself) twin left off, resuming Lexie Madison's life as a grad student living in a manor with four of her friends. Though the plot sounds genre-campy in summation, French (who has lived in Ireland since 1990) grounds the story with details of police work, flawed characters, and the people they may befriend yet ultimately betray in order to piece together the mystery at hand.
Wed., July 30, 7:30 p.m., 2008