In the Secret Place
by Tana French
reviewed by Cate Ziegler
In the mystery novel, The Secret Place, by Tana French, the reader gets a run-through of a cold case concerning the murder of a popular teenage boy name Chris Harper. French structures the novel with chapters that alternate between detective Stephen Moran’s point of view and Holly Mackey’s point of view. The structure of this book allows the reader to see both sides of the story, the accused and the accuser.
French includes a lot of important characters in her novel, most of them being suspects in Chris Harper’s murder. The two most important characters are Stephen Moran and Holly Mackey. Stephen Moran is the leading detective that can put on a pretty good act to convince people to trust him and give him what he wants. The second most important person, Holly Mackey, is in one of the groups that is indicted with Chris Harper’s murder. Stephen Moran’s partner, ruthless detective Antoinette Conway, is contacted to assist Moran in his investigation. Detective Conway and Moran investigate two groups of girls, the popular girls, and the “weird” girls.
The story begins when Holly Mackey brings a piece of evidence relating to the murder of Chris Harper to detective Stephan Moran. Since detective Moran wasn’t the lead on the case of Chris Harper, he contacts the new head of the murder department, detective Conway, to assist him. The continue their investigation at St. Kilda’s, an exclusive all-girls, private, boarding school. Apon arriving at St. Kilda’s, the detectives start to interrogate two the main cliques, the popular girls group, and the “weird” girls group, which includes Chris’ girlfriend and Holly Mackey. As the book progresses and the incriminating evidence accumulates, the book takes a twist giving the reader a whole new view of the plot and Holly Mackey’s friends.
I would highly recommend The Secret Place for any reader that likes a mystery, fantasy, or romance because the reader can find many relationships between the boy’s and girl’s schools, a murder on a campus, and a magical twist within the story.