Friday, 5 September 2014

The Secret Place by Tana French

This book was received as a pre-publication release from the Reading Agency.

The book group I belong to read it and this is their review on it:

With high expectations from the blurb, reviews on Amazon and the author recommendations, the group felt badly let down!

The group liked the alternating chapters of past and present but that was felt to be the only positive.

The book was poorly written and the language overly flowery, the school setting was unrealistic (all the book group members work in schools). The creation of the ‘secret place’ in a school to post concerns and worries was a scenario ripe for bullying and was felt to be unbelievable to them and merely a device to kick start the plot. 

There was a complete lack of suspense and the group did no not care ‘whodunnit’ – the majority had already identified the perpetrators of both the crime and the card early in the book! The depiction of both the police and the teenage girls was felt to be stereotypical and one dimensional and the two groups of girls were felt to be indistinguishable from one another. This lack of characterisation made feeling empathy for any of the characters difficult.

The supernatural element was ridiculous and pointless.

There was some poor editing – if the history of Holly’s mum’s relationship with the school and her friends, had been introduced earlier it would have made more sense about the theme of friendship which the author was trying to explore and to use to as a plot device.

Very disappointed!

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