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Publisher's Summary

Best Book of 2020 by New York Times, NPR, and New York Post

"This hushed suspense tale about thwarted dreams of escape may be her best one yet.... Its own kind of masterpiece." (Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post)

"A new Tana French is always cause for celebration.... Read it once for the plot; read it again for the beauty and subtlety of French's writing." (Sarah Lyall, The New York Times)

Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After 25 years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.

"One of the greatest crime novelists writing today" (Vox) weaves a masterful, atmospheric tale of suspense, asking how to tell right from wrong in a world where neither is simple, and what we stake on that decision.

©2020 Tana French (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“A slow-burn stunner that will keep readers turning the pages late into the night. Recommend to the author’s legions of fans, as well as those who enjoy crime fiction set in small towns like Julia Keller’s or Jane Harper’s novels.” (Library Journal, starred review)

“In another stand-alone, French again displays impressive versatility...French skillfully builds suspense...a fine thriller, but also a moving story of an unlikely friendship that grows from refinishing a ramshackle desk to rebuilding two nearly broken lives.” (Booklist)

“Deliver[s] plenty of twists, shocking revelations, and truly chilling moments.” (Kirkus)

What listeners say about The Searcher

Average Customer Ratings
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No Garden of Eden here

This audiobook would get my vote as one of the most memorable listens of 2020. Cal Hooper, a disillusioned Chicago cop, retires to the a small village in Ireland, hoping to find peace, in the quiet countryside. Yes, the story is a bit long at first, but it sets the stage for what comes after. Cal hopes to find a simple country life among good, uncomplicated country folk , a Garden of Eden away from cold hustle of cities. Well, unfortunately this Garden also has snakes and rotten apples in it. Evil plays no geographic favorites. A vivid portrayal of a range of fully colored characters, it’s a grand tale. As for the accents,Roger Clark handled both American and Irish accents deftly. The accents in no way detracted from the story. I loved the audiobook, hated for it to end!

5 people found this helpful

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Fvorite TF Book!

I almost didn't give this book a chance because I thought a male American was a boring protagonist, but it turned out to be my favorite Tana French novel yet! The narrator does a great job with the Irish accents as far as my American ears can tell. The characters are nuanced and compelling, and the storyline manages to be gritty without being depressing.

3 people found this helpful

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Unusual and Beautiful

I guess Tana French wanted to write something completely different and effortlessly succeeded. This is not like her usual books. The characters are relatable, the description of the landscape is outstanding. All in all, this is a brilliant book—what a remarkable writer.

2 people found this helpful

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It was ok but not great.

An ok story. Well narrated. But not her best work . Found it hard to like the main characters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ela
  • 2020-12-27

Loved it.

The story is brilliant, and the accents and soothing voice it's read in makes it a perfect audiobook for a walk in the rain or a comfortable time in an armchair with some tea.

1 person found this helpful

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I was expecting a Dublin Murder Squad story ...

I really found this to be disappointing .I love Taa French and had preordered this title... but it was immediately disappointing (the narrator is American) and the main character is an X chicago cop (which it appears is meant to be esteemed and revered as better than the Garfers?) It felt utterly like a bid to expand readership to an American audience. I kept waiting for the familiarity of the Dublin Murder squad but alas nothing.

1 person found this helpful

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Okay, not great

The fake Irish accent is annoying at times. Otherwise the narrator does a decent job. The story itself is very slow moving for the first half of the book, it should have been edited down considerably. The last 1/3 of the book is good.

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Gentle story beautifully narrated.

Not your typical mystery. A story about loyalty and character and how promises can bring the people who make them to places they don't expect to go. Narrator is unbelievably good, switching between American and Irish accents, both male and female. Highly recommended.

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Different but certainly great!!!

This was different from Tana French’s previous novels in that the officer is retired. But the story built and I loved Roger Clark’s voice and singing!!! I hope she writes another novel with these characters. You really feel the atmosphere of the setting in Ireland and the characters are interesting. Eager to listen/read the next novel.

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Very SLOOOOOOOOW,

Waited for it to pick up and it didn't. The end left you hanging. Not worth the credit!

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  • McSusie
  • 2020-10-06

WONDERFULLY DREARY IRISH ATMOSPHERE & STORY

I was drawn to this book for three reasons 1) it’s a Tana French mystery, 2) the main character is a former Chicago cop - I was born & raised in CHICAGO & knew several police officers as I am a former Paralegal Assistant & 3) It takes place in Ireland - a place I always thought I’d love to live. All my expectations were fulfilled. While Roger Clark is not one of my favorite narrators, the story grabbed me & pulled me in immediately. The setting is richly described as the isolated, often dreary place it is with air so clean & fresh that merely breathing it doesn’t seem enough. Roger Clark’s Irish accent of some characters is spot on. That’s his redeeming quality to my ears. The story is amazing. It’s a bit long but worth sticking with it. There is some profanity in the book so be aware if that’s a deal breaker for you. After all, the main character is a rough & tough former Chicago cop. It is definitely written from a man’s man point of view. Tana French is so good at that! Another great Tana French novel. I loved this story!

135 people found this helpful

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  • motoJill
  • 2020-10-08

Narration is so awful I returned the book.

I’m so disappointed! The narration made it impossible for me to focus on the story. Instead, I kept hearing myself say, “Make it stop....” I returned the book before finishing chapter 3. Can we have a do-over, please?

86 people found this helpful

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  • K. Naglieri
  • 2020-10-09

Disappointing compared to her other books

It pains me to give Tana French a 3-star review. I’ve loved all of her other books, even The Witch Elm even though it was an odd sort of departure for her. But this one? It just doesn’t work for me. The main character is a cop from Chicago, where he was a cop for 25 years but apparently never shed his North Carolina accent or taste for country music (I wonder how that went over in Chi-town?). French missed the mark on a few language/culture things of Americans too, and it makes me wonder why she didn’t stick with the Irish characters she does so well - there are plenty of books about American ex-cops already. This ex-cop is grouchy and newly divorced, but there’s very little to explain either except that he’s “exhausted.” As for the mystery and investigation? There’s nothing even remotely exciting here. And leaps of thoughts are made with no explanation - so that I had to make sure I hadn’t skipped half a chapter by mistake more than once. The book's one redeeming point was Trey, a kid who latches on to Cal.

I’m bummed that this was so disappointing. I hope French picks the Dublin Murder Squad series back up again for the next one.

81 people found this helpful

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  • Elaine Richards
  • 2020-10-10

Don’t think Tana French wrote this

One of 5 worst books I have ever listened to and I have heard around 700. I have relished her other books so forced myself to listen all the way through this one. It was dreary, dull, full of meanness and hearing the words kid and mamma repeatedly made it even worse. How he made it as a Chicago policeman for 25 years is astounding as he couldn’t detect the most basic thing.
Do not waste a credit as it is pure boredom.

74 people found this helpful

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  • FARZANA TIMOL
  • 2020-10-09

who even wrote this ????

Slogged through to the end. Unlikable, contrived, stereotyped characters, condescending explainations, so disappointed. (Loved DMS)

32 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 2020-10-07

Tana French Scores Again

This is not a Dublin Murder Squad. It is a excellent story well narrated and evocative of rural Ireland and some interesting characters.

29 people found this helpful

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  • kendall johnson
  • 2020-10-08

It was an ok book. Bad American accent though.

For some reason the narrator/author kept referring to everyone's mother as ( mamma ). Like all southerners don't say it that much or calls there mother this. It honestly drove me crazy. The American accent wasn't to great, but the story was awesome like usual

23 people found this helpful

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  • D
  • 2020-10-10

Captivating

I normally listen to books while working. But I find that difficult with a Tana French. I often find myself motionless, engrossed in the story. The Searcher was no different. The narration was obviously in contrast with the rest of her books, because it's an American's. That isn't any slight to the narrator, I think he did well,. It's just not the same. The plot may not have been as strong as her others, but Ms. French is such an amazing storyteller, it didn't matter. Upon finishing the book, I had my normal reaction to this author. More please.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Connie
  • 2020-10-09

Not up to par

I buy Tana French’s work as soon as it comes out. This was not as catchy a mystery or as interesting a search as her other mysteries. RElationships could have been more developed as well as the story line.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Dianna Down
  • 2020-10-09

Loved it!

One of her best novels. Could not stop listening!
The pace is easy to follow and the characters
so interesting.

17 people found this helpful