Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series presents its readers with a portrait of contemporary Ireland wobbling in the aftermath of the Celtic Tiger’s collapse. The portrait is, to be sure, of extraordinary quality. French, an American who has lived in Ireland for twenty-six years, chooses locations where her characters get pinched between the desire to cling to history and the urge to jettison it for brighter horizons: an archeological site soon to be paved over for a motorway, the ramshackle Georgian “big house” outside a fading rural village, and the tight-knit working-class Dublin enclave known as the Liberties.

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