June 5, 2012

Audio Review: The Likeness


 A few years ago I read In the Woods by Tana French, and didn't like it at all. I actually owned The Likeness too - but never got around to reading it, and traded it in to Bookmans. But on Twitter Leigh was talking about how much she's been enjoying Tana French, and I decided to give her another shot. So I checked out The Likeness on audio from the library, and I totally loved it. A lot.

It's narrated by Heather O'Neill who perfectly delivers the profane, very Irish ponderings of the main character: Detective Cassie Maddox. Cassie is currently working in Domestic Violence, but in the past she worked Undercover. She pretended to be Lexi Madison for several years, as she infiltrated a drug ring. But now, in an old cottage outside of Dublin, a girl named Lexi Madison -- who is Cassie's doppelganger -- has turned up dead. Cassie's old boss, brash Frank Mackey, sees the perfect opportunity: to pretend that Lexi was only injured, and investigate the crime from the inside. So once again Cassie becomes Lexi Madison, this time a girl working on her post-grad literature degree, and sharing a house with four other people: Abby, Rafe, Justin, and Daniel.

I really enjoyed the relationships between the five housemates, the way that being Lexi messes with Cassie's head, and her relationships with people in her real life, and just the general way French has with words. The plot is pretty ridiculously farfetched, but it doesn't matter because the book is so well-done.

I even paused the audio book a few times to make notes of phrases I particularly enjoyed:
  • "A display cabinet that looked like the rococo movement had thrown up on it."
  • "It gave me a strange intoxicating little feel, like holding hands with a boy for the first time."
  • "I couldn't see six inches in front of my face. A whole coven of knife happy stalkers could've been doing the Macarena around the cottage."
I think part of why I liked The Likeness so much more than In the Woods is because I listened to the audio version. I really liked O'Neill's narration - she accurately captured many different Irish accents, and believably did voices ranging from college girls to older men. It made the book feel more real, and more Irish. I can sorta do an Irish accent in my head if I'm reading a book, but I definitely don't get the full local flavor. (Or I guess in this case, flavour).

If you're looking for a great audio book to listen to, don't look any further than Tana French's books! I also listened to Faithful Place, and it was brilliant too. Don't forget that June is National Audiobook Month! Now is the perfect time to check out an audio book, even if they're normally not your thing.

Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Should I recommend this to my grandma? Um. Maybe if your grandma swears like a sailor...

Have you read Tana French? Do you like international books on audio book?

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