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The Likeness

Updated: Sep 21, 2021

A beguiling book with great characters and vivid descriptions that come alive on the page



Detective Cassie Maddox is asked to investigate the death of Lexi Madison, a young woman who is her doppelgänger. Lexi not only resembles Cassie, but was also living under the alias the detective had used in an earlier undercover assignment. A senior police officer, Frank Mackey convinces Cassie to impersonate Lexi, to help investigate her death and discover who she really was.

As the investigation proceeds, Cassie becomes consumed by her impersonation of Lexie. She forms deep bonds with the dead girl’s four housemates, who are Trinity University students living in the richly atmospheric Whitehorn House, a mansion inherited by one of the students. Cassie’s housemates are all suspects in the murder. Once Cassie enters the house boundaries begin to blur between Cassie’s real and undercover identities.

“I wanted to tell her that being loved is a talent too, that it takes as much guts and as much work as loving; that some people, for whatever reason, never learn the knack.”
“Take what you want and pay for it, says God. You can have anything you want, as long as you accept that there is a price and you will have to pay for it.”


THE LIKENESS is the second book in the dramatic Dublin Murder Squad series. The writing is captivating and beautiful despite the dark nature of the story. The vivid descriptions makes the story come alive in your mind. The story is both cleverly plotted and smartly structured. The best word for the book is beguiling.

Cassie’s character is both intriguing and multi-dimensional. She’s strong and smart, and vulnerable; and you can’t help but want to know more about her. The minute Cassie enters the house you are so consumed by the possibility she might just get caught in her subterfuge. You are consumed with reading every word to see what happens next and the tension is unrelenting.

THE LIKENESS is filled with richly flawed but unique characters including the four housemates, Cassie’s boyfriend, Sam and Frank, her undercover handler.

My favorite part of the book was Cassie’s quick-thinking and creativity in deflecting any missteps on her portrayal of Lexie.

Author TANA FRENCH is such a lyrical storyteller. She had me at the beginning of the book, as Cassie raced across-town after receiving a highly distressful phone call from her boyfriend Sam O’NeilI. I highly recommend this intense and mesmerizing book.

“When you’re too close to people, when you spend too much time with them and love them too dearly, sometimes you can’t see them.”

Publisher Viking Penguin

Published July 17, 2008

Narrated Heather O’Neill

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