Tana French’s Moody, Mesmerizing New Thriller

A review of Tana French's latest thriller, 'The Hunter,' set in western Ireland.


The Premise of 'The Hunter'

In 'The Hunter,' Tana French's latest novel, readers are transported back to the remote village of Ardnakelty in western Ireland. This book is a sequel to French's 2020 novel, 'The Searcher,' and continues the story of Cal Hooper, an ex-cop from Chicago who seeks peace in this small community.

However, Cal's tranquility is disrupted when he is approached by Trey Reddy, a rebellious preteen outcast, who asks for his help in finding her missing brother. As Cal delves deeper into the mystery, he discovers that Ardnakelty is a tight-knit community with its own set of rules and codes.

Character Development and Themes

In 'The Hunter,' Cal Hooper has been living in Ardnakelty for two years. Although he has found romance with a local woman named Lena and developed a paternal relationship with Trey, his life is far from idyllic. Trey's father, Johnny, reappears in the village with get-rich-quick schemes and a desire to connect with his roots.

The novel explores themes of rebellion, family dynamics, and the battle for one's future in a place where fatalism and the effects of climate change loom large. French's portrayal of village life is both charming and haunting, showcasing the struggles and secrets hidden beneath the surface.

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the strengths of 'The Hunter' lies in Tana French's exceptional dialogue and her ability to seamlessly transition between American and Irish vernacular. The novel also excels in capturing the intersection between outsider and native perspectives.

However, some readers may find that the pacing of the story can be slow at times. Additionally, while the protagonist, Cal, is described as a standup guy, there are moments where his character feels less developed compared to other cast members. Nevertheless, French's talent for creating complex and enigmatic characters shines through, making 'The Hunter' a compelling read.