Tana French

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Tana French
Born 1973 (age 43–44)
Vermont, United States
Nationality Irish
Alma mater Trinity College
Occupation Novelist

Tana French (born 1973) is an Irish novelist and theatrical actress born in Vermont. Her debut novel In the Woods (2007), a psychological mystery, won the Edgar,[1] Anthony, Macavity, and Barry awards for best first novel. She lives in Dublin.[2] The British online newspaper, The Independent, has referred to her as the First Lady of Irish Crime, "who very quietly has become a huge international name among crime fiction readers."[3]

Personal life[edit]

Tana French was born in the United States to Elena Hvostoff-Lombardi and David French, but lived in numerous countries as a child, including Ireland, Italy, the US, and Malawi.[2] Her father was an economist who worked on resource management for the developing world, so the family lived in many different cultures.[4] French attended Trinity College, Dublin and trained in acting.[2] She ultimately settled in Ireland and since 1990 has lived in Dublin,[2] which she considers home.[5] French is married and has two daughters with her husband. She has retained dual citizenship of the US and Italy.


French was enthralled by both acting as well as writing since her childhood days but prioritized her attention to focus on acting.[6] She trained as a professional actor at Trinity; French works in theater, film, and voiceover.[2] In her later 30's she accidentally rekindled her passion towards writing. Her choice of genre stems from her profound interest in mystery and crime novels which she grew up reading. She began writing the debut novel in the months-long lulls between castings.[7] The first publication copy of In the Woods came to be released in the year 2007 to much international acclaim and received rave reviews from many news publications. Publishers Weekly [8] praised author French, saying she “... expertly walks the line between police procedural and psychological thriller in her debut" and that "Ryan and Maddox are empathetic and flawed heroes, whose partnership and friendship elevate the narrative beyond a gory tale of murdered children and repressed childhood trauma." It received several literary prizes and was a bestseller in hardcover and paperback and has been termed as a 'dream debut'. As of 2015[9] more than one million copies of that book have been sold. In 2015, Euston Films & Veritas acquired the rights to her novel to be launched as a TV series. Flavorwire, in 2014, voted it as 50 of the Greatest Debut Novels Since 1950.[10]

Her follow-up novel The Likeness (2008), presents the story about the debut novel's lead character Cassie Maddox. It immediately soared high on the bestseller lists in various countries and stayed firmly anchored in The New York Times Best Seller list for several months.[11] In its reviews for the novel, Kirkus stated - "Police procedures, psychological thrills and gothic romance beautifully woven into one stunning story". In an interview with The Guardian [6] Tana French revealed that Donna Tartt's The Secret History was a source of influence on The Likeness which opened up the 'landscape of friendship as something worthy of exploration and something that could be powerful enough to trigger a murder.'


No. Title Publisher Year ISBN
1 In the Woods Viking Penguin 30 January 2007 ISBN 978-0-670-03860-2
This is the debut crime novel in the fictional Dublin Murder Squad series about the Irish detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox and their investigation of the murder of a twelve-year-old girl. The case with possible links to the detective's own past adds another dimension to the novel. It has won the best debut crime novel category for Edgar, Anthony, Barry and Macavity awards for the year 2008 
2 The Likeness Viking Penguin 17 July 2008 ISBN 978-0143115625
This Dublin Murder Squad series #2 follows detective Cassie Maddox who determines the circumstances surrounding the death of Lexie Madison, a young woman who is her doppelgänger. A senior police officer, Frank Mackey, convinces Cassie to impersonate the dead woman to investigate her death and to discover who she really was. It was shortlisted for the first annual Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award in 2009 
3 Faithful Place Viking Penguin 13 July 2010 ISBN 978-0670021871
This Dublin Murder Squad series #3 features undercover detective Frank Mackey keen to unravel the mysterious disappearance of Rosie Daly. The book was nominated for the 2012 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 
4 Broken Harbour Viking Penguin 2 July 2012 ISBN 978-0-670-02365-3
This Dublin Murder Squad series #4 is about star detective Scorcher Kennedy investigating the vicious killing of a father and 2 children in a ghost estate outside Dublin. Scorcher’s personal life is tugging for his attention and he has a rookie helping him out with the case. It won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller (2012) 
5 The Secret Place Viking Penguin August 28, 2014 ISBN 978-0-670-02632-6
This Dublin Murder Squad series #5 alternates between the points of view of detective Stephen Moran and student Holly Mackey. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to investigate into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper a student at St. Colm’s School. The Washington Post named the book one of the five best thrillers of 2014. 
6 The Trespasser Viking Penguin September 22nd 2016 ISBN 978-1-444-75562-6
This Dublin Murder Squad series #6 with Antoinette Conway teaming up with Stephen Moran to pull a case that at first looks like a slam-dunk lovers' tiff, but gradually they realise there's more going on. 



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