The Searcher – Tana French

Bibliode Review - The Searcher

The Searcher (2020)

Author – Tana French

Genre – Mystery/Thriller

Page Count – 464 pages

Something about October makes one want to read mysteries and I had been hearing a lot of book bloggers talk about The Searcher as THE mystery novel of October 2020.

Calvin Hooper, an ex-cop in Chicago PD finds a new home in a small town in Ireland after his divorce. Having left his investigating days behind, he is ready to lead a life of farming, hunting and the comfort of seclusion.

The town is everything you would expect it to be. Friendly people with their noses in everybody’s business, placing bets on how long the ‘Yankee’ would survive in the wild. But Cal seems to fit right in until he meets Trey Reddy.

Trey, 13 years old, comes from a poor family which no one seems to like. But over time Cal takes Trey under his wings and teaches him woodwork and hunting. As time passes, Trey opens up to Cal about his missing brother Brendan and asks for his help. Without meaning to, Cal finds himself going back to his habits and falling head first into a bigger mystery.


The Searcher is a delight to read and feels like a Wild West novel and I could almost imagine Cal’s Southern drawl in the narrative.

The budding mentor-mentee relationship between Cal and Trey is beautifully executed as Trey wishes for a father figure and Cal, who clearly misses his daughter, Alyssa, falls into that role with relative ease.


Even with the amazing writing which is almost poetic in nature, the book does not have as much excitement or action as I have come to associate with ex-cop crime thrillers.

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Its more of a plot-based book than action driven which may appeal to some readers but did not to me.

The book reminded me of Long Bright River by Liz Moore which came out earlier this year and had a similar story. But The Searcher did not have the same emotional delivery as the former.

There were a few lose ends in the story. At one point, Cal starts to worry about his daughter and if she’s in bad shape but that sub-plot is completely forgotten later. It might have been to set the stage for the father duties Cal is about to take but it still feels unfinished.

I recommend this book to those who are looking for an easy going crime thriller along the lines of Liz Moore.

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