Cherry blossom falling soft on the drive, quiet smell of old books, firelight sparkling on snow-cristalled windowpanes at Christmastime and nothing would ever change, only the five of us moving through this walled garden, neverending.

„We have sushi bars and SUVs, but people our age can’t afford homes in the city where they grew up, so centuries-old communities are disintegrating like sand-castles. People spend five or six hours a day in traffic; parents never see their children, because they both have to work overtime to make ends meet. We no longer have time for culture – theaters are closing, architecture is being wrecked to make way for office blocks. And so on and so forth.”

Believe it or not, the above comes from a murder novel – actually the second I have read out of the Irish writer’s Tana French Dublin Murder Squad series.

Set aside the fact that it’s the kind of read that grabs you and doesn’t let go (having just stepped out of this one, I am hardly waiting to start the next novel, „Faithful Place”), what I liked more than anything were the witty dialogues, the rich psychological content and the romantic, actually utopia-like atmosphere the author creates within Whitethorn House.

A catchy plot, quite original, a story carefully built step by step.

And the same as the first one, „In the Woods”, what’s truly mesmerizing is the warmth of the relationships that grow within the characters of the book, their natural pace. Creating an atmosphere you are not willing to let go. Which, coming from a murder novel… must mean something, doesn’t it?