Introduction. Rachel Schaffer (Montana State University Billings).
Blurring the Genre Borderlines: Tana French’s Haunted Detectives. JOHN TEEL (Marshall University). In each of her mysteries, Tana French presents a different detective-narrator, and all of them are “haunted” by traumatic events from their childhoods or teen years. Through this use of “haunting,” French blurs genre “borderlines” by mixing the elements of the police procedural with, essentially, an aura of the gothic.
Tana French: Archaeologist of Crime. RACHEL SCHAFFER. The parallels between archaeology and detection provide a framework for the way the protagonists in Tana French’s novels work. Both disciplines follow the same general stages of surveying the scene, excavating information, and analyzing and interpreting results to shed light on the effects of past events on the lives of contemporary people.
Vision and Blind Spots: Characterization in Tana French’s Broken Harbor. CHRISTINE JACKSON (Nova Southeastern University). Obsessive watching is at the center of Tana French’s Broken Harbor. A stalker’s voyeurism shapes the case while police surveillance both conceals and unmasks detective protagonist Michael “Scorcher” Kennedy. French projects an actor’s stage background onto the novelist’s page to manipulate narrative distance and reconfigure detective novel conventions.
Liminality in the Novels of Tana French. MIMOSA SUMMERS STEPHENSON (University of Texas at Brownsville). In Tana French’s mysteries, the murder victims die at crucial turning points in their lives, and the detectives find themselves on the edge, neither in nor out, of the cases they investigate. The protagonists become involved personally and pass through liminal zones that leave them altered when the novels end.
Twenty-First-Century Irish Mothers in Tana French’s Crime Fiction. ROSEMARY ERICKSON JOHNSEN (Governors State University). Tana French’s three novels narrated by male detectives—In the Woods,Faithful Place, and Broken Harbour—reveal an intersection between crime fiction and the Irish literary tradition. Tropes of feminine imagery—particularly of the maternal—are implicated in the personal and professional failures of the narrators, and are part of French’s exploration of contemporary Ireland.
Murder in the Ghost Estate: Crimes of the Celtic Tiger in Tana French's Broken Harbor. SHIRLEY PETERSON (Daemen College). In Tana French’s fourth novel, Broken Harbor, the crimes of Celtic Tiger excess are interrogated in a deracinated ghost estate, where the desire for prosperity results in dire consequences for a young family, belying the notion that Ireland’s troubled past was well removed from its upwardly mobile present.
Authority and Irish Cultural Memory in Faithful Place and Broken Harbor. MAUREEN T. REDDY(Rhode Island College). French’s two most recent novels, Faithful Place and Broken Harbor, examine both the consequences of widespread loss of belief in any sort of authority in Ireland and some of the radical shifts in Irish cultural memory during the Celtic Tiger period and its aftermath.