The Ultimate List Of Tana French Books In Reading Order

Tana French is one of the most remarkable authors of our time, with her gripping and suspenseful novels that have been captivating readers for decades.

The Ultimate List Of Tana French Books In Reading Order

If you’re looking to take a dive into her literary world but don’t know where to start, worry not – this article will provide all the answers!

About Tana French

Tana French is an Irish novelist and playwright known for her critically acclaimed crime fiction novels.

Her works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have become bestsellers in the UK, Ireland, and the US.

French’s debut novel, In the Woods, won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and was adapted into a miniseries for BBC One in 2019.

French’s novels are often set in Dublin and focus on psychological crime mysteries.

Each novel is part of a series that follows the same detectives, but with a different protagonist.

She has also written several standalone novels, including The Witch Elm and The Searcher.

French’s writing style has been praised for its lyrical prose and rich descriptions.

Her characters are complex and flawed, and her books explore themes of justice, morality, and guilt.

French has also written several plays, including The Lying Kind, which was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

She has won numerous awards for her writing, including the Edgar Award, the Anthony Award, and the LA Times Book Prize.

The Dublin Murder Squad Series

The Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French is an incredibly popular crime fiction series. There are currently six books within the series.

Despite being written over 10 years apart, all six novels follow on seamlessly; creating an intricate narrative that rewards those willing enough to embark on this journey through time.

Tana French Books In Order

In The Woods (2007)

In the Woods: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad)

In the Woods is the first novel of her Dublin Murder Squad series.

Set in a small Irish village outside of Dublin, it follows Detective Rob Ryan as he investigates the disappearance of 3 children.

While much of the story focuses on this missing person’s case, In The Woods also delves into themes such as friendship, loyalty, and betrayal, as well as exploring how personal experiences shape our lives.

The book begins with Rob investigating what appears to be an ordinary missing person’s case – until he discovers that three other kids were present when the two disappeared.

As he uncovers more clues about their pasts and their current whereabouts, Rob finds himself drawn ever deeper into the mystery at hand.

He must confront secrets from his own childhood in order to unravel the truth behind these disappearances – one that has been hidden for decades.

Throughout In The Woods, readers are taken on an emotional journey full of suspense and tension as they follow along with Rob’s investigation.

This gripping story will keep you guessing right up until its shocking conclusion and leave you wanting more from this author’s captivating writing style.


  • The novel is filled with suspense and mystery that keeps readers engaged.
  • It is written in an impressive and vivid style that captures the atmosphere of the Irish countryside.


  • The novel is quite dense and requires a lot of attention to follow the plot.
  • Quite dark in tone, which may not be appealing to some readers.

The Likeness (2008)

The Likeness: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad)

The Likeness is a gripping crime novel, the second in her Dublin Murder Squad series.

It follows Detective Cassie Maddox as she works to uncover the truth behind a mysterious murder case that echoes an occurrence from her past.

In this book, we are taken through a journey of discovery and suspense, with each page unraveling more secrets than the last.

From its opening words, readers can feel themselves being drawn into the heart of darkness: “There was something about it – some little detail I couldn’t quite get my head around -that gave me a chill”.

The vivid imagery used here creates an atmosphere of unease and anticipation for what’s to come; it sets up the reader for twists and turns throughout the narrative, as well as provides us with insight into our protagonist’s state of mind.

As the story progresses, so does Cassandra’s understanding of how intricately connected this case is to her own life.

We watch as she navigates competing loyalties between colleagues and friends while attempting to keep herself emotionally detached from those involved.

This psychological thriller has all the elements necessary for an intense read: mystery, complex characters, and moral dilemmas at every turn.


  • The novel has an intricately plotted storyline.
  • The setting is wonderfully atmospheric.


  • The characters are sometimes hard to relate to.
  • The resolution of the story is somewhat unsatisfying.

Faithful Place (2010)

Faithful Place: A Novel by Tana French (2010-07-13)

The atmosphere of Faithful Place has an air of mystery and suspense.

The story follows Frank Mackey as he returns to Dublin’s inner city after 20 years away from his home turf.

He is investigating the disappearance of his childhood sweetheart, Rosie Daly, who vanished without a trace many years ago.

His journey back brings up painful memories and secrets he thought were long buried; however, they are all revealed in time as he pieces together what happened to her all those years ago.

Frank is haunted by guilt and regret throughout his investigation, which puts him at odds with both himself and some of the people closest to him–including members of his own family.

As tensions mount between them, it becomes increasingly clear that someone has been keeping secrets for far too long.

The novel builds tension and intrigue at every turn as readers follow along with Frank’s search for answers about Rosie’s fate.


  • The narrative is engaging and immersive.
  • The characters are complex and relatable.


  • The plot can be confusing at times.
  • The story is slow-paced.

Broken Harbor (2011)

Broken Harbor: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad)

Broken Harbour is the fourth novel in Tana French’s acclaimed Dublin Murder Squad series.

Released in 2011, this captivating crime story follows Detective Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy as he investigates a murder-suicide case that has left a family of four dead and their youngest daughter barely alive.

Alliteration abounds as Scorcher navigates through murky waters to reveal the truth behind what happened at Broken Harbour, an abandoned housing development on the outskirts of Dublin.

The investigation forces Scorcher to confront his own demons from childhood: memories of an idyllic summer spent with his father in the same area now known as Broken Harbor.

As the clues pile up, more questions arise about what really happened years ago when Scorcher was just a child.

Meanwhile, twists and turns abound as secrets emerge about those closest to him—and even himself—that threaten to unravel everything he thought he knew about loyalty and justice.

A gripping page-turner that blends psychological suspense with hardboiled noir elements, Broken Harbour is another tour de force from one of today’s finest mystery authors.


  • The novel is full of suspense and unexpected twists.
  • The characters are complex and believable.


  • The plot moves slowly at times.
  • The ending is somewhat inconclusive.

The Secret Place (2014)

The Secret Place: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad)

The Secret Place, the fifth novel by Tana French, was published in 2014. This book takes readers to St. Kilda’s School for Girls, a prestigious boarding school in Dublin.

The story follows Stephen Moran, an experienced detective from the Murder Squad of Dublin Castle who is called upon to investigate the case of Chris Harper – a teenage boy whose body had been found on the grounds of St. Kilda’s and whom many suspects have been murdered by one of its students.

Through his investigation, Stephen must navigate through shifting loyalties among the student population – as well as uncovering some disturbing secrets about what happened that day at St. Kilda’s.

One thing that makes The Secret Place such an engrossing read is how it delves into themes like guilt, justice, and morality without taking sides or passing judgment on any particular character.

It also serves as a reminder to all readers that there are always two sides to every story – something that Moran seems to understand only too well as he struggles with his own past while trying to get to the truth behind this mysterious murder case.


  • The characters are realistically portrayed and emotionally engaging.
  • The plot is intricate and well-crafted.


  • The ending is somewhat abrupt.
  • The mystery elements can be difficult to follow.

The Trespasser (2016)

The Trespasser: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad)

The Trespasser, the sixth novel by Dublin-native author Tana French, is a gripping tale of suspense and deception.

It follows Antoinette Conway and her colleague Stephen Moran as they investigate the murder case of Aislinn Murray, an ambitious young woman whose death appears to be connected to a controversial investigation from months before.

At its core, The Trespasser is a story about perception and trust – how quickly our perspective can change when faced with evidence which contradicts what we think we already know.

As each new piece of information comes to light during their investigation, Antoinette and Stephen are forced to confront not only the truth behind Aislinn’s death but also how far each one will go in order to protect themselves and those around them.

Tana French has crafted a thrilling crime novel that leaves readers on the edge of their seats, weaving together a complex web of relationships between characters who all have something to hide.

With its sharp dialogue, intense character development, and unpredictable plot twists.


  • The characters are well-developed and complex.
  • The story is unpredictable and engaging.


  • The narrative moves slowly at times.
  • The ending is somewhat open-ended and unsatisfying.

Tana French’s Standalone Novels

It’s no coincidence that Tana French is a well-known author of crime fiction, with an impressive list of standalone novels to her name.

The Witch Elm (2018)

The Witch Elm: A Novel

The Witch Elm, Tana French’s 2018 standalone novel, is a captivating exploration of the depths and complexities of family relationships.

French takes us on a journey through Toby’s life, from his carefree days at university to his return home after being brutally attacked in his own apartment.

Through flashbacks and reflections, we are able to gain insight into how he interacted with his loving family growing up as well as how they respond when tragedy strikes.

We also watch as Toby and his cousins uncover a long-buried secret in the grounds of their ancestral home which uncovers yet another level of complexity within their already tangled web of relationships.

Tana French masterfully blends elements of suspenseful mystery with a psychological thriller that will have readers hooked from start to finish.


  • It is an intricately plotted mystery.
  • It is a character-driven story.


  • It is slow-paced for some readers.
  • It is a long and complex novel.

The Searcher (2020)

The Searcher: A Novel

Tana French’s latest offering, The Searcher, is a captivating exploration of human life.

It takes the reader on an emotional journey as we witness the protagonist’s search for redemption and peace in his new environment.

The story follows Cal Hooper, who has left Chicago and settled into a small Irish village with the hope of escaping from his past.

As he struggles to adjust to his new home, he finds himself drawn into a mystery that threatens to unravel the secrets of the town.

He must confront deep-rooted issues within himself and learn how to reconcile them before it is too late.

Through Cal’s eyes, we are able to gain insight into our own moral compass and take stock of what matters most in life: relationships, community, faith, and courage.

The Searcher offers a thought-provoking account of one man’s quest for self-discovery against all odds.

In its pages, readers can find solace in their shared experiences while feeling inspired by Cal’s strength and determination to keep searching until he finds what he needs most of all – inner peace.


  • Offers an insight into the complexities of human relationships.
  • It features an engaging and suspenseful plot.


  • It can be difficult to follow at times due to its complex narrative structure.
  • The book contains some disturbing themes which may be difficult for some readers to process.


In conclusion, Tana French is a critically-acclaimed novelist who has written some of the most captivating and suspenseful books in contemporary literature. Well worth a read!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Genre Are Tana French’s Novels?

Tana French’s novels can be considered a combination of both crime and psychological fiction.

She often delves into the psychology of her characters and explores the consequences of their decisions, blurring the lines between morality and justice in her stories.

How Many Novels Has Tana French Published?

Tana French has published seven novels so far, as well as two collections of short stories.

Her debut novel, In the Woods (2007), won her several awards and established her career as a critically acclaimed author.

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Noah Burton