Faithful Place

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Number three in Tana French's series of crime novels set in Dublin with police protagonists. The narrator in this one, Frank Mackey, was a supporting character in the previous book, a higher-up in the Dublin Police undercover unit. He was presented as a master manipulator, kind of a jerk. But in this book, he comes out as flawed but sympathetic.

Why? Well, back when he was a teen, he came from an extremely dysfunctional family, living in a borderline slum. He developed a plan with girlfriend Rosie to ditch their respective families, hop the ferry to England, and make their way out from under the repressiveness of kin and society.

But bad news: on the night of the big escape, Rosie doesn't show up for the planned rendezvous, and instead Frank finds what looks to be a kiss-off letter. Bereft, he takes off, estranging his family. But not to England. Instead he gets on the path to becoming an Irish cop. And…

In the present day, a couple decades later, Frank's a divorcee with a wonderful cute daughter. And (as the previous book described) he's a professional success. But he gets a call from his sister with unexpected news: Rosie's suitcase has been found, stuffed into a chimney in an abandoned apartment. This means… oh, oh… Rosie never left Dublin either. What happened instead?

Well, it's pretty sordid. And Frank gets put through a lot of new familial anguish.

And, oh yeah, everyone smokes way too much.