, a 2010 crime novel by Irish novelist Tana French, is the third installment in the Dublin Murder Squad
series. The book is set in Dublin and features undercover detective Frank Mackey, who also appeared in French’s previous novel The Likeness.
When Frank was nineteen years old, he and his girlfriend, Rosie Daly, make a plan to elope. Seeing it as a way out of his chaotic homelife and dead-end town of Faithful Place, Frank is eager to move on and start a new life with Rosie. They make a plan to meet in the middle of the night at an abandoned house in their neighborhood. From there, they will board a ferry to England. When Frank goes to meet Rosie, he finds that she is not there. He waits for over two hours before entering the house, where he finds a note from her, which he takes to mean that she has changed her mind about their elopement.
After the incident, Frank is heartbroken but resolves to remain in Ireland and to make something of himself. He ends up becoming a part of Dublin’s undercover police squad, leaving his family and small-town life behind. Frank has an ex-wife, Olivia, with whom he shares custody of his daughter, Holly. Frank goes to pick up Holly from Olivia’s house for their regular weekend visit. He promises Holly that he will take her out to fly a kite.
When he returns home with his daughter, he finds that he has a message on his answering machine from his sister, Jackie. She tells him that a developer who recently bought up some apartments in their old neighborhood found a suitcase in one of them belonging to Rosie Daly, containing her birth certificate and personal items. Disbelieving, Frank ends up going back to the old neighborhood and his family home in order to retrieve the suitcase. When he sees the evidence with his own eyes, he can finally accept that the suitcase belonged to Rosie and that she may still be alive somewhere.
Frank decides that he needs to go speak to Rosie’s family, to deliver the news about the found suitcase and to glean any information they might have about her disappearance. Rosie’s mother, Mrs. Dalys, is perplexed by the entire situation. She recognizes the suitcase, claiming it as her own, but says that she had assumed it was with her daughter in England all these years. Her family tells Frank that they never heard from Rosie after the night the two of them were supposed to run away together, but that they had just assumed that she was busy getting settled and would call when she had a chance. The Dalys family agrees to let Frank take the suitcase for examination.
Frank continues his own investigation, stopping in at Rosie’s friend Mandy’s house. He leaves out the fact that he has just come across Rosie’s suitcase, as he and Mandy catch up on the past few years of their lives. He finds out that Mandy, who was once Rosie’s best friend, never heard from her after she supposedly left for England. Frank grows more suspicious about the events surrounding that evening, thinking back to noises he heard which he mistook for young lovers. He wonders if he was actually overhearing Rosie being attacked.
Frank convinces his younger brother, Kevin, to accompany him back to the place where he was supposed to meet Rosie. He finds the building in an increased state of dilapidation, and Kevin is concerned that the structure might collapse on top of them. Frank notices a terrible smell coming from somewhere in the house. When he gets into the basement, he realizes that it is the source of the stench. He promptly calls in the crime tech team from his unit.
When the tech team finally arrives, they examine the basement, moving aside concrete slabs that have been cemented to the floor. Underneath one such slab, they find the remnants of a body, one ostensibly belonging to Rosie. Frank is overcome with emotion as he is finally reunited with the woman he loved. Not knowing what else to do, Frank heads to a local bar to drown his sorrows. He is soon visited by his siblings who attempt to comfort him, including his brother, Shay. It becomes obvious that Shay resents Frank for having left Faithful Place, as well as the family behind. Without Frank, Shay was forced to stand up to protect his mother from their abusive father on his own.
Instead of addressing this issue, Shay makes a comment insinuating that he had been intimate with Rosie, which enrages Frank. He attacks Shay, and the other siblings attempt to break up the fight. As Frank turns to leave the bar, Kevin begs him to consider moving back to his hometown, and not to allow what happened there to taint his view of the place forever.