The Complete List Of Tana French Books In Order

From the bustling streets of Dublin to the quiet corners of Ireland’s countryside, Tana French’s thrilling novels transport us into worlds filled with mystery and suspense. Known for her spellbinding storytelling and complex characters, French has established herself as a leading voice in crime fiction.

This blog post will guide you through her extensive body of work, detailing each book in the order they were published. Whether you’re a seasoned fan of French novels or a newcomer eager to dive in, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the intricate tapestry of her gripping narratives.

Tana French, an acclaimed Irish novelist, has captivated readers with her gritty, compelling mysteries. Her novels, set mostly in and around Dublin, are renowned for their intricate plots, rich character development, and atmospheric settings. Let’s delve into the order of her novels.

Tana French Books In Order

Tana French Books in Order of Publication

Tana French Books in Order of Publication
Tana French Books in Order of Publication
  1. “In the Woods” (2007)
  2. “The Likeness” (2008)
  3. “Faithful Place” (2010)
  4. “Broken Harbour” (2012)
  5. “The Secret Place” (2014)
  6. “The Trespasser” (2016)
  7. “The Witch Elm” (2018)
  8. “The Searcher” (2020)

Quick Fact: Each of her novels can be read as a standalone, but they are loosely connected through recurring characters and settings, mainly in the Dublin Murder Squad.

Who is Tana French?

Who is Tana French?
Who is Tana French?

Tana French is an American-Irish writer and theatrical actress, known for her literary approach to the crime genre. Born in Vermont and having lived in several countries including Ireland, she sets most of her novels in this last country.

French’s books delve deeply into the psychology of her characters and the social issues affecting modern Ireland. She is recognized for her skill in creating intense psychological thrillers with richly developed characters and meticulously plotted narratives.

Tana French’s Awards

Tana French’s debut novel, “In the Woods”, won several awards, including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, and Barry awards for Best First Novel in 2008. Her subsequent novels have also received numerous nominations and accolades, solidifying her place as a luminary in the world of crime fiction. In 2012, “Broken Harbour” won the Irish Book Award for Irish Crime Fiction Book of the Year, and “The Witch Elm” was a New York Times Notable Book for 2018.

From a spellbinding debut to her most recent explorations of crime and consequence, Tana French’s work has consistently earned high praise from critics and readers alike. Whether you’re just discovering her work or revisiting her novels, journeying through French’s literary world in order is a captivating experience.

summary of every Tana French book.

1. In the Woods (2007)

In the Woods (2007)
In the Woods (2007)

In this chilling debut, Detective Rob Ryan investigates the murder of a young girl found at an archaeological site in Knocknaree, Dublin. The case holds eerie parallels to an incident from Rob’s childhood – his two best friends disappeared in the same woods, leaving him traumatized and with no memory of the event.

As he and his partner, Cassie Maddox, delve deeper into the murder, the lines between past and present blur. Rob’s personal and professional lives clash, leading to devastating consequences. Amidst all, the haunting question lingers: what happened in the woods twenty years ago?

2. The Likeness (2008)

Cassie Maddox, now working in domestic violence cases, is thrust back into a murder investigation when a victim bearing an uncanny resemblance to her is discovered. The dead woman carries an ID with an alias Cassie used during a previous undercover case.

With this startling revelation, Cassie assumes the woman’s identity, moving into a house she shared with four other students. As she navigates through a maze of relationships, secrets, and lies, Cassie teeters on the edge of losing herself to the woman she’s impersonating.

3. Faithful Place (2010)

Faithful Place (2010)
Faithful Place (2010)

Frank Mackey, the supervisor of Dublin’s Undercover squad, is haunted by his past when a suitcase belonging to his first love, Rosie, who he believed had abandoned him and fled to England, is found in an abandoned house. The discovery catapults him back into the dysfunctional world of his family and his old neighborhood, Faithful Place.

As he digs deeper into Rosie’s disappearance, Frank uncovers layers of secrets and lies that force him to confront his past and the painful truth about Rosie’s fate.

4. Broken Harbour (2012)

Detective Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy investigates a gruesome attack on the Spain family in a failed luxury development. Pat Spain and his two children are dead, while his wife, Jenny, barely survives. As Scorcher delves into the investigation, he uncovers disturbing truths about the victims, the development, and perhaps, himself.

Broken Harbour presents a chilling commentary on the collapse of the Celtic Tiger and its devastating effects on those who bought into the dream.

5. The Secret Place (2014)

The Secret Place (2014)
The Secret Place (2014)

A year after the murder of Chris Harper, a teenage boy from a neighboring boys’ school, a note appears on the Secret Place board at St. Kilda’s girls’ school, claiming knowledge of the killer.

Detective Stephen Moran, eager to join the Murder Squad, teams up with the prickly Antoinette Conway to infiltrate the world of teenage girls a world of secret alliances, adolescent crushes, and potentially deadly friendships.

6. The Trespasser (2016)

Detectives Antoinette Conway and Stephen Moran are assigned a seemingly straightforward domestic murder case. However, Conway recognizes the victim from a previous case, and as they dig deeper, they uncover a complex web of deception.

Conway, already grappling with paranoia and isolation within the Murder Squad, must fight to maintain control of the investigation and herself.

7. The Witch Elm (2018)

The Witch Elm (2018)
The Witch Elm (2018)

Toby Hennessy’s life takes a horrific turn following a brutal home invasion. Trying to recover, he retreats to his family’s ancestral home. However, when a skull is found in the hollow of a witch elm in the garden, Toby’s life spirals further out of control.

Forced to question everything he thought he knew about his past, his relationships, and himself, Toby finds himself entangled in a mystery that challenges his very understanding of identity.

8. The Searcher (2020)

Cal Hooper, a retired Chicago detective, seeks a quiet life in a small Irish village. His peaceful retreat is disrupted when a local kid, Trey, seeks his help in finding a missing sibling. Despite his reservations, Cal is drawn into the case, plunging into the secretive world of the village.

His quest for justice uncovers long-held secrets and leads him to confront the darker aspects of his new home. As he navigates unfamiliar territory, Cal is forced to question his values and his assumptions about right and wrong. In this compelling standalone novel, Tana French explores themes of outsiderhood, community tension, and the search for truth.

In what order should I read Tana French books?

Tana French’s novels can be read as standalone as each book features different protagonists and storylines. However, they are loosely connected through recurring characters and settings, mainly within the Dublin Murder Squad.

Therefore, for a more comprehensive understanding of the character relationships and development, it’s recommended to read them in the order they were published: “In the Woods”, “The Likeness”, “Faithful Place”, “Broken Harbour”, “The Secret Place”, “The Trespasser”, followed by the standalone novels “The Witch Elm” and “The Searcher.

Is there a sequel to ‘In the Woods’ by Tana French?

Is there a sequel to 'In the Woods' by Tana French?
Is there a sequel to ‘In the Woods’ by Tana French?

While “In the Woods” does not have a direct sequel, Tana French’s second book, “The Likeness”, features the character Cassie Maddox from the first book as the protagonist. However, it is not a continuation of the specific storyline of “In the Woods”.

Quick Fact: Each book in the Dublin Murder Squad series is a separate story focusing on different characters, although there are connections and overlapping characters throughout the series.

Are there any new Tana French novels?

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the most recent Tana French novel is “The Searcher”, published in October 2020. French is an active author, so it’s likely there may be more recent works. Please check the latest sources for updates on any new novels she may have released since then.

Does Tana French have a series?

Yes, Tana French is the author of the Dublin Murder Squad series, which includes six books: “In the Woods”, “The Likeness”, “Faithful Place”, “Broken Harbour”, “The Secret Place”, and “The Trespasser”. Each book in the series focuses on a different detective from the Dublin Murder Squad, providing unique perspectives and storylines.

She also has two standalone novels, “The Witch Elm” and “The Searcher”.

How many Tana French books are there?

How many Tana French books are there?
How many Tana French books are there?

As of September 2021, Tana French has published a total of eight books. This includes six books in the Dublin Murder Squad series and two standalone novels. The books in the series are: “In the Woods”, “The Likeness”, “Faithful Place”, “Broken Harbour”, “The Secret Place”, and “The Trespasser”.

The standalone novels are “The Witch Elm” and “The Searcher”. For the most recent updates on Tana French’s work, please refer to the latest sources.

What is the Dublin Murder Squad series?

The Dublin Murder Squad series is a collection of six crime novels penned by Tana French. Each book in the series tells a standalone story revolving around a murder case in Dublin, Ireland, but is loosely connected through the recurring theme of the Dublin Murder Squad, the unit investigating the crimes.

French’s unique approach involves focusing on a different detective from the squad in each book, providing varied perspectives and rich character development. The series is acclaimed for its psychological depth, intricate plotlines, and vivid portrayal of contemporary Ireland.

What makes Tana French’s writing style unique?

Tana French’s writing style stands out for its richly textured prose and deep psychological insight. Her novels delve beyond the surface-level plot of crime and investigation, exploring the interior lives of her characters, their motivations, and their struggles.

Expert Tip: French masterfully constructs atmospheric settings and intricate plotlines that are as much about the human psyche as they are about the crimes at hand.

Her dialogue is authentic, her character development is nuanced, and her narratives often touch on broader social issues, making her work a profound exploration of human nature and society.

Who are some recurring characters in Tana French’s books?

While each of Tana French’s novels features a different protagonist, some characters recur throughout the Dublin Murder Squad series. Detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox are introduced in the first novel, “In the Woods,” with Maddox becoming the protagonist in the second book, “The Likeness”.

Frank Mackey, who appears in “The Likeness”, takes center stage in the third book, “Faithful Place”. Other characters, such as Stephen Moran and Antoinette Conway, also recur, evolving from secondary characters to protagonists in later books.

How does Tana French depict Ireland in her books?

Tana French’s depiction of Ireland is authentic, vivid, and atmospheric. Her novels are set against the backdrop of contemporary Dublin and its surroundings, from the bustling city center to derelict suburban developments and idyllic rural landscapes.

French does not shy away from addressing social issues relevant to modern Ireland, such as the economic crisis and its aftermath. Her Ireland is a nuanced, multifaceted character in itself, a place of stark contrasts where history and modernity, wealth and poverty, and urban and rural spaces intersect.

What themes does Tana French explore in her novels?

Tana French’s novels explore a variety of themes, including identity, memory, truth, and the nature of crime. Her characters often grapple with their pasts and their understanding of themselves, with memory and personal history playing a significant role in their narratives.

The theme of truth what it is, how it’s perceived, and how it’s manipulated is another recurring element in her work. French’s novels also delve into the psychological and sociological aspects of crime, exploring the motivations behind criminal acts and their impact on victims, perpetrators, and investigators alike.

Why should I read Tana French’s books?

Tana French’s novels are an excellent choice for readers who enjoy character-driven, psychologically complex crime fiction. Her books offer more than just the thrill of a whodunit they provide profound insights into human nature, societal issues, and the intricate dynamics of relationships.

Quick Fact: French’s skillful storytelling, compelling characters, and atmospheric settings make her novels immersive reading experiences. Whether you’re a seasoned fan of crime fiction or a newcomer to the genre, French’s intelligent, thought-provoking narratives are sure to captivate.

What is Tana French’s most popular book?

“In the Woods” was a critical and commercial success, winning several prestigious awards, including the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. It introduces readers to French’s unique blend of police procedural and psychological thriller, her atmospheric Irish setting, and her distinctive narrative voice.

The book’s intricate plot and the unresolved mystery at its heart have sparked much discussion among readers, further fueling its popularity.

How are Tana French’s standalone novels different from the Dublin Murder Squad series?

Tana French’s standalone novels, “The Witch Elm” and “The Searcher,” differ from the Dublin Murder Squad series in a few key ways. Firstly, they are not centered around the Dublin Murder Squad or its detectives. Instead, they feature protagonists who are ordinary individuals drawn into extraordinary circumstances.

Secondly, the standalone novels explore different themes and settings. “The Witch Elm,” for example, delves into privilege and luck, while “The Searcher” explores the clash between an outsider and a tight-knit community. Despite these differences, the standalone novels retain French’s trademark psychological depth, intricate plotting, and atmospheric writing.

How has Tana French influenced the crime genre?

Tana French has made significant contributions to the crime genre through her unique blend of police procedural and psychological thriller. Her focus on character development and psychological depth, along with her intricate, thought-provoking plots, has set a new standard for crime novels.

French’s work is often hailed for its literary quality, showing that crime fiction can be as profound and nuanced as any other literary genre. Her influence can be seen in the growing number of crime novels that prioritize character exploration and psychological complexity alongside suspense and mystery.

What awards has Tana French won for her writing?

Tana French has received numerous awards and accolades for her writing. Her debut novel, “In the Woods,” won several awards, including the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, the Barry Award for Best First Novel, and the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery.

Her subsequent novels have also been highly acclaimed, with “Broken Harbour” winning the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction Book of the Year and the LA Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. These recognitions attest to the quality of French’s writing and her significant contributions to the crime genre.


Tana French is a remarkable force in contemporary crime fiction. With her compelling characters, intricate plots, and deep psychological insight, she has redefined the genre and garnered a global readership.

Whether you’re delving into the tangled relationships of the Dublin Murder Squad or unraveling the standalone mysteries of “The Witch Elm” and “The Searcher,” you’re in for an immersive, thought-provoking reading experience.

Each of French’s novels not only offers a gripping mystery to solve but also explores broader themes of identity, memory, and the nature of truth. As you journey through her vividly rendered Irish landscapes, you’re invited to delve deeper into the complex layers of human nature and society.

So, if you’re ready for a literary adventure that transcends the traditional boundaries of crime fiction, Tana French’s books await.

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I have loved writing and reading since I was a little kid! Stephen King has my heart! I started this site to share my knowledge and build on my passion!