My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Secret Place is the fifth Dublin Murder Squad book and it features Holly and Detective Moran, both last seen in book 3. Holly is now 16 and is a boarder at a posh, private girls school in Dublin. A year previously a boy from the nearby boys school, had been found murdered on the girls school grounds and the crime has yet to be solved. Things are stirred up again when Holly finds a card pinned to ‘The Secret Place’, a school noticeboard where the pupils can put up their secrets, the card says ‘I know who killed him’. Remembering Moran from the Faithful Place case, Holly takes the card to him.
This was another good book, not my favourite in the series I think (that’s still Faithful Place) but still pretty good. None of French’s books ever get 5 stars from me though because there are always a few places in each story, where it drags and there were draggy places in The Secret Place to, including a romance storyline which was a bit bleurgh on occasion. But as usual with French’s books, they are always so much more than just whodunnits, in this one she looks at the theme of friendship, particularly teenage friendship and how it changes but also at the adult need for friends. I’m gutted that I’ve reached the last book in the series, I hope she writes some more.