If the homage wasn’t clear from the title, Tana French makes sure throughout The Searcher, her seventh novel and second stand-alone, that there’s no doubt which genre we’re in. ‘We’ll bring you for a pint, welcome you to the Wild West,’ a cheery local Garda tells her hero, Cal Hooper. ‘They used this rifle in the Wild West,’ Cal explains to someone later, when he gets his Henry shotgun. Cal is a former Chicago cop, recently retired and divorced, and the lawless west here is the west of Ireland, where he has bought a beat-up old farm in search of ‘a small place. A small town in a small country. It seemed like that would be easier to make sense of. Guess I might’ve had that wrong.’
He does, of course; a local kid, Trey, whose brother Brendan has been missing for six months, drafts Cal into helping to solve the mystery.