It is actually quite a bold move, in modern crime fiction, to shun the reoccurring, increasingly endearing main character detective. All hail to French, therefore, for making her readers begin every new book with a new policeman.
Moreover, surprising parallels between French and literary giant James Joyce spring to mind! Indeed, it is in 'Dubliners'-fashion French has created her own universe of policemen swarming around the fictitious Dublin murder squad, carelessly wandering in and out of each other's books, taking turns providing narrative voices.
Another parallel to Joyce is the limited time-span : Interspersed with regular flashbacks, the storyline of 'The Secret Place' begins in the morning and ends that very same night. All in a day's work, just like 'Ulysses', though mercifully, French has preferred a classic first person narration to Joyce's more demanding stream-of-consciousness monologue.
All in all; a good, relaxing read despite (or perhaps thanks to?) the literary ambitions.