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Broken Harbor: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad) (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Tana French

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Title:Broken Harbor: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad)
Authors:Tana French
Info:Viking Adult (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
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Broken Harbor by Tana French (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
The best way I can describe Tana French's novels is that they get under your skin. The worlds she creates seem to give me tunnel vision, the farther I get into the book the more I'm wrapped up in the detectives' lives and their struggle to find the answers to their case.

This is the fourth books in the Dublin Murder Squad series, and features Detective Kennedy, a straight arrow. He's put on a dark case, a home attack that left a father and two kids dead and the mother in critical condition. The plot explores the cracks in our lives that aren't always easily visible to those around us. Kennedy's personal history and his troubled sister cause complications in the case as he tries to teach a new rookie the ropes.

I didn't love Kennedy as a character, but we aren't supposed to. He is rigid, seeing the world in black-and-white, but it's because he needs boundaries and fears what happens to those who spend too close to the edge.

This book follows the case of a murdered family, their history is slowly reveal as the detectives uncover pieces of their lives. One interesting thing about French is that she never feels the need to tie everything up with a nice pretty bow in the end. The murder mystery is always resolved, but issues in the detectives lives, other elements of the case, etc. are often left for the reader to determine.

BOTTOM LINE: Each of the books in the series works completely as a standalone. The Likeness remains my favorite, but every single one of them has deepened my appreciation for the author and heightened my anticipation for her next book. This one was no exception.

I save French's books to enjoy on vacation or times when I know I'll be able to dive into the novel. That's because she's one of my treasured favorite new authors to read and I ration her work. If you love a good mystery, with excellent writing, moody Irish settings and wonderful character doubt, you just have to check her out. ( )
  bookworm12 | Oct 8, 2014 |
I have been following Tana French for quite some time. Her writing is always exceptional, her characters well-developed, and the story riveting. I was disappointed in the ending of In The Woods, but loved Faithful Place. I haven't read The Likeness or The Secret Place, but I have them on my pile of "To Read" books. Broken Harbor was an engaging, page-turner; a novel I enjoyed immensely. It was a substantial, thought-provoking story, a quality book club selection, but it also was entertaining and pure enjoyment which made it an excellent choice to read at the beach or by the pool.

Broken Harbor is in sad shape. A once promising, sprawling housing development in the isolated Ireland countryside has been abandoned by the developers due to the recession, leaving the few homeowners living in the complex trapped in substandard homes with no way out and without recourse. The Sprains were one of those families, but unfortunately that is not their worst problem. There was a vicious attack on the family. The two young children, Emma and Jack, were found dead in their beds. The father, Patrick, was bludgeoned on the kitchen floor and Jennifer Sprain, found curled around her husband, covered in blood, was left alive, but just barely.

Confident, arrogant dedicated top Detective Mick Kennedy of the Murder Squad heads the investigation. He respects the rules of the job and plays by them, but he is also a loner, desperately in need of a friend, but unable to trust and openly share his deepest secrets and regrets. He chooses to work with Richie Curran, an easy-going, good-natured rookie who has the potential to excel as a detective especially under the tutelage of Detective Kennedy. Their partnership is a good one, bringing out the best and the worst in both characters. Together they work to solve this horrific crime, Kennedy guiding the young detective through a disciplined, systematic, thorough, meticulous approach to police procedure. But, this case has an even greater significance for Detective Kennedy; Broken Harbor, years ago called Brianstown, was a vacation spot for his family and the last place he saw his mother alive.

There are many layers to this book, and the reader gets drawn into the story making it difficult to take a break from the novel. Highly recommended. ( )
  2LZ | Sep 26, 2014 |
Intense reading. Slightly long-winded in places but thoroughly enjoyable & kept my interest until the end. ( )
  hscherry | Sep 18, 2014 |
This was another page turner in Tana French's mystery series. It's the fourth in the series and she continues the method of choosing a minor character from her previous book to be the first person voice of the current book. I love that technique because it keeps her writing fresh even though there are other similarities between the books. This book got back to the creepiness that was in her first book In the Woods. I liked it a lot, but not as much as the other books she's written. However, I will eagerly read any book she writes next. ( )
  japaul22 | Jun 9, 2014 |
This fourth Tana French didn't work as well for me. It's well-plotted and all the usual things, but yet again it is a story where the detective's past catches up with him/her in a particular case adding a layer of.... shall we say.... confusion and sorrow to the mix. And yet, this time at moments, it felt contrived, in ways the previous novel Faithful Place did not. Kennedy does have a bad secret and I know that, especially in Ireland, keeping bad stuff to yourself and toughing things out, is axiomatic, or was, until recently. But it's also dangerously close to cliche because of that. So this combined with the tension between his new 'partner' and himself and the way it played out made for too much negativity for me (not to mention the actual 'solve' which is also bleak as hell although that was the best part, really). And yet - how could she have plotted it any other way and made it work? I don't know. It's the trouble I sometimes have with mysteries where the plot demands sometimes overriding everything else (including common sense) until the story becomes .... unsatisfying to the reader because something is out of whack. Maybe I should amend that to 'this reader' because that is how it was for me, a bit over the top. All the same an excellent read and many would not be bothered as I was, I suspect. ***1/2 ( )
2 vote sibyx | May 18, 2014 |
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For Darley, magician and gentleman
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Let's get one thing straight: I was the perfect man for this case.
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Book description
Murder Detective Mick Kennedy is all about control.
Driving the right car. Wearing the right suit. Everything carefully designed to show the world - and most importantly, the killer - that he is in charge of this case.
But Broken Harbour will not be tamed.
This wild, beautiful place holds Mick Kennedy's happiest memories. It also holds his worst.
And now a new horror has happened here, and the cracks are beginning to show.
From the multi-award-winning author of Sunday TImes and New York Times bestseller In the Woods, Broken Harbour is a searing novel of psychological suspense.
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In the aftermath of a brutal attack that left a woman in intensive care and her husband and young children dead, brash cop Scorcher Kennedy and his rookie partner, Richie, struggle with perplexing clues and Scorcher's haunting memories of a shattering incident from his childhood.… (more)

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