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

by Tana French

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1,6391344,400 (3.96)269
Member:Randall.Hansen
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
Tags:murder, police detectives

Work details

Broken Harbor by Tana French (2012)

  1. 10
    Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Painful childhood memories haunt the detectives of these dark psychological thrillers. Both authors write their respective cities (Boston and Dublin) with realism that augments the flawed, believable characters' struggles. Their secrets and suspicions offer compelling insight into trust in relationships.… (more)
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English (129)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (134)
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
The fourth book in French's excellent Dublin Murder Squad series picks up with [b:Faithful Place|7093952|Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #3)|Tana French|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1291165900s/7093952.jpg|7350661]'s Mick Kennedy. Scorcher, as he's known, is a by-the-book cop famous for his diligence, attitude, and solve rate. However, he's still trying to make amends for one case, so he's given this one - a family found in an estate in the Irish suburbs. Father Patrick and the two children are dead, while mother/wife Jenny is in critical condition at the hospital. At first, Scorcher and his rookie partner, Richie, think the case is open and shut. But they quickly discover things aren't what they seem--with the Spains themselves or the murder case. Why are there holes all over the family's home, and baby monitors and cameras everywhere? Who erased the family's computer? Why did Jenny pull their young son out of preschool? Scorcher finds himself on a case that will test his resolve and the morals he holds so dearly.

This was an superb book; I don't know how French does it, but her novels never disappoint. It's a bit slow going, but amazingly interesting. Her painstaking detail of a crime scene and murder investigation is thorough and somehow beautiful; she knows her stuff. The first person detail with Mick is a welcome relief, honestly, after the "varying POV" chapters that seem to be the method du jour lately (I know the book is a few years old, but still). Mick is a crazily complex character and hearing his innermost thoughts just adds to his depth.

I won't lie: the book is long and it's probably not for everyone. You need to be a mystery fan and not be thrown off by a main character who talks and shares a lot. There's a dynamic between Mick and his new partner that adds to this detail and character development. Further, Mick and his family have a tie to Broken Harbor (the site of the murder), which involves some flashbacks. Again, it adds length, but also to the depth of his character. Plus, the plot kept me guessing, which I really appreciated. It would have been an easy 4.5 star rating, but it dived a little with the ending and a move that seemed a bit out of character for Mick, but still - an excellent mystery with a detailed and thoughtful plot. I'm glad I've picked up French's series again and look forward to getting completely caught up. ( )
  justacatandabook | Jul 20, 2016 |
Back to the famous Tana French tone. Wonderful book. ( )
  Alidawn | Jul 5, 2016 |
The magic I kept waiting and reading for just didn't happen. Almost three quarters of the book was spent tediously compiling evidence while the two detectives fumbled at working as partners. There was no Rob Ryan/Cassie Maddox rapport here and there were clues just 'left over' at the end. Yes, the revelation was a genuine surprise when it finally arrived. But it was not the eureka! moment where all the elements of the mystery are illuminated in a wholly different light so the oddness and inconsistencies become a clear pattern. If anything, the solution made the implausible seem even more so as it relied on bizarre behavior from too many of the characters.
( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Really effing disturbing, but just as well written as all her other books. ( )
  Bram.Cleaver | Jun 1, 2016 |
Review: Broken Harbor by Tana French.

This amazing book belongs to a series but doesn’t have to be read as a series. This mystery/suspense and psychological thriller novel is well written and I found it captivating. The story flowed quickly and the characters were well developed and the dialogue was entertaining and natural. I thought Tana French wrote as a great originator and was perceptively on course when it came to human behavior. She was able to hold my attention through lengthy passages of soul-searching dialogue, because the clues to the case lie as much in the words spoken and written as in the reality of true evidence. The organization/structure of the story went well, rich in detail, ambience, complexity, and motivation. What I liked was Tana French’s characterization and her skill with developing compassion for the detective, the victim’s and for the perpetrator at one time or another. Even though it was a great story I felt there were some flaws and things I questioned that were open-coincidences in the story.

The novel was about a high-profile mass murder case of a family in a small coastal town once called Broken Harbor, now called Brianstown. The story follows Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy, age 42, an Irish Murder Squad detective who has an excellent track record of solving murder the honest way. He is a tough guy, a loner, mostly friendless, who rarely talks about himself and some find him arrogant. He and his partner, Richie Curran, a rookie in training, are assigned to the case. This case however, haunts Mick, and he feels that when he is called out to investigate the murder of Pat Spain and his two young children, and the attempted murder of Jenny Spain, he is forced to face intense ghosts from the past.

Mick and Richie head out to crime scene where Patrick Spain and his two children lie dead and the mother, Jenny is on the verge of death in ICU. The case is full of unexplained circumstances, hidden clues, and contradictions which enmeshes the two detectives in a prolong investigation that threatens to end both of their careers. Both detectives have a difference of opinion of what might have happened but they both agreed hesitantly to dig deeper for more info and evidence. The investigation became a little tedious but I held in there because of contradictions of evidence and motivation that I hadn’t got the answers to yet. I was so deep into the story that I was coming up with my own scenario, which I will say I was wrong.

There were plenty of things unexplained when they did finally find a suspect but they were only able to hold him so long without charging him with the crime. They needed more time to investigate the issues they had; Why was their holes in the wall throughout the house crime seen?, What kind of animal was in the attic making Patrick Spain so obsessed to the point that he placed baby monitors throughout the house?, Why was a former best friend of the family stalking them?, Why was Jenny so obsessed with what people thought of them, Why were the children acting strange?.

“The story portrays the effect of financial meltdown on individuals and of memory and the past on perception”. (This sentence was taken from another source)


( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tana Frenchprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kolstad, HenningTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmermann, KlausÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Velzen, MarjoleinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wasel, UlrikeÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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