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Broken Harbour (2012)

by Tana French

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dublin Murder Squad (4)

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2,6141914,127 (3.94)363
All but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it's up to Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick--disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.… (more)
  1. 20
    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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» See also 363 mentions

English (185)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (191)
Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
Good story but just too morose for me. Just too depressing plus it seems there is a psychotic bent to a couple of the characters--which I didn't like at all. The cop is supposed to be the one with the act that is pulled together. ( )
  lhaines56 | Apr 20, 2021 |
I keep vacillating between 3.5 and 4 stars, but I guess I will round up. The important thing to remember about Tana French is that her books are more character studies than cop procedurals, and to not expect a tidy or conventional ending. Given that I was listening to the audiobook, the abrupt ending came as a real surprise. ( )
  A2Seamster | Apr 9, 2021 |
I am bereft, in tears, lost. I had put off reading this last Dublin Murder Squad novel because I didn't particularly like Scorcher Kennedy's personality in the other book. But after putting if off for quite some time, I needed to get back to the squad. Back to Tana French's writing. I needed to read her. So I'm sitting here drained of all emotions. There will not be another book like this or "In the Woods". I'll read other books and be entertained for a while. Nothing will be like this again. I hope she doesn't write another murder squad book; I pray she does. ( )
  juju2cat | Jan 31, 2021 |
An intense murder mystery, very character-driven. There are few characters in the book, in fact, but they are nicely layered and intriguing. They are all flawed, which keeps things very interesting. Especially the protagonist/narrator, who doesn't see his own flaws but they are clear to the reader - just like real life! While some elements of the ending are as I expected, none of them is wholly what I predicted. There are no additional murders or deaths, for example. The ending is satisfactory without being perfectly tidy or done epilogue style. A great mystery! And so unlike French's other books. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Nov 22, 2020 |
Broken Harbor

A delightfully atmospheric, beautiful written and thought-provoking mystery.


Michael “Scorcher“ Kennedy case solve rate makes him a star in the Dublin Murders Squadroom. He plays by the book and has now landed the biggest case of the year. Kennedy and his rookie partner Richie Curran are headed out to the crime scene on the Irish coast.

Broken Harbor, is a mostly-abandon luxury development that has gone belly up in the midst of Ireland’s economic free fall. Patrick Spain and his two young children, Emma and Jack, have been horrifically murdered. Patrick’s wife, Jenny, is headed to the hospital with serious knife wounds. Their kitchen is covered in blood.

At first, Kennedy thinks it’s going to be an easy solve. But then there are many small things around the house that can’t be easily explained: a half dozen baby monitors scattered around the house, smashed holes pepper the walls of a beautifully decorated home, an illegal animal trap in the attic, and files are erased from the family’s computer. Kennedy and Curran soon clash over the identity of the killer. What started as a slam dunk has gotten complicated

Broken Harbor was known as Brianstown before it was ever a development. It’s holds some of the best and worst memories of Kennedy’s life, his family used to camped there. All those traumatic memories come back to haunt him when he visits the estate.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from. There’s nothing you can do about it, so don’t waste your energy thinking about it. What matters is where you’re going. And that, mate, is something you can control.”

“Don’t fool yourself: we all have a cruel streak. We keep it under lock and key either because we’re afraid of getting punished or because we believe this will somehow make a difference, make the world a better place.”

BROKEN HARBOR is the fourth book in the Dublin Murder Squad series. It’s a delightfully atmospheric, beautiful written and thought-provoking mystery. It’s also commentary of sorts on the effect the Irish economic depression has had on the middle class. Unemployment and bankruptcy leading to humiliation, anxiety, depression and desperation.

Kennedy, with his experience and Curran’s empathic communication skills made their detective partnership feel real and authentic. Author Tana French’s character development is masterful; from the diligent detectives, to the Spain family members. And it doesn’t take you long to appreciate the cray-cray in Kennedy’s crazy younger sister Dina. French writes “crazy” superbly, but then she writes everything superbly. She is a fabulous writer and the story is brilliantly plotted.

Tana French was born in Vermont and has lived in Dublin since 1990. The first three Dublin Murder Squad books are In The Woods (2008), The Likeness (2009) and Faithful Place (2010), each winning numerous awards. I listen to the Broken Harbor audiobook and loved the read.

“Only teenagers think boring is bad. Adults, grown men and women who been around the block a few times, know that boring is a gift straight from God. Life has more than enough excitement up its sleeve, ready to hit you with as soon as you’re not looking, without you adding to the drama.”

Publisher Viking Adult
Published July 2, 2012
Narrated Stephen Hogan
Review www.bluestockingreviews.com ( )
  LisaSHarvey | Oct 11, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tana Frenchprimary authorall editionscalculated
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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All but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it's up to Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick--disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

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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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