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Broken Harbor (Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4) Kindle Edition
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From Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Searcher, a New York Times bestselling novel that “proves anew that [Tana French] is one of the most talented crime writers alive” (The Washington Post).
“Required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting.” —The New York Times
Mick “Scorcherˮ Kennedy is the star of the Dublin Murder Squad. He plays by the books and plays hard, and thatʼs how the biggest case of the year ends up in his hands.
On one of the half-abandoned “luxuryˮ developments that litter Ireland, Patrick Spain and his two young children have been murdered. His wife, Jenny, is in intensive care. At first, Scorcher thinks itʼs going to be an easy solve, but too many small things canʼt be explained: the half-dozen baby monitors pointed at holes smashed in the Spainsʼ walls, the files erased from the familyʼs computer, the story Jenny told her sister about a shadowy intruder slipping past the houseʼs locks. And this neighborhood—once called Broken Harbor—holds memories for Scorcher and his troubled sister, Dina: childhood memories that Scorcher thought he had tightly under control.
- ASIN : B0072O00YI
- Publisher : Penguin Books; Reprint edition (July 24, 2012)
- Publication date : July 24, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 3226 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 456 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #28,653 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2018
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I thought I was going to be a huge Tana French fan at the beginning of the book but now have no desire to read more of her books. Too drawn out. She needs a better editor.
The detectives go through the routine (Scorcher tells the tale in the first person) and turn up a promising suspect. And than the book spirals into the darkness. The descent begins when Richie and Scorcher have different ideas as to who might be guilty.
In addition Scorcher has a bipolar younger sister, Dina. And she triggers Kennedy's and the tale's, descent, as during the course of the book we learn that Scorcher and Dina have a history there. Dina tells Scorcher he never should have taken the case, and as we see, he probably shouldn't have.
The book's showpiece is a chapter-long confession sequence that is not for the weak of heart, or stomach. It's a horror show.
NOTES AND ASIDES: Do I really have to say more? If you don't like unpleasant books and characters, stay well away. If you like brilliantly conceived and written novels, order it. And especially keep in mind this is not a routine mystery. Well not just, anyhow.
Scorcher's breaking in a new partner, still wet-behind-the-ears Richie Curran, but he's optimistic - and when he's tapped to investigate the Spain killings out in the half-built, recession-plagued luxury development at Broken Harbor, it looks like this is his chance to get back on top. While brutal, the crime seems straightforward, and through dogged, intense work, Kennedy and Curran find themselves clicking like a pair of longtimers, and making steady progress.
But troubling questions remain: why are there half a dozen cameras pointed at holes that have been smashed in the Spains' walls? Why was the family computer wiped? Who is the mysterious stranger that neighbors have seen lurking in the estate? And is he the same person Jenny told her sister had been sneaking in out of her home? Kennedy and Curran are working round the clock, and whether its the long hours, the horror of the crime, or something else, Scorcher's own tragic family connection to Broken Harbor begins to influence the case, and soon nothing is for certain.
"Broken Harbor" is the fourth of Tana French's loosely-connected Dublin Murder Squad books, and we have met Scorcher Kennedy before - he was Frank Mackey's foil in "Faithful Place". Mackey didn't have a high opinion of Kennedy, but all of French's books are written from individual perspectives, and those perspectives are frequently biased. Behind his own eyes, Kennedy's a man who recognized his limitations years ago, and while his self-help lingo and seize-the-day mentality grate on some, they're tools he uses to compensate for what he perceives as his own average abilities. There are smarter, cleverer cops out there, but no one outworks or out-hustles Scorcher Kennedy.
The preceding volume, "Faithful Place", was kinetic and a bit less thoughtful than we're used to seeing from French, but while "Broken Harbor" cranks up the pace - fully a third of the book takes place in the first day of the investigation - it also marks a return to the deeper waters in which the author usually swims. There are things Kennedy believes he's conquered - things he believes he's moved beyond - but like all of Tana French's protagonists, he is mistaken in his belief that the past is done with him. "Broken Harbor" shows us how a family in crisis can create a maelstrom of tragedy, and the way that a succession of small moments that can build to something large and terrible.
The mystery of who killed the Spain family was intense and riveting. I was completely immersed from about page 50 or so, and I could. Not. STOP. I seriously read this entire book in two days because I couldn't put it down. It was incredible.
This is by far the best book of this entire series, in my opinion. The denouement ended the story before I might've liked, but I suppose we can all imagine what happened next. (view spoiler)
I'm already beginning The Secret Place and I don't like it nearly as much so far. I'm listening to the audiobook and I really do not like multiple narrators. Irrelevant to this review, I guess, except to say that Broken Harbor will probably remain my favorite title in this series.
5 full stars and a spot on my favorites shelf. Pretty unusual for a 4th in series AND a murder mystery to land there, so know that this book is something special.
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The basic story is of a family of four brutally and violently murdered with just the wife surviving with terrible injuries. The police procedural aspects are detailed to the point that over half the book describes the musings and discussions of the two detectives and their investigation to the point of tedium.
There are really very few characters involved in the story and the solution involves some strange and not very credible behaviour by a few of the characters. However, it is all explained and mused over at such great length as if the author is trying us that by going into great and repetitive detail to explain behaviours and motivations the reader will be persuaded. Unfortunately I wasn't. The main murder plot is really little more than a long drawn out shaggy dog story.
The story is set in post-boom Ireland where unemployment has risen and housing projects started during the boom times remain unfinished. It therefore has a depressing air to it. This together with morals and duties of a detective and the backstory of the main character try to fill the thinness of the plot with atmosphere, past tragedy, and a study of an Ireland in economic decline. To some extent the book is successful in this and redeems itself. However, as a thriller with an exciting and clever plot it utterly fails. If this is what you seek, look elsewhere.
In terms of the crime and the motivation and the end result - yes, I really enjoyed how that was unravelled though I did feel it could have been shorter. And as before, I loved the settings, the interaction of the environment (physical and economic) with the key players and their motivation. So I'll be coming back for more.