Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Broken Harbor; Tana French


Title: Broken Harbor
Author:  Tana French
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Viking
Edition: eGalley
Setting:  Ireland
Source: NetGalley 
Date Completed: August/2012
Rating: 4.5/5
Recommend:  yes

Broken Harbor is Book #4 of the Dublin Murder Squad Series, but it's actually the first book I've read by this author. Despite beginning out of sequence, I had no problem plunging in full speed. If there was one down side, if you could call it that, I now want to go back and read the first 3 books. Broken Harbor was that good, and to me it seemed fine as a stand alone title.  I gathered that the top detective of this novel was also in French's last novel, The Faithful Place.

Mick Kennedy, known as "Scorcher" is the Dublin Murder Squads top detective.  He likes to play by the rules, and be able to take control of investigations that present themselves. Scorcher's partner is rookie, Richie Curran who already has a botched case under her belt. Their latest case is a real tough one involving the Spain family. Two young children under age 7 are dead, smothered in their beds, their father Patrick is dead --stabbed, and the mother, Jenny, also stabbed is fighting for her life.

The family lived in a once up and coming development on Broken Harbor, a development which was never finished after the housing market took a nose-dive. The homes are now mostly unfinished or uninhabited and the town has been renamed Brianstown.  Broken Harbor is also a place where Scorcher spent summers as a teen. he has some fond memories but also has some painful ties there, and in addition finds himself dealing with the mental illness of his younger sister Dina.

On the surface the Spain's case looks like an easy one to solve, but once the team starts investigating, too many things just don't make sense -- especially the many holes in the walls of the home and the numerous baby monitors pointed at the holes -- what was the purpose?  Just when I thought I knew where this story was going, I was caught off guard by some new revelation and things become even more strange. When I reached certain sections in the book, I literally could not stop reading.

Ms. French is skilled writer in my eyes.  She gives the reader just so much information at a time from the point of view of Scorcher. By doing this the author allows the reader to take in the clues, evaluate the possible suspects and ponder what might be going on inside of their heads.  If you decide to read this one, at least some of you, I suspect, will think you've solved the case and then later find yourself still scratching your head in wonder.  I can't wait to read another one by Tana French.

In case anyone not familiar with this author is interested, the order of this series is:

26 comments:

  1. I've had In the Woods for longer than I care to admit. I'm glad to know the books stand alone.

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  2. I found Broken Harbor a WOW! book and was delighted to find her. I do want to read her other books.

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  3. I also have In the Woods and have been meaning to read it for what seems like FOREVER! I need to get to it!!

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    1. Hey there, saw your comment at my site, thanks! I think I have the "no reply" issue adjusted but am not sure if it'll work now. Let's test it out when you get a chance!

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  4. Thanks for this review. I'll look out for Broken Harbour... Dublin Murder Squad sounds intriguing. I've not heard of this series. Now, is it Dublin, Ireland? I'm curious why Harbour is spelled as Harbor. Just wondering...

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    1. Arti, yes it is Ireland. The international ed. is "harbour" and the US version "harbor". Different covers as well.

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  5. I've read the first three - they're definitely worthy of a read! I'm really looking forward to this one, thanks for the review.

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    1. Karen, Happy to get a thumbs up from you on the first three! Looking forward to them.

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  6. I'm really looking forward to reading BROKEN HARBOR. I read IN THE WOODS several years ago and then read THE FAITHFUL PLACE last year with my book group. Still need to get to THE LIKENSS (which I've heard such good things about from other friends). This is a series, but only loosely. Tana French takes a character from her previous book, sometimes a fairly minor character, and makes them the lead protagonist in the next book. It's an interesting way to tie things together and I usually spend the book wondering who will head up the next one. I had guessed that Scorcher's partner Richie would be the lead, but it was Scorcher himself. :-)

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  7. I have a friend who loves Tana French and is always recommending her books but I still haven't read one!

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  8. I read the first two books in this series. They were good, but they were also overrated. So I was disappointed.

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  9. I have The Likeness--I need to read it one of these days (or years!). Terrific review, Diane!

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  10. I'm intrigued by this series of books. I have just downloaded this one on my Nook.

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  11. Glad to hear Broken Harbor stands alone! I usually have to start series at the beginning, but am tempted to grab this right away.

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  12. Oh I just knew you would love her!! Tana French is amazing! And you don't really need to read in order but she does introduce the next main character in her books in the previous books. It is an interesting way to write and she does amazing. All four of her books have been as good (or better than) Broken Harbor. She is definitely one of my favorites.

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  13. I just read a glowing review for this book on audio and now after reading your review, I think I will jump right in with this book.

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  14. I'm still bitter about my experience with her first book (although I did like the second one). I just can't get super-excited about the rest of the series, although most people seem to love all of her books.

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  15. I'm all over this one!! Glad to know that skipping 1-3 isn't going to ruin this one for me!!! I'm willing to read out-of-order for this!

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  16. I probably should have started with this one. I read Into the Woods first and loved it until the last quarter and then the author ended up making me angry with some of her choices. I doubt at this point I'll ever read another French book despite all the people I know who love her work.

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  17. I adored the first book, but have yet to read the others. I need to get busy on that.

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  18. I've read all three of French's previous mysteries and although there's been a lot of hype about this new one, I know it's one I want to read sooner than later. She gets better and better with each new publication! Now to find the time. I'm in the middle of two chunksters -- The Thorn Birds (buddy read with Bellezza) and The Passage (on audio). It may be October before I get to this one! On second thought, maybe I'll wait and read it on my flight to TX in November. It's sure to be one that keeps me distracted. ;)

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  19. I started In The Woods years ago and never finished. I really need to revisit this series as I've heard such great things about it.

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  20. I have heard a lot about this author and series lately. I was thinking of getting this one or the previous one for my husband for his birthday - he loves mysteries and suspense!

    Great review -

    Sue

    Book By Book

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  21. I just finished (and loved!) Into the Woods, so I'm really excited to read the rest of the series!

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