Broken Harbour

Broken Harbour

Book - 2012
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In Broken Harbour, a ghost estate outside Dublin - half-built, half-inhabited, half-abandoned - two children and their father are dead. The mother is on her way to intensive care. Scorcher Kennedy is given the case because he is the Murder squad's star detective. At first he and his rookie partner, Richie, think this is a simple one: Pat Spain was a casualty of the recession, so he killed his children, tried to kill his wife Jenny, and finished off with himself. But there are too many inexplicable details and the evidence is pointing in two directions at once.

Scorcher's personal life is tugging for his attention. Seeing the case on the news has sent his sister Dina off the rails again, and she's resurrecting something that Scorcher thought he had tightly under control: what happened to their family, one summer at Broken Harbour, back when they were children. The neat compartments of his life are breaking down, and the sudden tangle of work and family is putting both at risk . . .

Publisher: London, England : Hodder & Stoughton, ©2012.
ISBN: 9780340977637
9780340977651
Characteristics: 533 pages ;,25 cm.

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k
KnitOrRead
Feb 23, 2021

It's a dark story, disturbing on many levels. And the weather is so every gloomy throughout the book. A great read for a rainy weekend with a cup of hot cocoa in hand! I love how Tana French writes, it caught me off guard at first that she writes from a man's perspective, and her main characters are tough and sarcastic. Still, there is plenty of humor to go around, and the stories are far from boring. Depressing, maybe. Skeletons in everyone's closets, definitely. Looking forward to her latest book.

n
newinpdx
Jan 29, 2021

A waste of time. French spins a ridiculous premise populated by tedious characters. I won't waste your time regurgitating the plot. Other have done that. Unless you have an affinity for severely over-written material, rest assured that positive reviews are to be taken with a grain of salt. By the way, I give it one star, not the two I mistakenly entered.

TSCPL_Miranda Jun 30, 2020

So gripping and good that I hardly stopped reading it until I reached the end, going from audio to ebook as needed to keep in the story. As usual, French has crafted a suspenseful mystery with a solid backstory for her detective, and good character development, to give it a little extra dimension and depth. I'll be sad when I'm all caught up on her work, waiting for her new releases.

a
asimmons1345
Sep 17, 2019

Dublin Murder Squad 4

e
esrobbins
Aug 16, 2019

I love how Tana French writes language into her books. I feel like I'm in Ireland and I can hear the different accents of her characters. I love a good mystery novel and each one in the Murder Squad series (that I've read so far) has such promise. Tana French takes her time to develop characters and plot. However, usually with about 100 pages to go, I start to get bored and just want to hurry up to know whodunnit. French's slow, detailed writing pace doesn't ever pick up as the story comes to a climax, leaving me feeling a little let down. There's no excitement. No "Ah-ha!" moment. I've read the first four books in this series and had the same experience each time. Not sure I'll continue with this series.

s
StoriedLife
Mar 26, 2019

Tana French writes beautifully, and she always delivers a captivating situation, entrancing the reader with well-drawn characters and a sense of place that makes you feel you are there. But there’s always something more than a bit preposterous about the setup, and in this case she has several of her characters, now that we’ve gotten to know them, acting in ways that we just don’t buy.

o
ownedbydoxies
Mar 21, 2019

A really interesting plot-line, but this (like some of her others I've read) could have used some thoughtful editing and a lot less repetitiveness. Also, I did figure out who did what to who well before finding out from the story, but having it explained in vast detail towards the end - pages and pages of detailed dialogue, most of which I finally ended up skimming through - is something I thought was like brow-beating. With good editing the reasons for the crime could have been spaced throughout in snippets of foreshadowing rather than many pages of simply saying 'this is what happened when'. This is why I couldn't give the book more stars.

g
goddessbeth
Jan 17, 2019

Although very different from her first Dublin Murder Squad book, this one had as powerful an impact on me. And no one was more surprised than I. I was *not* enthusiastic about a story centering around Scorcher Kennedy, who was a twit of the highest order when we first met him in Faithful Place. And the book starts off with him still being a pompous jerk. But I'm glad I stuck with it.

As with the previous books in this series, the murder mystery drives the action, but the real story is centered around the main character. In each of the books, the main character's foundation is shaken by the case they're working on. And with the exception of Faithful Place, it's mostly been cases where the main character severely cocked up (not through negligence or laziness, but because their of something about their world view).

This is no exception- by the end of the novel I actually felt for Kennedy. It was like a coming-of-age, but in a far more brutal setting: Kennedy's death-grip beliefs on how the world works get eroded away by the case, and by the end of it he still knows himself, but he's pretty wrecked. The thing is, I'd gotten to understand and pity him enough that, rather than feel vindictive about this comeuppance, I was sad for him.

And at the same time, this is a haunted house story that revolves around obsession and the fragility of the human mind. So if you like psychological mysteries and suspense stories, like The Turning of the Screw, as well as character-driven stories, I recommend this one. Even if you haven't read the others, this stands alone just fine.

l
lruda
Oct 22, 2017

Bit too long, could have been shorter, in my humble opinion!

b
booknook77
Sep 13, 2015

The writing was fairly smooth but from start to finish the story line was depressing, desolate and sad. I did not find a positive note in the entire book.

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