Thursday, January 21, 2016

BROKEN HARBOR by Tana French

Tana French

            Broken Harbor is book four (of five) in Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. I listened to this audiobook third (after the number five book, The Secret Place, and the number three book, Faithful Place). This book features Detective Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy, whom we met in Faithful Place.

            In Broken Harbor, the Spain family was murdered in their home at Broken Harbor, a half built, deserted housing development. Kennedy is assigned to the case. He finds oddities in the Spain home: holes in the walls, an open attic hatch, lots of video baby monitors.

            Although Scorcher Kennedy is one of the best detectives, he has a history with Broken Harbor. As we work the murder case with Scorcher, we learn about his family, the nuances and complexities of his personality, and the secrets of this history with Broken Harbor.

            As always, French is masterful in the weaving of her tale and in the superb development of her characters. Her writing in general is magical. For example, at one point Scorcher talks about how murder is chaos. In the old days, Scorcher notes, people smiled at strangers, talked to their neighbors, left their doors unlocked, and helped old women; the murder rate during this time was almost zero. But now, Scorcher goes on, people are “turning feral” – and the final step into feral is murder. This sort of poignant development is typical Tana French and makes reading her work truly a memorable experience.

            I greatly enjoyed Broken Harbor, and I look forward to the two Dublin Murder Squad books I have not yet read (despite the mis-ordering of my reads). I am rapidly becoming a devoted Tana French fan.


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