Updated: Sep 21, 2021
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