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Broken Harbour [Paperback]

Tana French
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 3 2012 Dublin Murder Squad

Amazon.ca Editors' Pick: Best Books of 2012

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 . . .

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"French has garnered a huge legion of fans and they will be thrilled with this, her fourth and possibly best novel."Carla McKay, Daily Mail

"If I encounter a better novel than Broken Harbour before French publishes her fifth, I'll eat a milliner's shop fut of hats."Sophie Hannah, Daily Express

''Broken Harbour is a gripping story in an atmospheric setting by an author who knows how to grab the reader's interest and never let it go. ... not a word of this densely written, long novel was superfluous - I would have been happy for it to be longer still."
Literary Review

"With red herrings and false turns aplenty, Broken Harbour by Tana French will keep you gripped right to the shocking final page."
Good Housekeeping

''The characters are superbly drawn and the writer reveals a sense of time and place."
Choice Magazine

"Tana French's stunning thriller ... chilling ... sinister ... haunted ... gripping ... "
Marie Claire

"A chilling psychological thriller."
Weight Watchers

"Lauded as Tana French's best crime fiction yet, the writer's fourth thriller triumphantly conjures up the atmosphere of an Irish town ravaged by recession and the underlying animosity simmering among its actuely drawn characters."—STYLIST

"Broken Harbour shows us the terrible sacrifices people make and the awful things they do based on love, and sometimes, terror and need."—Sandra Kasturi, The Globe and Mail

"Tana French leaves us lost in a dark labyrinth in which the Minotaur is never conquered, navigating a deceptively placid, reflective sea under which the terrible reefs of the past wait patiently to wreak havoc with the most seasoned traveller."—Sandra Kasturi, The Globe and Mail

"The case itself is rigged with French's blend of twists, misdirects and macabre details, becoming more bizarre and sinister as it goes. So much of the pleasure inherent in reading these novels is in trying to figure out where things are going and being constantly surprised. I predict Broken Harbour will be on more than one Best of 2012 lists - it's definitely at the top of mine."—Michelle Wiener, The Calgary Herald

"... in French's novels nothing is ever straightforward procedure. Part of the reason is the amount of care French devotes to her characters. Her unparalleled ability to create wonderfully flawed characters makes us just as invested, if not more so, in their personal lives."—Michelle Wiener, The Calgary Herald

About the Author

Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the United States and Malawi. She trained as an actor at Trinity College Dublin and has worked mainly in theatre. Her first novel, In the Woods, was published in 2007; it won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry awards for Best First Novel and the IVCA Clarion Award for Best Fiction. In the Woods and her second novel, The Likeness, were both New York Times bestsellers. She lives in Dublin with her husband and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I've been an avid fan of Tana French since her chilling debut novel, In the Woods, a poetically written murder mystery that combined police procedural with psychological thriller. She writes evocatively about solitary adults afflicted by damaged childhoods. Her novels go beyond the murder cases and weave layered tales about memories, the search for identity, the healing of broken families, and the social and economic issues of contemporary Ireland. Broken Harbor will satisfy old enthusiasts and hook new ones alike with its complex characters, detailed plot, moving themes and fresh, taut dialogue.

The narrator is Detective Mick 'Scorcher' Kennedy, a tough, flinty cop introduced in French's third novel, Faithful Place. Here he is fleshed out as a media-savvy and taciturn (and surprisingly sensitive) crackerjack detective with a reputation to fix. He is assigned to a murder that occurred in the affluent but half-abandoned suburb of Brianstown, which used to be called Broken Harbor. This is sure to be a high profile case: the fatal stabbing of a family man, Patrick Spain, and the suffocation of his two young children. His wife, Jenny, a victim of multiple knife wounds, is in critical condition at the hospital's intensive care unit.

Kennedy has a resonant family history with BH, reaching back to childhood summer vacations with his mother (who died years ago) and two sisters. One sister, Dina, is emotionally unstable, volatile and flammable, and pops in unannounced at inconvenient times. Kennedy is protective of Dina, but her labile moods and confrontational behaviors are particularly vexing to him during this investigation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broken Harbour July 21 2012
By L. D. Godfrey TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I liked this novel, it wasn't a page turner but Broken Harbour is a good, solid read. It is a large novel,average hardcover size and 500+ pages but the pace never lagged and it kept my interest.I have not read many of Tana French's novels, truth told this is only my second,but will not be my last. The novel is well written, it has compelling characters, an easy to follow plot and a few well place red herrings. You have the main character, Mick Kennedy,a homicide detective.He seems to be harder on himself than the murderer(s) he is trying to catch.His story is the main thread in the novel.The plot seems to spin off him and his relationships. You will not find car chases, gun battles, or any of that in this novel.What you will find in Broken Harbour is an entertaining, classic detective story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Aug. 31 2012
Fantastic effort on Tana French's part. I don't often read thrillers, but this was a riveting read of "whodunit" right to the end. A book I wished I'd never read so I could read it again! The perfect book to take on a trip and block out the world. The twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat. What a great author, incorporating the humour and the sorrow of the Irish set in what was a promising suburb that has been broken down by recession.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read Feb. 18 2013
By Rod
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Detective with imperfections.

Strange homicide.

Not exactly original premises...but, I enjoyed the book.

Kudos to Tana French!

A movie contract has to be on her agenda.
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