- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (July 3 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780340977644
- ISBN-13: 978-0340977644
- ASIN: 0340977647
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.1 x 23.2 cm
- Shipping Weight: 699 g
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #245,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Broken Harbour Paperback – Jul 3 2012
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A beautifully crafted thriller that exposes the bleak repercussions of destroyed hope in recession-riddled Dublin. The setting for Tana French's stunning thriller is an eerie ghost estate on the outskirts of Dublin, where half-finished houses and abandoned buildings provide a chilling backdrop.―Marie Claire
With red herrings and false turns aplenty, Broken Harbour by Tana French will keep you gripped right to the shocking final page.―Good Housekeeping
With Broken Harbour, Tana French should cement her name not only as the queen of Irish crime fiction but the queen of Irish fiction. Broken Harbour sucks you into its murky depths that any good novel - crime or otherwise - should . . . the breadth of character is also astonishing . . . This is a writer working at the height of her powers . . . humour, pathos, well-observed social commentary, but above all a cracking story that keeps you guessing until the end . . . A great Irish novel.―Sunday Independent Dublin
The acclaimed Irish crime writer returns with a timely tale―Irish Times
Tana French is one of those rare novelists who combine a gift for dialogue and characterisation, with suspense, intrigue and fabulous plotting. And she's a beautiful writer, to boot. A real treat.―Kate Mosse
Tana French is one of the most assured crime novelists writing today and BROKEN HARBOUR affirms her reputation. French spins a suspenseful web, which tightens with every chapter.―Time Out
Nothing short of a masterpiece. French's first three thrillers were all brilliant but this is by far her best and reaches a level of spine-chilling, gripping moreishness that will leave readers open-mouthed with admiration.―Sophie Hannah, Daily Express
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- Hot New Books of July
I've been enthusiastically telling everyone who will listen to read Tana French. She is, without a doubt, my favorite new mystery writer. Her novels are poignant, compelling, beautifully written and wonderfully atmospheric. Just start reading the first page. You'll see what I mean.―Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of STAY CLOSE
Gradually, an emotionally jolting story of love, obsession and madness is played out to incredible effect in this searing, intense, complex and intelligent thriller by a new master of the art.―Daily Mail
French is on finest spine-chilling form in her fourth crime thriller . . . subtlety of plot, language and tone . . . makes this one of the must-read-page-turners―Sunday Times Dublin
French is an impressive writer who knows just how to manipulate her readers' emotions . . . as revelation follows revelation, the dark pull of the narrative keeps you enthralled until the entirely satisfying ending.―Spectator
Finely written psychological crime thriller . . . the characters are subtly drawn and the writer reveals a sense of time and place.―Choice
Fast-paced psychological thriller . . . Gripping.―Image Magazine Dublin
Edgar-winner French's eloquently slow-burning fourth Dublin murder squad novel shows her at the top of her game . . . French excels at drawing out complex character dynamics―Publishers Weekly
Creepy, compelling and uncomfortably believable, this is not just a story about solving a crime, but about the destruction of a generation's hopes and dreams―Independent
As beautifully written as it is gripping―Stellar Magazine Ireland
A thoroughly mesmerising story. After four novels, French is fast becoming one of the best crime writers around . . . a briliantly twisted tale―Heat
A gripping story in an atmospheric setting by an author who knows how to grab a 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
A deftly written thriller―Woman & Home
Broken Harbour is a complex, well crafted psychological thriller as well as an exemplary dissection of the plight of the disappointed and desperate human wreckage washed up in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. As always, French's carefully wrought but seemingly effortless prose is a delight. A hugely impressive and intelligent book, with writing to savour. It confirms French as the First Lady of Irish Crime.―Irish Independent
Observer Thriller of the Month: 'Enticing, threatening, atmospheric prose' . . . Broken Harbour is a tale about the different facets of obsession and insanity, and it winds up to a finale that is almost too distressing. The best yet of French's four excellent thrillers, it leaves its readers - just like the Spains - "throat-deep in terror"'―Observer
About the Author
Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the United States and Malawi. 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 other two novels, The Likeness and Faithful Place, were all New York Times bestsellers. She lives in Dublin with her husband and daughter. Visit Tana's website at www.tanafrench.com
Top Customer Reviews
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. Each day that he works on the case has him scratching at the past, exposing his dark torments to the light, as he gets closer to the private lives of the Spain family.
Kennedy chooses a rookie cop, Richie Curran, to help him solve the murder in an upscale housing development, one of many communities that have suffered from Dublin's economic recession. Only his wife, Jenny, survives, hanging by a thread in the hospital, in a coma. Patrick, they learn from Jenny's sister, Fiona, had been laid off from his job months ago, and the historically happy couple were challenged by recession-era fates. Does this factor into the murder? And why are there so many irregular holes in the walls?
The story unfolds gradually, with dense and convoluted character descriptions buoyed by an unhurried pace. It begins with a fact-finding mission, as all her books do, and expands its focus to a poignant examination of family, as well as the socio-economic milieu of Dublin that affects the quality of everyday lives. From the quotidian to the uncommon, French's story encompasses loss, love, and redemption, and wraps around the reader in an elaborate maze.
All the books are loosely connected by a non-narrating character from one novel showing up as the narrator in the next. In this way, nobody suffers from too much exposure (which leads to a tendency to flatten out over time). Instead, the author continues to expand on her vivid portrait of Ireland's working classes with her socially observant eye and sumptuous, moving prose.
Her talent for mining subconscious fears and desires borders on the spectral, with a finesse that keeps it real but laces it with gothic menace. For devotees longing for Rob and Cassie to return, you may be initially disappointed at their absence. However, you'll let it go once you engage in this spellbinding tale.
The prose-rich Tana French will be music to your ears. Here is how Scorcher sees the fragile, evocative beauty of Broken Harbor:
"I looked out over the water, into the night that was coming in on the tide...The beach looked like something I had seen in an old film, once upon a time; that hotheaded boy felt like a character from some book I had read and given away in childhood. Only, somewhere far inside my spine and deep in the palms of my hands, something hummed; like a sound too low to hear, like a warning, like a cello string when a tuning fork strikes the perfect tone to call it awake."
The main character Detective referred to as Scorcher Kennedy was likable right from the start. His training and expertise goes a long way in the story, and his experience and attention to detail is very well written in this high profile murder mystery. A family is murdered and he takes on the case along with his newly appointed inexperienced partner. This story is highly psychological and the author climbs into all the minds of the characters and their lives. Very good writing. Very good story. I didn't predict anything in this book. I definitely recommend this author.
Any mystery lover who enjoys the psychology of grief and guilt will be big fans of this book and probably this author.