Monday, December 26, 2016


Image Credit:
Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Broken Harbor by Tana French is the fourth in her Dublin Murder Squad Series. I was first introduced to French by a co-worker who recommended In the Woods, which is the first book in the series. We read that book in book club, and I was hooked!

Broken Harbor is narrated by detective Michael "Scorcher" Kennedy. The book wastes no time. We learn early on that a family of four has been attacked - the father and two children dead and the mother clinging to life. Kennedy is the lead detective on the case and is also training a rookie detective, Richie Curran. Scorcher prefers working alone and has an excellent solve rate, while Curran is working his first major case and takes a more empathetic approach to investigating. As the novel goes on, we see Curran and Scorcher's personalities and tactics complementing one another quite nicely. French sets up some hope for a clean solve and a career partnership.

However, French's novels are not happily ever afters. Her stories are very real to life, and the characters are greatly flawed but also have redeeming qualities. The relationship between Curran and Scorcher becomes the primary story with the mystery as the backdrop. As for the mystery, that's my only negative about this book, it seems to drag out a little bit and some of the activities surrounding and leading up to the murder are not very realistic. That being said, as with French's other novels, I did enjoy this one. The themes and conflict she addresses leave you pondering for days. Her writing is simply exceptional.

If you enjoy an expertly-crafted murder mystery, this series is for you. I normally do not like to read series because I feel obligated to read the whole series. The good thing about French's series is you don't necessarily have to read them in succession. The books are written independently of one another. The author usually takes a secondary character from a previous story and he or she becomes the primary character of the next. While other characters may be referenced across books, it's not vital to understand each individual story. There are two more novels in the series. I'm in the middle of The Secret Place (book #5). The sixth book, The Trespasser, was released in the fall of 2016, which I will be tackling soon so that I can finish the series as it stands.

Recommendation: French definitely has a way with words and can tell a good story. As a reader, you become invested in these flawed yet relatable characters.

Until next time ... Read on!


Post a Comment