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Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4 Audible – Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times best-selling author and Edgar Award winner Tana French grabs listeners with her chilling Dublin murder squad novels. In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it's up to Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

©2012 Tana French (P)2012 Recorded Books

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 173 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A 500-odd page novel set in the Irish recession isn't a description which attracts me, I must admit. I only tried this on the recommendation of a friend and I am extremely glad I did. I thought it was an exceptionally good book - well written, completely gripping and very intelligent. It is told in the first person by the detective investigating an attack on a family which leaves the father and two young children dead and the mother seriously injured. The investigation of the crime itself is very well done but it is the depth of Dana French's characters and the sharpness and humanity of her insights which marks this out as an exceptionally good book.

The narrative voice is terrifically believable and readable. The narrator, Detective Mike Kennedy is, for all his flaws, a very sympathetic character and the revelations about his personal life and past are delicately and insightfully done. The story unfolds at a very measured pace but is utterly gripping throughout and is genuine it's-very-late-but-just-one-more-chapter stuff. We get a real feel for the lives of both narrator and the victims, a heart-wrenching portrait of what the boom-and-bust economy in Ireland has really done to some of its people, and varied, poignant portraits of what it means when certainty and control of one's life begin to unravel and when well-intentioned actions go wrong.

I thought this was a terrific book. An unequivocal five stars and very warmly recommended.
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85 of 91 people found the following review helpful By C.Wallace VINE VOICE on July 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a novel that you can lose yourself in for a few days, a book that will "get you to thinking," this is it. I have found that a really great read stirs up the emotions. This is such a work.

The book begins with a heinous crime. Two children, ages four and six, are smothered in their beds. Their father, Pat Spain, is stabbed to death. Their mother, Jenny, is repeatedly stabbed, and clings to life. All of this takes place in the space of a few minutes. Three (or is it four?) prime suspects emerge.

It's set in a new house close by the Irish Sea. This sentence might conjure up images quite different from the structure in this book. The Spain house is part of a huge development sloppily thrown up in great haste to make quick bucks just before the mortgage bubble burst a few years ago. When the economy went south the developer abandoned the project, leaving a wasteland of partially finished homes to rot away. Occupied houses, like the Spains', were significantly flawed.

Several months before the murders Pat loses his job, becoming "redundant." (The first time I saw this word describing those fired because of the recession.) The Spains are running out of money, so the pressure mounts. They are in immminent danger of losing their cherished (despite its faults) home. Pat spends a lot of time sitting at home, thinking, brooding, imagining... Jenny stays busy taking care of her children, but she sorely misses her earlier, cash-lubricated, comfortable life.

There is a swarm of subplots. Mick Kennedy is the narrator. We learn a lot about him just by the way he spins the story. He's a veteran detective with the Garda, the Irish national police. He views himself as a "straight arrow" who never breaks the rules.
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117 of 128 people found the following review helpful By mindshrink on July 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
If you have not read Tana French's previous works, you will probably like Broken Harbor. If you have read her previous works, this one pales in comparison.

I love Tana French's previous novels and have been waiting for this one for close to a year. I hate to say it, but I was disappointed. I think she spent far too much time describing crime scenes, autopsies, and the like which caused her to stray from what she does best: developing complex characteries and providing amazing descriptions of their psychological makeup. Ms. French did well with the character of Scorcher but his background, current family issues, and just about everything relating to the psychology of the victims just doesn't fit with any kind of psychological truth (which she so flawlessly developed in her earlier novels).

As an avid reader as well as a clinical and forensic psychologist, I have nothing but praise for Ms. French's other novels. I can honestly say that she is the finest creator of a character's psychology ever. Hands down. No contest. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading her other novels, do yourself a favor and get them now! Those characters, particularly Cassie from The Likeness and Rob from In The Woods, have stuck with me in a way that no other character has done before. I am hoping/praying/crossing fingers that French's future works return to either of these characters.
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84 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on July 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After more than 6 months filled with disappointments that came like blows from my favorite authors (Bitterblue, Holier Than Thou, Gone Girl, The Calling), I thought I couldn't count on any of my precious to deliver the goods. Apparently, I can still rely on Tana French to keep up her standards. Broken Harbor is not maybe my favorite novel of hers (I think Faithful Place is), but definitely not weaker than any of her previous works.

All her books are psychological thrillers, not fast-paced, not action-packed, but slow-moving and interrogation-heavy, and Broken Harbor sticks to the same format. At first, I intended to say it was possibly the "most psychological" out of her psychological thrillers, and the most crazy-driven. However, if I look back, all her novels without fail explore the depths of human mind, power of memories and their effect on investigative work, and involve mentally unstable characters.

Like detectives in all previous books in Dublin Murder Squad series, the chief investigator Mick (Scorcher) Kennedy is full of mental baggage of his own (who doesn't have it though?). I have only the vaguest memory of him from Faithful Place, so he is almost a completely new personality to get to know within the framework of this series. Behind Scorcher's unwavering, never-failing, upright cop facade, there is a lot of tension and a lot of self-control that come only to people who have battled through serious life challenges and learned to cope by keeping themselves tightly guarded and emotionally removed. Even though Scorcher has dealt with most of his childhood traumas, he is not free of them. His half-mad, volatile sister is a constant reminder of past dealings with mental illness and a disturber of his peace.
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