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Broken Harbor: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad Book 4) [Kindle Edition]

Tana French
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (747 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $3.64
You Save: $12.36 (77%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

An addictive thriller from New York Times bestseller and the acclaimed author of In the Woods and Faithful Place

Tana French’s rise can only be called meteoric. Starting with her award-winning debut, French has scored four consecutive New York Times bestsellers and established herself as one of the top names in the genre. Broken Harbor is quintessential French—a damaged hero, an unspeakable crime, and an intricately plotted mystery—nestled in a timely examination of lives shattered by the global economic downturn.
Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy always brings in the killer. Always. That’s why he’s landed this high-profile triple homicide. At first, he thinks it’s going to be simple, but the murder scene holds terrifying memories for Scorcher. Memories of something that happened there back when he was a boy.

Tana French's newest novel, The Secret Place, will be published by Viking on September 2nd, 2014.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, July 2012: In Tana French’s fourth novel, detective Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy and his rookie partner, Richie, are sent to a half-constructed, abandoned housing development called Broken Harbor to investigate the brutal murder of the Spain family. They expect an open-and-shut case, but it quickly gets complicated when Jenny Spain is found barely alive and the family’s circumstances come to light: hidden baby monitors, a strained mortgage brought on by the housing crisis, and the increasingly erratic signs of people in crisis. The tension of the investigation is intensified by the eerily abandoned estate and a creepy lead suspect. French fans will appreciate this new look at Scorcher, who was a minor character in Faithful Place; he shines as the successful but jaded detective with a troubled past. All told, French delivers a layered psychological thriller and satisfying whodunnit. She spins a masterly plot rife with tension and a haunting mood that rivals the best of the Gothic writers. --Heather Dileepan

Review

Poignant, compelling, beautifully written and wonderfully atmospheric. Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of STAY CLOSE 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 ... A hugely impressive and intelligent book ... It confirms French as the First Lady of Irish Crime. Irish Independent A tale about the different facets of obsession and insanity ... The best yet of French's four excellent thrillers, it leaves its readers "throat-deep in terror" ... enticing, threatening, atmospheric prose Observer A gripping story in an atmospheric setting by an author who knows how to grab a reader's interest and never let it go. Jessica Mann, Literary Review An emotionally jolting story of love, obsession and madness is played out to incredible effect. Since her first novel, In the Woods, was larded with awards in 2007, 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

Product Details

  • File Size: 1954 KB
  • Print Length: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (July 24, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0072O00YI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,912 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
141 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific book 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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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Should Have Been a Dream House 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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94 of 105 people found the following review helpful
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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76 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Tana French 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it great thriller
Published 3 minutes ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Decently entertaining. Mental illness portrayed in human and real ...
Decently entertaining. Mental illness portrayed in human and real terms.
Published 2 hours ago by BigAl
4.0 out of 5 stars exceptional writing, intriguing, terrifying, everything you want ...
exceptional writing, intriguing, terrifying, everything you want in a mystery. Won't be able to put it down. Don't read it at night
Published 1 day ago by Frances L. Elmore
2.0 out of 5 stars So So
Much too long to enjoy the plot.
Published 1 day ago by Susanne S. Case
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good great read
Published 1 day ago by Rebecca Crawford
3.0 out of 5 stars frustrating
Loved the police work . Hated the psychoanalysis of the police. Also, the devolving of Pat Spain's character was overdone,
Published 3 days ago by amdm
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought it was great! I have read the author's first 3 books ...
I thought it was great! I have read the author's first 3 books and this may have been one of the best.
Published 4 days ago by Carole Kruse
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unexpected Treat
I unexpectedly ended up quite enjoying this book, which was my first of her series (I know that I started off sequence but I also knew that her Dublin Murder Squad was composed of... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars suffice it to say that Tanya French always sets a ...
suffice it to say that Tanya French always sets a high bench mark. If you are a true mystery aficionado, read one of her books and you will almost invariably want to read all of... Read more
Published 7 days ago by gillianfey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Book
Published 7 days ago by Jeremy Smith
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More About the Author

Tana French grew up in Ireland, the US, Italy and Malawi. She trained as an actress at Trinity College Dublin and has worked in theatre, film and voiceover. She is the author of In the Woods (2007), The Likeness (2008) and Faithful Place (2010). Her books have won Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Barry and ICVA Clarion awards and have been finalists for LA Times and Strand Magazine awards. She lives in Dublin with her husband and daughter.

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