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Broken Harbor Hardcover – July 24, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 3,160 ratings
Book 4 of 6: Dublin Murder Squad

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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 partner are sent to the abandoned, half-constructed housing development Broken Harbor to investigate the brutal murder of the Spain family. What Scorcher thinks is an open and shut case is quickly complicated when Jenny Spain is found barely alive, and the family’s circumstances are brought to light: hidden baby monitors, a strained mortgage brought on by the housing crisis, and the increasingly erratic signs of a family in crisis. 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. French delivers a layered psychological thriller and satisfying ‘who dunnit,’ masterfully spinning a plot packed with tension and a haunting mood that rivals the best of the gothic writers. --Heather Dileepan

Review

"One of the most talented crime writers alive."
The Washington Post

“Ms. French created haunting, damaged characters who have been hit hard by some cataclysm . . . This may sound like a routine police procedural. But like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, this summer’s other dagger-sharp display of mind games, Broken Harbor is something more.”
Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“So much of the pleasure inherent in reading these novels is in trying to figure out where things are going and being constantly surprised, not to mention thoroughly spooked. I predict Broken Harbor will be on more than one Best of 2012 lists — it’s definitely at the top of mine.”
The Associated Press

"Broken Harbor is truly a book for, and of, our broken times. It's literature masquerading as a police procedural."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“French has that procedural pro's knack for making mundane police work seem fascinating. And she's drawn not just to the who but also to the why — those bigger mysteries about the human weaknesses that drive somebody to such inhuman brutality. What really gives Broken Harbor its nerve-rattling force is her [French’s] exploration of events leading up to the murders, rendered just as vividly as the detectives' scramble to solve them."
Entertainment Weekly, A- rating

“These four novels have instated Ms. French as one of crime fiction’s reigning grand dames — a Celtic tigress . . . It’s not the fashion in literary fiction these days to address such things as the psychological devastation that a fallout of the middle class can wreak on those who have never known anything else, and Ms. French does it with aplomb — and a headless sparrow and dozens of infrared baby monitors."
The Washington Times

“The fourth book in Tana French’s brilliant, genre-busting series about the (fictitious) Dublin Murder Squad . . . Invoking atmosphere is one of French’s particular gifts, and in this department, Broken Harbor (the name of the town before the developers got hold of it) is a tour de force.”
Laura Miller, Salon.com

“Ms. French has come to be regarded as one of the most distinct and exciting new voices in crime writing. She constructs her plots in a dreamlike, meandering fashion that seems at odds with genre's fixed narrative conventions. Sometimes, it's not even clear whodunit. Her novels have been translated into 31 languages, with 1.5 million copies in print . . .  Broken Harbor has the hallmarks of a standard police procedural: a cocky homicide detective with a troubled past who educates his younger partner with pat lessons; a shocking crime that seems to defy explanation; a heart-stopping twist at the end. But Ms. French undercuts expectations at every turn. The victims begin to look less like victims; the case starts to unravel and the lead detective makes compromises that could ruin him.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Both the characters and the crime command attention, page by page.”
New York Daily News

“French's flair for setting and its influence on characters, as well as her elegant prose, shine in Broken Harbor. The emptiness of Brianstown becomes the modern equivalent of the spooky mansion, complete with things that go bump in the night . . . French expertly shows the importance of connecting with each other, and how fragile those bonds can be.”
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"Salon.com’s Laura Miller has this advice for anyone who has not yet read EVERY Tana French novel, 'Just go out and get them right now.'”
NPR's Weekend Edition

“Part police procedural, part psychological thriller, all fun.”
People ("Great Summer Reads")

“French’s eloquently slow-burning fourth Dublin murder squad novel shows her at the top of her game . . . As usual, French excels at drawing out complex character dynamics.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Each of French’s novels (Faithful Place, 2010) offers wonderfully complex and fully realized characters . . . French has never been less than very good, but Broken Harbor is a spellbinder.”
Booklist (starred review)

“A mystery that is perfectly in tune with the times . . . [French] continues to distinguish herself with this fourth novel, marked by psychological acuteness and thematic depth . . . There are complications, deliberations and a riveting resolution.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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Product details

  • Publisher : Viking (July 24, 2012)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 450 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0670023655
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0670023653
  • Item Weight : 1.53 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6.25 x 1.5 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 3,160 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
3,160 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 18, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Marguerite
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as enthralling as others in the series, but I'll still be coming back for more
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 14, 2016
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5 people found this helpful
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John M
2.0 out of 5 stars Atmosphere and character, but over written, drawn out and a very poor plot
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 3, 2021
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Amy Reads Books
3.0 out of 5 stars Far-fetched motive, disappointing reveal
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 16, 2019
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Claire
1.0 out of 5 stars i read the first 20%. skipped to the end
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2019
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Far too much conversational dialogue for me.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2019
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