Sunday, August 25, 2013

Broken Harbor by Tana French

Broken Harbor
by Tana French
5 stars - never a dull moment

Am I on a role or what? Pulled this off the "super hot return in two weeks or else" shelf. It was just there, staring at me. 

How did I miss this author in the past?

The basics...

Mick "Schorcher" Kennedy, homicide detective, assigned to investigate a really nasty murder. Two kids, husband, and wife. OK, well, not quite the wife, who is transported to hospital with life threatening wounds. 

The murders take place in a truly murderous place. Broken Harbor. Financial murder is a foot there. Greedy land developer snookering people into purchasing their dream homes and then taking a runner while most of the properties are still undeveloped shells. Shame.

Detective Kennedy is saddled with a rookie partner, but he turns out to be a pretty clever chap, so not all bad in that department.

This is not an action book, it's more of a character study. It takes place in the span of just a few days, but we really get into the hearts and minds of the characters. Ms. French paints wonderful portraits of the people in the book - both major and minor. 

The mystery itself is meted out via Detective Kennedy. We only know what he knows, see what he sees. Perfect. So many answers to the riddle of the crime are seductively close, but not quite. I loved the way Ms. French played out the clues. Here's a bit, chew on it, see what you think, OK, here's another bit. It felt very real. No big "aha!" and the ending was very tidy.

Five stars because I'll be going back to check out more by this author.


  1. I read all four of her books back-to-back! Her books captivate the reader, and her characters are so "human." The same cast of detectives is in every book, but different detectives take the lead in different books. I recommend reading the rest in the order written.

  2. Rottrover concurs with your opinion. That's an added extra bonus. I like books (and movies) where there is plenty of character development, and less reliance on whiz bang shoot-em-up action or a mysterious leap of conclusion without the trail being clear.