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Broken Harbor by Tana French

By Tana French
Started:
September 30
Finished: October 13

On a trusted fellow bookworm friend’s advice, I skilled over a few of the books in the Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French and jumped straight to Broken Harbor. French is a really great writer; she had a knack for painting complete portraits of her characters in order to more fully illustrate their present and want drives as Murder Squad detectives.

Mike “Scorcher” Kennedy is a seasoned Murder Sqaud detective who is summoned back to the seaside town where his mother committed suicide several decades prior to investigate a murder that devastated a whole family: a father brutally murder, two young children killed while they slept in their bed, and a mother hanging on for dear life. Though the sleepy, seaside town of his youth is now a half-empty development of large, fancy houses (thanks economy!), Scorcher is still haunted by his past as he investigates the murder. Complicating matters is his crazy younger sister, and a new partner on his first murder case. For me, this book drew really strong parallels to the BBC series Broadchurch, which aired on BBC over the summer (I consulted Dr. Google who informed me there was no official link between the two works).

The basic storyline of Broken Harbor was exceptionally engaging, and unlike In the Woods, the ending was satisfactory but book was bogged down by too much narration. In order to paint a picture of a family man coming unglued, the reader is forced to suffer through pages and pages of email and online message board exchanges; suspect interrogations are lengthy and uninformative, and Scorcher is so far into his own head, his internal dialogue often takes center stage. I would not recommend this as a book to read before bed (or on a train, bus, plane) as I did have trouble following along during these lengthy narrative chapters and dozed off once or twice (or fifteen times) mid-page.

 

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