Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Review: Broken Harbor by Tana French

Broken Harbor: A Novel
Viking (July 24, 2012)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 464 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0670023653

Broken Harbor (Dublin Murder Squad, #4)

Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy is the top detective in the Murder Squad. He is now partnered with rookie Richie Curran, just out of uniform. Kennedy has dropped down to #2 in solve rates in his department. Then he is handed what should be a dream case.

Patrick Spain and his two children are found dead in one of the half-built/half abandoned “luxury developments” in a place called Brainstown. His wife Jenny is in intensive care.

What was first thought to be an easy case turns out to be a lot harder when too many clues can’t be explained.

The neighborhood used to be called Broken Harbor and Kennedy’s family has a little history with the place. His sister Dina freaks out when she sees the case on the news. She is remembering something about the summer they spent there as kids. Something “Scorcher” thought was deeply buried.

Kennedy has his hands full as he tries to solve the case and keep his sister safe and out of trouble.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I was so looking forward to reading this book. It really had me well past halfway but then it just seemed to fall apart.

This book is a police procedural type story which I usually find very interesting. This one started really good but after the middle is really started to drag and got boring. Yes, boring. I found myself barely skimming through the pages just to get to the end. I had figured out who-dun-it very early on and all the dialogue, tons of dialogue was just filling pages to tell readers what we already knew. Then at the end there were still so many questioned answered. Almost 500 pages and we are left to wonder about so much.

What really upset me was when the lead character started to make some choices a man in his position would never make. A law and order guy would not risk his career this way.

As far as the other characters, his other sister Geri just seems to be too lackadaisical about their sister, Dina, with the mental heath issues. Dina was just plain annoying. My verdict is still out on the rookie Curran, he could develop into a solid character in a future installment.

I have enjoyed other French novels and by the end of this one I was even questioning if she had really written this story. I got to the end and realized I really knew nothing about Mike Kennedy. The man had absolutely no real back story. His life was his job occasionally uninterrupted by his crazy sister.

I know Tana French is a much better writer than this and I hope her next book is shorter and full of the dynamic characters and the thrills I know she can deliver.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”