Broken Harbour

By Tana French

Source: Purchased

Series: Dublin Murder Squad #4

Publication Date: July 2, 2012

Published by Hatchette Books Ireland

My Rating: four-stars

Broken Harbour

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

In Broken Harbour, a ghost estate outside Dublin – half-built, half-inhabited, half-abandoned – two children and their father are dead. The mother is on her way to intensive care. Scorcher Kennedy is given the case because he is the Murder Squad’s star detective. At first he and his rookie partner, Richie, think this is a simple one: Pat Spain was a casualty of the recession, so he killed his children, tried to kill his wife Jenny, and finished off with himself. But there are too many inexplicable details and the evidence is pointing in two directions at once.

Scorcher’s personal life is tugging for his attention. Seeing the case on the news has sent his sister Dina off the rails again, and she’s resurrecting something that Scorcher thought he had tightly under control: what happened to their family, one summer at Broken Harbour, back when they were children. The neat compartments of his life are breaking down, and the sudden tangle of work and family is putting both at risk . . .

Once again, as soon as I finished reading the previous book in this series (Faithful Place), I had to start reading this one! I really love these books, and this one had a tough job because Faithful Place had been my favourite so far. Would this one be just as good?

In my opinion, yes! Broken Harbour was another hit. I loved the main character, who made a brief appearance in the previous book, I was pulled in by the mystery, and I could not put the book down once I started to read it.

And again, without getting into the plot or spoilers, it’s difficult for me to talk about this. I loved the writing, and I really enjoyed how different Scorcher was from Frank, the previous book’s main character.

One of my favourite things in this book was Scorcher warming up to Richie, his rookie partner. Scorcher is not the sort of detective who works for long with a partner, and I really enjoyed seeing the way that he and Richie became a good team.

Spoiler (for this book and for In the Woods): Part of what really stands out for me with this book was the way Scorcher and Richie’s partnership fell apart. It was kind of heartbreaking for me, much the same way it was for me when Rob and Cassie’s partnership – and friendship – was destroyed in In the Woods. More than the mystery, I think that’s what I will remember about this book down the road. Scorcher and Richie could have been great partners, the kind that Scorcher talks about who spend years working together, who trust each other and have each other’s backs, but it comes to nothing in the end. End of spoiler.

It should be no surprise now that I loved this book, as I have loved Tana French’s previous books in this series, and I fully expect to love the next one, The Secret Place, which is the only one I haven’t read yet (I did read The Trespasser when it came out, although I will definitely be rereading it as I make my way through this series).

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