Book Review- Broken Harbour

Title: Broken Harbour

By: Tana French

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About the Author (From wiki) –

Tana French (born 1973) is an Irish novelist and theatrical actress. Her debut novel In the Woods (2007), a psychological mystery, won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, and Barry awards for best first novel. She is a liaison of the Purple Heart Theatre Company and lives in Dublin.

ISBN:  978-1444732702

Cover Price: Rs. 399.00

Rating:  4/5

Something about the book ( from the book’s cover):

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.

Now for my View:

I had wanted to put my hands on Tana French’s work for quite some time. She is one the most talented crime writers alive. So it’s not really a surprise that I was extremely pleased to finally lay my hands on her book ‘Broken Habour’. Well the name of the book coupled with Tana French’s reputation as a writer, capable of weaving intelligent and intense plots, was enough to get me started.  

Broken Harbour is carefully plotted and written. And trust me when I say it had been ‘carefully plotted’ for it undoubtedly is! The book revolves around the triple murder mystery of a certain Spain family where two children and their father are killed. The mother was the only one who survived but seriously injured. Protagonist Mick Kennedy and his rookie partner, Richie, investigate the murders weighing various possibilities. Whenever it seems that they have the answer infront of them or just around the corner, new evidence emerges taking them back to square one.

Amidst all this, Detective Kennedy is draw back to the memories of his family, particularly of his mother, back when he was just a teenager. He recalls their trips to this very place, this very Broken Harbour.  Why is his connection to this place so strong? What is Detective Kennedy hiding in his past that seems to have been tucked away in some corner of his heart? Will he be able to solve the murders? Or, will he get engrossed in the ghosts of his past? Well you’ll need to read the book to find out!

I couldn’t keep the book down once I picked it up for a read. It is French’s style of writing that held me in rapt attention throughout. I very much liked the way she used Detective Kennedy’s point of view in the narrative. It was believable and clear. The elements of Detective Kennedy’s life and the revelations are carefully strewn across the book and help carry the story along. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the book is absolutely unputdownable. 

With a story so gripping and a narrative so brilliant, it is not a surprise that Broken Harbour was well received. The plot has two story lines and at no point did I feel that either encroached upon the other. While I was reading the book I kept wondering how all the clues and evidence would amalgamate in the end. And believe me it is a good thing for a writer to keep the readers guessing all the way through the book. It piques the interest and keeps the story very much alive.

Damaged and imperfect characters are another aspect that made this book tick. Well atleast in my view. I must say that in her genre she wins hands down. Nobody comes close! Her characters are real not painted and presented out of some corny book shelf. Yes, that’s what I liked about Broken Harbour.

The book is a psychological mystery and a great one at that.  Through the murders and the state of mind of Detective Kennedy, she explores the human psyche. Doing that while telling a story and keeping the readers glued is definitely not an easy task to do. Each character in this book seems to have a dark place in their minds, something going on behind the curtains. That is certainly one of the reasons why the book turned out to be so gripping.

To fairly conclude, French’s Broken Harbour is a layered murder mystery combined with police procedural. And not only that, it is also an invigorating psychological mystery. If you are a lover of murders mysteries and thrillers then believe me you cannot miss out on this.

So what are you waiting for, order you book right here and let me know your thoughts on it!

A word about the great people from who made it possible for me to read this book. I am glad that I am part of their review program. They don’t just send you any book but the best books out there that one could get their hands on. You can find this and more amazing books on their website.

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