July 24, 2012/ ISBN: 978-0670023653
P sychological thriller
by Dr. Maxine Thompson
When you think
of a harbor, you think of a place of refuge and safety. But what
if, in your formative years, a tragedy happens that breaks that
sense of safety?
A broken sense
of security reverberates throughout the entire novel, Broken Harbor,
by Tana French. It works on the level of the world wide economy
in the throes of an international downward plunge. It works on the
level of the protagonist, Detective Mick “Scorcher”
Kennedy and his back story that ties into the community of the murder.
And it works as it relates to the site of the murder, the family
of Patrick Spain, which includes the husband, his two murdered children,
and a wife left in intensive care.
As you read from the first person narration, you find out about
Detective Mick’s core need, the lie that he’s told himself
in order to cope and deal with the wound he received early in life.
Mick is so straight-laced and by the book, I kept wondering what
was his secret or his emotional scar.
The premise was intriguing. What happens when the perfect couple’s
home winds up as the scene of a murder?
This was the first mystery I ever read by Tana French and it was
a different type of read. I enjoyed the social commentary aspects
of the book as it related to the tale of broken dreams and hopes
brought on by the economy. Set in Ireland, Broken Harbor shows how
the recession has had a world-wide whiplash effect in all corners
of the earth
I loved the author’s eye for detail, shown through the narrator,
Detective Mick. The Irish dialects and idiomatic speech fascinated
me. I also enjoyed the sense of humor throughout the story.
From the investigation to the Irish police procedurals, the story
was filled with twists and turns, plus a surprise ending I didn’t
My only complaint is the pacing is rather slow, but overall, this
was a good read that I’d recommend to other mystery lovers.
I’d give the book 4 stars.
reviews of titles by this author
Likeness (Sequel to Into the Woods)