Friday, January 4, 2013

Broken Harbor

Control. One of the many things I like when I read novels by Tana French is the way in which she includes the past in such a powerful way that it takes on the weight of a character. In Broken Harbor, protagonist detective Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy (who was a minor character in her earlier novel Faithful Place), investigates a murder near the place where he and his family spent two weeks holiday in a caravan close to the water. The psychological tension and insight French presents kept me captivated by this novel from beginning to end. This is crime fiction at its very best. The case is complicated, the characters human and complex, and both the power of the past and the projection of the future make for decisions in the present that are both expected and insightful. The relationship between Scorcher and his rookie partner, Richie, allows French to develop both characters effectively. French uses the backdrop of the collapse of the Irish economy and the housing bubble to present ways in which those who followed all the rules still became damaged. This is novel about maintaining control, and what happens when through depression and loss, one loses control. Readers who like crime fiction, character-driven novels, and psychological novels will find much to enjoy in this finely written book. Rating: Five-star (I love it) Click here to purchase Broken Harbor from

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