This is the fourth book in the Dublin detective series. I have listened to all 4 books and after each book I have thought she can't do better than this and with each book Ms. French does better.
Listening to this book is like watching Michael Jordan shoot hoops. There is an innate beauty and perfection. To begin with the narrator Stephen Hogan is flawless. He uses an Irish brogue to perfection. He has a different inflection for each character and brings each character to life.
The plot here is a scaffolding with which Ms French can build the rich character interactions and descriptive landscapes, in the same way that the plot of Macbeth is a scaffolding for the magnificent language used by Shakespeare. In all of Ms. French books she uses the English language in a unique way. Using words in ways with which I am unaccustomed but which seem natural and an improvement on the existing usage. In her previous 3 books Ms French went of on long steam of consciousness descriptions which left me breathless and in awe, but frequently confused. In this book the language and descriptions are much more brief and precise but no less beautiful. Ms French has honed her descriptions and story development to be razor sharp.
The story itself is everyday. A beautiful family of four is found knifed in a house on a Broken Harbor estate.Three of the members die, The fourth, the mother of the two dead children is alive, but mutilated and in a coma. The case is assigned to a senior detective Michael "Scorcher " Kennedy who is seeking redemption after a previously botched case. He is paired with a rookie Richie and the two of them start off well, but eventually run into road blocks. Detective Kennedy has a psychotic sister who weaves in and out of the story causing havoc and mayhem.
His family has a history at Broken Harbor where the murders occur ( his mother committed suicide there). The estates themselves are abandoned and in disarray-like the people who occupy the houses there. Unraveling the murder and how it occurred is a thing of beauty.
To say more would spoil the book, which I can not do. If you start this book you will not be able to stop and will rue the moment it ends.
#1 Aud Bks: T Help,T Darling, All D Sedaris,Prayer for Owen M.All G Flynn ,Secrt Lang of Bees, Bel Canto, 11/22/63 H2O fr Elephants Dog Star
#1 Aud Bks: T Help, T Darling, All D Sedaris A Prayer for O Meany All G Flynn Lang. of Bees Bel Canto 11/22/63 H2O fr Elephants Dog Stars Pi
The list above notes my favorite audio books, limited to 140 characters. I would like to add more, and also add a short list of what I did not like (particularly Ken Follett) so that fellow scanners of reviews would have a quick sense of whether to follow a particular reviewers myriad thoughts.
I liked Tanya French's first book even though it had a poor resolution to the mystery at the end. Somehow this book never caught on with me. I did not feel much empathy for the lead character.
First half was great! Then branched off into final, boring, solve of complete mental breakdowns all around. Characters were all broken and uninteresting and miserable in the end. You just can't have this many broken characters in a mystery book and enjoy it. This was completely unbelievable.
Might listen to another one but some reviews praise her bent to make childhood memories a big part of story. If that's going to be most of the content, I'm out.
A good part was when detectives were on a night watch to catch the killer.
I would cut all of the stylings about the actions of the unemployed. Who wants to live through that type of downer? Character's reactions were completely unbelievable. Could have been half the length if all scenes talking about everyones childhood were removed.
I am a huge fan of all 3 prior Dublin Murder Squad books - this one I did not like much. All detectives are deeply flawed and not even necessarily "good" people, and that is actually something I enjoy about these books. But Detective Kennedy was just so... blah. Yes, there's a back story, and yes, there's a reason why he is the way he is, but to me it was not a satisfying character at all. I prefer Cassie Maddox and even cocky, annoying Frank Mackery over Mick Kennedy.
While I think the book was the least gripping of the series, the ending was satisfying and tied up neatly and crisply.
Anybody who likes mysteries would love this book.
All of Tana French's books address not only the murder mystery at hand but does a spectacular job of describing Ireland, it's characters and you feel as if you know them both very well
Get your fix!
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
I have now read (aka listened to) four Tana French novels and must admit that I may be slightly addicted to her exquisite story-telling abilities. I try to listen to my Audible purchases in the same order I purchased them, so when Broken Harbor was next in line, I caught myself wondering if I really wanted another Dublin-detective Scorcher-murder squad experience. It took less than five minutes for me to engage with this one and if I could have, would have listened practically nonstop until it was completed.
Stephen Hogan is a wonderful narrator and the storyline is amazingly complex -- though one a listener can follow easily.
This is a book worth your time and credits if you enjoy great detective stories.
I am a college professor and professional actor, director and playwright. The peformance of the book is as important to me as the writing.
Tana French writes with wry humor, lyrical insight and a command of language and character that makes it impossible to put down. The narrator, Stephen Hogan is fabulous and gets all the nuances of each character beautifully in a trained voice that is amazing to listen to. I highly, highly recommend this book. I have just purchased her other books and can't wait to hear them.
This is one of my favorite audiobooks but I have loved all of Tana French's series. I think this one might be the best.
Hogan was an excellent Scorcher Kennedy and I liked his interpretation of the character much more than the one in faithful place.
This book just sucks you in and that is what I am looking for in an audiobook. I can't wait for the next one.
I have not read the print version, but this was very very impressive.
Yes, each chapter threw you for a loop. The ending was a shock.
I probably wouldn't listen a second time because of the length, but I enjoyed the first listen quite a bit. I usually listen to audio books in the gym and on long drives, but with Broken Harbor, I sat and listened at home because I was so engrossed.
The characters were interesting and multi-dimensional, unlike many mysteries or thrillers, which can be formulaic.
Tana French develops the characters very adeptly, and the story is quite compelling in and of itself.