I'm an avid listener always searching for another good book and willing to share my thoughts with a pithy review.
The characters are well developed...but not a hero among them. Virtually nothing good happens in this story. It’s sad, depressing and without action.
A young reasonably stable and capable couple both go “postal” when the reality of being laid off in a bad economy begins to sink in. The guy becomes obsessed with mysterious noises only he can hear. He has illusions of some kind of animal running around in the attic, and he aims to capture or trap it. In the process, he bashes holes in the walls, installs electronic monitors and even sets a huge spring trap. I will stop here in case you choose to listen to it anyway. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. Nothing good happens.
Brilliantly woven story that kept me changing my mind as to what was really happening all the way to the end. It was perfectly narrated and paced. Can't wait for her next story to come out in this series.
I love books and animals.I enjoy all sorts of genres, anything from history to supernatural.
If you enjoyed the other novels by Tana French, you will enjoy this one.
If you haven't read the other novels by Tana French, I highly recommend them. However, in order to read this book you don't have to.
Tana is very descriptive and knows how to keep the reader interested in the story.
The case the main character is working on in this book is very intriguing and realistic. The characters become very personal and familiar, very quickly.
Tana has a writing style that seamless makes the story meanders from the police case- to the life of the detective, it just keeps you hooked.
The narrator does a great job. These novels are placed in Ireland; therefore the narrator has an Irish accent. He is very easy to understand and makes each character come to life.
Overall, if you enjoyed the previous Tana French novels, this is a must.
If you are new to her works, you might want to go back and try the others first.
The story line is interesting and the pace of the book is slow so you can keep up, but not too slow.
The narrator is easy to understand and does a great job of narrating.
I definitely recommend this book.
I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
Yes, because the previous books were stunning. I would love to hear more from the protagonists of the first three books, Rob, Cassie and Frankie.
The plot is good, and the final story as told by Jennie is pretty riveting. I guess I'm just not so moved by Scorchie as I was by Cassie, Rob and Frankie. Plus Frankie is such a tough act to follow. I must admit that his was my favorite story of all (Faithful Place), moving me to laugh, cry, think and feel a whole rainbow of emotions. Still love Tana French, and can't wait for her next book.
The plot didn't need the detective's unbalanced sister, but if she had played a role, most of the tirades from her should have been cut. They detract from the story, unless she were to end up being the killer. She wasn't, so why was she there?
The narrator's interpretation of much of the dialogue was over the top, too. I don't think there would have been so much emotion in the discussions between detectives. I could accept the character of Scorcher Kennedy as an arrogant blowhard, but couldn't there have been at least one likeable main character?
I don't think so. I liked Faithful Place, but even that went on a bit far.
I thought the resolution was interesting; it just took too long to get there.
Based on this book, I'd think there are no sane people in Ireland. It would have been a better book if it were more believable. I'm looking forward to forgetting about this book.
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
Another great listen from Tana. I remembered Scorcher from the first French novel I read then had to listened to, Faithful Place. French's character development is great, fresh and edgy without being bleak just for the sake of being dark. The characters are utterly human.
When it's all said and done, Tana French's weakest novel - whichever one that turns out to be - will still be a lot better than just about any other writer's novels. In her first three books, she set such a high standard that although Broken Harbour is excellent, the plot has a problematic weakness.
It's nearly impossible to discuss this weakness without spoiling the story, so I won't. The weakness involves the downfall of a character, who has always been well able to handle life, but slides into utter ruin after a rough patch. French unsuccessfully attempts to provide a foundation for such a slide, but it's thin and in my mind, doesn't hold up well. The same scenario is played out in nearly every community every day, but without such disastrous results.
Nearly every other element of the book, however, is extremely well done. French excels at writing about less-than-perfect human beings dealing with very human problems, with the usual results. That she has done it so well in the past, and does it here with other characters, makes it even more puzzling that the cause-and-effect of the main plot doesn't seem to add up well. Others, in other reviews, don't seem to be bothered by it, but I work in an area that deals with families and their dysfunction, so maybe that's why it doesn't work as well for me. I see these things every day, and almost never does a rough patch in life lead where this one leads without an underlying issue such as alcoholism or drug addiction.
I still highly recommend the book, and if you're new to the series, I suggest you start with the first novel and work your way through them in order. Although the novels are connected, each is constructed to stand alone, so it won't cause a lot of confusion if you don't. French is a masterful writer, who unwinds her stories in a manner that makes the reader feel as if layers of character's lives are being peeled back, revealing ever more fascinating details as the character becomes more and more interesting and understandable. Like her other novels, this is a don't-miss read!
Born with earbuds.
This novel keeps you guessing as to "who" and "why" as it explores possible explanations for the murders of several members of a once idyllic family. It's more of a WhyDoneIt than a WhoDoneIt in the end. Tana French does an artistic job of showing the psychology of all the characters on a continuum with no one perfectly sane and several not far from losing touch with reality or already over-the-edge. This exploration of the gray areas of psychology is much more true-to-life than the black and white "crazy or normal" stereotypes used in many books and in everyday life.
Those who have read French's other books may find this one more satisfying in some ways and and less so in others. It has some of the sense of place that Faithful Place possessed and some of the character driven excitement of In the Woods. If there is a criticism of the book, it is that it struggles and drifts in the middle trying to decide just where it is going. I still found it easy enough to listen to even during this meandering. Perhaps the author was struggling to satisfy both the literary and mystery aspects of the novel. Some might find the police procedural style at the beginning more interesting than the later psychological aspects of the book while others will feel the reverse. However, if you have read other French books, you know that she does both of these well and will find them satisfying.
Thankfully, in a real sense, this novel does not delve directly into the questions of how people could do such terribly things as murdering children. That is to say, possibilities are explored, but the author does not insult the reader by insisting that there is only one answer and she knows it. Some people see such acts as pure evil, others as desperation, and still others as insanity--and most of us aren't likely to change our minds. Whatever, the cause, French seems to say, "These things do happen."
Some themes of the book are:
The simplest answer is usually the correct one
Places and the past are strongly intertwined
People often invite misfortune into their lives
Once you compromise your principles, you can't go back
People doing what they think is right can wreak terrible havoc
Some questions won't ever be answered to your satisfaction
There are aspects of Janeology, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Devotion of Suspect X. Janeology for the subject matter and the inheritance aspects of psychiatric issues,
Her Fearful Symmetry for parallels of both wanting the best and worst for a sibling.
The Devotion of Suspect X explores issues of self-sacrifice.
There is also resonance with works of Ian Rankin & Harlan Coben. Rankin & French are so good at realism that you seldom doubt there stories. Coben & French both expose the degree to which past is truly prologue.
The narration is perfect for both male and female voices. Hogan is brilliant and neither over or under-emotes.
When everyone's a victim, who do you arrest?
I do like the Tana French novels I've listened to, and I particularly like her character development -- each one of the Dublin Murder Squad books (so far) seems to take a murder detective and use a case to delved deep into the character and the effect of the case on that character. This one is no exception, however I found that the main character here is more deeply flawed than most and balancing carefully on the edge of breaking apart. I was hoping that would become more of the focus and progression of the story, but that never seemed to happen. It left me feeling dissatisfied with the ending, even though i enjoyed the trip along the way. As in the others, the plot plays second fiddle to the characters, but that can still make for a good book. Too many authors put all their effort into a fabulous plot, but have cardboard characters with stilted dialogue, but I prefer a balance tilted more towards characterization.
The first Dublin Murder Squad book I picked up was 'The Likeness' and I liked it, but after I read 'Faithful Place' I've been on an obsessive Tana French kick. Broken Harbour follows Michael Kennedy nicknamed "Scorcher." This little gem of a book follows this Murder Squad detective who meticulously follows up on all the details and rules of an investigation. He ensure his murderer is locked away nice and tight without any hope of getting off on a technicality. He doesn't close a case until after the trial. He wants no loose ends. We met Scorcher in 'Faithful Place' and our boy Frank left Scorcher hanging. You could say the investigation at Faithful Place started the unraveling of Mr. Kennedy.
Kennedy, like most detective,s and all French's characters has a scarred childhood. He, however, went to therapy after his divorce and dealt with his issues. He believes he is firmly in control of his own destiny and if you look at life in a positive manner positive things will come to you. The book is about his first big case after Faithful Place and he has no intention of screwing up after working his way back up through the junkie murders. A lot of detectives don't like the big cases or has an issue with murders involving children. For Scorcher, he believes, if you couldn't handle it why do you want to work murder in the first place. He takes a new rookie, Richie, through the paces and chose to keep him on the new big case where an entire family is murdered including two young children. The family, the Spain's, were living in a half finished housing development that got shut down by the economic crash in Dublin. They were in the middle of nowhere and where there are so few neighbors no one may have heard anything.
Kennedy doesn't get close to people. He prefers rookies because they don't ask personal questions. No one on the squad who has known him for years knows that he has a sister who is extremely mentally unstable or that his mother committed suicide. She committed suicide in Broken Harbor, the same place as the Spain's, on a family vacation to the sea when he was a child. There is something strange at Broken Harbor. Nothing seems right. Mental instability is a vein through the entire book and the desperate need for people to control their situation and surrounding.
Tana French did a wonderful job. She ties the story together and while the solution may seem obvious she takes you tracking down many red herrings. As per French's usual not all our questions are answered and that is part of its beauty. This is a dark tale that spirals out of control and Kennedy doesn't come out smelling like a fresh lily. Anyone who likes Tana French will be happy. The audible version is narrated by Stephen Hogan. He does a great job. His female voices aren't perfect but I have listened to far worse. As far as his interpretation of Kennedy or Richie he does a fabulous job. I enjoy listening to her books so I can hear the Irish accent since I won't create it in my head. If you haven't read her I recommend you do. This is the fourth installment of the series but there is no need to read the books in order. You won't miss any crucial background story. Each book is a separate mystery about a separate character on the Dublin Murder Squad. Pick the one you feel most interested in and start there. If you want to start with her latest release, 'The Secret Place,' it won't cause a problem. Just make sure you start reading the Dublin Murder Squad.