This is the fourth Tana French/Dublin Murder Squad I have listened to (on my commute). I liked the most recent one, Faithful Place, well enough, so I downloaded this without reading what it was about. Getting through this book was a bit like torture. The main character's crazy sister kept showing up and she was terribly annoying (a lot of that was the fault of the narrator -- the voice and intonation for that character were awful!), as was the failure of the main character and his other sister to do something about her. The case dragged on and on only to reach a conclusion that was inane; waiting that long for such an implausible motive was really frustrating.
How can the characters in this year's True Detective be worse? Ferrill is asexual, drunk, corrupt, a child abuser and worse!
Well written, excellent character building. The thread of mental illness weaves it's way throughout this tale.
Detective Mick Kennedy's hard edge is softened by his care for his mentally ill younger sister. But I find mental illness extremely painful to read about, especially with characters I like. I am very familiar with dealing with mental illness in real life. My wife is a counselor and like many others, we have crazy on both sides of our family. So the mental illness angle, for me, is more palatable when presented with humor.
There were times the detective work was highly interesting. Where I found this tale lacking was in the mystery itself. Much like Ms French's work in The Likeness, there is a stunning lack of suspense. I won't go into detail for fear of spoiling the mystery, but for a myriad of reasons I found the story too far fetched.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
One issue I have with some mysteries and police whodunnits is that good character development and dialogue is secondary to gruesome details. I just can't handle that much gore - but often put up with it just because I want to hear where the story is going to go.
This is that rare exception. The dialogue is rendered so artfully and delivered with incredible skill by the narrator. With Hogan's touch, it really becomes more of a psychological dig. Of course there's murder ... but it's dealt with like it happens off-screen. The impact is there but the details are never shared. It's really deft handling of details that are better left unsaid.
I've seen Tana French novels for forever on Audible but shied away simply because I thought they'd be too graphic. I'm not sure about the others, but that's certainly not the case with this one. The writing and narration both are top-notch and there's no evidence of a gimmick to make it all work. Kudos. Well done.
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.
I listened to this author's book, Into the Woods, and felt very disappointed. At the time, I was bummed that I had already bought Broken Harbor. After reading the reviews for this book, I thought I would go ahead and give it a try. I am not disappointed that I listened to this one.
There was very little over-writing, and the suspense built at a consistent, steady pace, I absolutely wanted to know how the book would end, and and who committed the crimes.
I definitely recommend listening to this book, even if you, like me, ended up not enjoying Into the Woods.
List of favorite books: Woodcutter - Reginald Hill, Consent to Kill, First Deadly Sin - Lawrence Sanders, Sniper Elite - Scott McEwen
I don't know what is going on with Tana French. She is a terrific writer - That has fallen off a cliff at the end of her last two books. The narrator was awesome!! I feel like she is on a deadline and throws the ending together at the last second. It is almost baffling. I won't ruin the ending - So I'll put this together without giving anything away. This is the second book that has tried to make the killer into a victim. What was even more depressing - Getting into the main detective's head and empathizing with his character - Only to listen to him compromise himself. This same hard nosed cop that was straight for 20 + Years. Upheld the rules. Came down on anyone who broke them -Fell apart at the end. Also - The way he planned to compromise himself - Was done in an unintelligent way. He had a dozen other choices - He picked the dumbest. He was willing to throw his career in the toilet - For someone who didn't deserve it. I really don't get it. You know what they say - If the ending sucks - The whole book sucks...... It's a real shame. I swear - I was almost three quarters of the way in & loving every second of it. Then.................
For what it's worth................ J
I read a lot of crime novels, I only read crime novels. Tana French paints a picture better than any I have read. You find a little movie playing in your head as you read. The character development is top notch. She doesn't try to let you know all about them all a once, there are surprises throughout. And the narrator, wow! This is where listening to a book is better than reading it. As a typical american I could never have put an Irish accent to the words, especially the slang phrases/words. I am actually dreaming in an Irish accent!
I had recently found Tana French and listened to all the books in a short period of time, waiting impatiently for July 24th when Broken Harbor came out. I am sad to realize it will probably a while before her next great novel will grace us.
With tastes, it's never about who is right, but rather, what is right for you...like the Greeks said, *Know Thyself.* While perfect for some readers, this was not a custom fit for me. It was a good start: with the atmosphere of the ghost-town-like housing project, the family's desperate financial situation, Detective Mike and his personal demons, French had me where she wanted me--in a hauntingly gray funk. But, the pace ebbed and in rolled the slog. I think the bulk could've benefited from some editting that sharpened the edge and built some suspense into the story. Even streamlined, I would've had trouble swallowing the critters in the attic element; the sudden and complete madness that gripped the family (which seemed possible only if something extremely hallucinogenic had been ingested); Det. Mike's coincidental connection with Broken Harbor; his new partner...all in all it seemed too loose and wouldn't go down -- not my taste. I wasn't completely disappointed; it was well written and the narration was entertaining. Detective Mike Kennedy was an interesting character and French does an exceptional job of both getting into his head and fleshing him out. Possibly I would have enjoyed this more if I had read the previous books in this Dublin Murder Squad series.
Skilled writing and great narration could not keep me from being very depressed by this book and actually glad when it was over. I love mysteries, but I guess I prefer cozies. Full of guilt, betrayal, insanity and murderous nervous breakdowns (the only love was of the stalker/obsessive type), this is my third Tana French book, but it will be the last for awhile and I will be very careful about choosing another one.
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.