Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
Over the past month, I have read all 4 of Tana French's Dublin police mysteries. I have enjoyed their complex characters; their reflection on the effects of modern globalization on traditional values and culture; their discussion of the devastation wrought by the economic downturn; and French's flair for poetic and descriptive language.
With "Broken Harbor," however, the author has gone too far. As in the case the first and third series entries, the book is just too long. These characters and this plot never for a moment rang true to me, and I figured the conclusion out well ahead of the end. There's a real disdain expressed here for young professionals and the manner in which prosperity has supposedly 'destroyed' the Irish culture and way of life. It seems to me that French's pessimistic and judgmental attitude diminishes "Broken Harbor".
What a disappointment!
I love to read and hope you do too! Audio books are great for people on the go!
Once again Tana French delivers another absorbing, twisty tale about broken families, power of guilt, cultural decline and career suicide in the Dublin police force. This book was about a different set of characters than those featured in the first three books, and through some clever distraction, managed to surprise me at the conclusion. I listened to this book almost on the heels of The Likeness, and was feeling a bit 'mental' like the book's characters at the end.
I think that the audio book producers are doing the right thing with the production of Tana French's books- a new reader for each one, well-paced, good character voices. Each one sounds fresh and unique. I find it particularly annoying with intensely psychological books when the reader reads too slowly and over-dramatizes. This book's reader does an excellent job.
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.