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.
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.
So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.
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.
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.
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.
If ever a writer was meant to write is was Ms. French. The story was excellent, but what was really wonderful was the writers use of the English Language. The interplay of words used to portray both the story and the psychological state of the characters is fascinating. I loved it!
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
Not a writer, a writer wannabe, editor, lit maj, or pretend literary critic. Just an avid reader/listener. My ratings are opinion only.
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.
Some of Ms. French's work has failed to "light my fire." Some of it has been quite good. All showed me potential. Here, Ms. French and her narrator, Stephen Hogan, clearly demonstrate that my belief in her abilities was not misplaced. I have not read all her work, but so far this is the one I'd pick as a show case of her talent.
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!