In Broken Harbour, a ghost estate outside Dublin - half-built, half-inhabited, half-abandoned - two children and their father are dead. The mother is on her way to intensive care. Scorcher Kennedy is given the case because he is the Murder squad's star detective. At first he and his rookie partner, Richie, think this is a simple one: Pat Spain was a casualty of the recession, so he killed his children, tried to kill his wife Jenny, and finished off with himself. But there are too many inexplicable details and the evidence is pointing in two directions at once. Scorcher's personal life is tugging for his attention. Seeing the case on the news has sent his sister Dina off the rails again, and she's resurrecting something that Scorcher thought he had tightly under control: what happened to their family, one summer at Broken Harbour, back when they were children. The neat compartments of his life are breaking down, and the sudden tangle of work and family is putting both at risk.
©2012 Tana French (P)2012 Hodder & Stoughton
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"just granny smith"
I have a vast amount of books in my "library", I have been "reading" for the last 2 years. In all that time, and all those listens I have never written a review. However, I have to with this book. It is the best book I have ever read. It kept me guessing from beginning to end. I spent a whole weekend with it glued to my ear, even my husband gave up talking to me. I would recommend this book, hence the 5 stars. One last thing though, people should be warned that it does contain strong language and is the first person.
"Almost a 5 star listen"
I have loved Tana French since her debut 'In the Woods' and feel that she is a much under rated writer. This was an amazing book made all the better by the outstanding narration by Hugh Lee - a reason in itself to listen. It's not often that my husband listens to audiobooks too but we were both completely gripped by this. It takes you on a long, gripping, journey and the listener is never quite sure where the plot is going. I did not want to stop listening and felt rather bereft when it ended. The only thing that stopped me awarding this 5 stars is one small aspect of the plot becomes a little dragged out but maybe this is just me being too picky!! 4 and three quarter stars.
"Good but ........."
The reading of this book was excellent, Hugh Lee did a great job there, the story was very realistic painting a great picture of Dublin and its surrounding areas and life within the current recession - the Author 'nailed' the feeling in the country, but unfortunately it was about 3 hours too long. It is a shame as the story and the characters were good. Just felt like it was never going to end! Such a pity!!!!
"Loved and hated this book."
Tana French is obviously a gifted writer, some of her prose is quite brilliant. However, in my opinion this book has a number of problems. As in the previous novels by the author , the book is written in the first person, in this instance a murder detective looking for the big case that will get his career back on track. The story is set in Ireland, post the economic crash of 2008. The book deals with the fall out of the slump and the effect it has on a number of the characters in the book.
The detective gets his case when a young family are found brutally murdered. The author brings the ghosts of the detectives past into the present when his case brings back a host of memories from his childhood. The book attempts to deal with the effects of trauma on the psychology of victims of both violence and the sudden downturn in the Irish economy.
The problem is that almost every major character in the story appears to have issues with their mental health, "a dream for any shrink" ! however I thought this issue was overdone by the author.
The plot is the books real downfall, pretty unbelievable, the plot gets so thick that it ultimately solidifies and brings the story crashing down. As the book ddraws to a close I felt a real sense of anti climax and the ending was pretty unsatisfactory. At times I found this book mesmorizing, and at times it felt as if I were pulling teeth. The saving grace was the excellent narration of Hugh Lee. I did manage to finish the book but I just felt it could have been so much better.
"Good story, too lengthy"
Really enjoyed the beginning of this book, but by the end of the second part I was losing the will to continue to listen. About 2 hours could be removed from unneccessary parts of this book which added nothing the the story. Started fast forwarding parts at both the end of the second and third parts, ending of the book was a bit disappointing. Narration was superb, Hugh Lee did an excellent job of all the people in the book, would definately listen to another book read by him. Not sure I will be listening to another Tana French though.
Wow. Darn! I've finished the book! I've heard very many audio books, and enjoyed almost all of them but this had me totally in thrall. I was so engrossed in the last third I had trouble doing even the washing. I listen while driving to and from work, and at the weekend while doing the usual chores at home I would switch off the story if I need to interact with friends and neighbours. I avoided them all in order to listen... The narrator is the finest I have ever heard, his different voices melding with the characters so well that I forgot it was one person making them all, indeed I have no idea what his natural voice would sound like because his mastery of accent was so good. A true voice actor. The story? A murder mystery, yes, but from an unusual perspective, this is no ordinary tale. At one point I felt I could see the pattern and was almost disappointed, then the shape shifted and I was proved wrong, even the ending was unexpected. This is a book I would recommend without hesitation and will listen to again and again if only for the pleasure of listening to the sound of Hugh Lee's voice. Tana French gives her characters depth and veracity, genuine and believable dialogue and no cliches in sight. Oh yes, I shall certainly be looking out for more from both the author and the narrator. If you get only one book, pick this one.
"What a dark tale!"
This is my first Tara French novel, so I was not sure what to expect. It turned out not to be my usual Crime/Thriller. What begins as a standard murder mystery developed into a dark, bleak tale.
There was a time when I could have abandoned the story, but for the combination of the story itself and the narrator! He made the characters real and compelling and you wanted to know what happened to them. I have never listened to anything narrated by Hugh Lee before, but I will look out for him again. His many voices, all perfectly performed, made this tale the dark compelling whole that it became.
Perhaps I did not like this story, but this audible certainly deserved the 5 stars I gave it!
"One of my best audible listens ever"
This is an excellent detective novel. Full of satisfying plot twists and great characterisation. But it is also more than that. It is an excellent, sad, moving novel about the effects of the property crash on a family in Dublin. It details the slow disintegration of a family with empathy. The reading is overall good. Not my favourite reader (all the women sound much the same) but the story is so good I got over my initial irritation and the reading didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the book. This is fourth in French's Dublin murder squad series, but you don't need to have read the others to appreciate this. I've now started book one.
This was a new author for me and I found the story completely enthralling. The story was really well read, the scenes set with skill and dexterity and all the characters with their sub plots coming alive. So much human frailty is exposed in this book I was absorbed from start to finish and didn't see the final twist until the very last minute. Definitely an author I will return to.
"A gripping and unusual plot"
If it had not been for the Halloween offer I would not have spotted this book, never mind bought it. What a treat I would have missed. It was an unforgettable plot, so unusual.
I enjoyed the narration, it was really gripping.
It was beautifully written on a par and similar to the style of David Peace and just as intriguing. It draws you in and it is difficult to leave it, just kept pulling me back and I had to finish it. Will be looking for this author in future.
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