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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"Best Narrator ever! Even better than Sean Barrett"
It is very easy to get into, the story unfolds quickly and the writing is very straightforward and not 'flowery' at all. Unusual subject matter and not just a bog standard 'who done it'. The main character's personal life problems are woven into the story while he tries to crack the case with his very likable partner Richie.
The narrator's lilting Irish accent is totally captivating, but better, he not only narrates this book, he dramatises it. All the character's voices Hugh Lee uses, give a totally believable picture in your minds eye of the person .... and his female voices! Well, I could hardly believe this book had only one narrator.
Probably one of the best audio books I have listened to so far and Hugh Lee is by far the best narrator I have come across yet. Publishers, please use him to narrate your books - he's superb!
"Exceptionally good read"
This was my first Tana French novel and certainly won't be the last. The story was engaging from the start and I found it difficult to unplug myself for the duration of the audiobook. (Did my husband and kids really need to interrupt me so often?)
The characters are believable and written in such a way that you could empathise with each one of them.
The narration was as good as the book. Hugh Lee was outstanding.
As a reader I enjoy many different genres of fiction but always come back to crime fiction. This book seemed to be not only a good crime story but a well written study of human character. I think it would appeal to many readers.
"A crime story but so much more than that"
This is a story about death and a police investigation but during its telling we learn so much, both about the victims and the police officer in charge of the investigation, that the characters almost leap off the page. It is a long and tortuous tale but I had to finish listening to it, at 3am!
Detective Kennedy stands out clearly as he struggles to maintain his position as the leading crime solver though he has many side issues to deal with but other characters, such as his sister, the sister of one of the victims and the rookie detective assigned as his partner also commanded my interest.
This is the first time I have heard Hugh Lee narrate an audio book. If it were possible to award him 6* I should have, his performance was outstanding, especially in its presentation of the various characters.
The whole story is an emotional roller-coaster.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
"Spare me the voices"
This is a so-so police procedural which dragged on for far too long. Which wouldn't have been too bad if it wasn't for two major faults: (1) other than Richie, the young rookie, there is not one single solitary likeable character in the whole book - which makes it very difficult to care about anything happening to anybody at any point and (2) I found the actor's attempts to put on a different voice for each character massively irritating after a while, distracting and off-putting and just made the unlikeable characters even less appealing. Not great. Probably one I should have read instead of listened to.
What a great story-line with great charatcters and plently of pace. I loved that you could guess enough to feel confident in the mystery but with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.
Great accents and pleasant voice.
"lost the plot"
This is the second book I have read by Tana French. I didn't enjoy the first one, Faithful Place, but thought based on the reviews that I would give this one a chance and unfortunately was sorely disappointed.
Hugh Lee as the Narrator was fine, he has a nice tone and lilt to his voice and is easy on the ear.
The character of Scorchers sister was totally irrelevant to the plot and was such a whiney, unlikeable individual that it was impossible to have an interest in the huge wedges of storyline concerning her. One kept waiting for the necessity of her character, and there wasn't one. I feel French thought her "madness" might lend itself to the physcological twists and turns of the plot . It did not. It just became irritating.
So much of the book seemed padded out by unnecessary dialogue and immense detail that it failed to hold the storyline together and simply "lost the plot".
The narrator did a good job with a bad story.
I felt overall relieved to have got to the end and will never go for another Tara French book again.
This book has everything I look for in a good listen. The story was intriguing and thought-provoking. The narration was impeccable.
Some reviewers have criticised the book for being too long but none of this book was 'filler' material. The plot and characters were fully explored and developed and this takes time. I like some books to be quick and easy, light reads but there are times when I really enjoy something that takes you in a bit deeper, just like Broken Harbour did for me.
The narrator, Hugh Lee was amazing. His range of voices is incredible. When the women characters spoke I was convinced I was listening to women speaking. After a while I found myself thinking with an Irish accent bizarre!
"More than just a 'Whodunnit'"
This is a very long drawn out tale and I found myself having to persevere during part three, to keep going to the final conclusion. There are a lot of very in-depth studies of all the main characters involved, which take up more of the story than the solving of the crime itself at times. I felt as if I was following the detectives in real time - and sometimes getting a little impatient to move on - which probably means I would make a rubbish detective! The narrator has a lovely voice which I could listen to for hours - so I did still enjoy listening to this one despite my earlier comments!
"Well narrated, well told - not well edited?"
I really did enjoy the first two part of Broken Harbour. The other reviews convniced me to try a new author, and I agree, the book is excellently narrated.
All I can say is, listen to it, keep an open mind, following the twists and turns of the story, but one of the female characters truly grated on my nerves. Her sub plot added nothing but a prolongation to the tale, diluting the quality of the storyline. Just my view...
The narration is fine, very professional with good actors. Once or twice a little too much shouting and screaming which hurts the ears when using headphones.
This book just goes on and on, indeed it's excruciatingly long, and there is nothing extraordinary about the story. One expects a twist, thinking the plot can't be so linear, but the twist never comes. The writing is practically all dialogue, and while it is perfectly acceptable to narrate in the first person, the use of language in most of the characters is so teenage-like it's frightening to imagine that that is how adults speak in real world Dublin. The crime itself is unpleasant, which is all right, it is after all a crime novel, but one cannot ignore an unsettling feeling that somehow the perpetrator is presented in a favorable light. In crime fiction, one is used to the "bad guy" being painted as an unsavoury character, but here, things are strangely ambivalent, as if there is the intention to make the reader feel sympathy for what is perhaps one of the most hideous and unforgivable crimes.
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