Broken Harbor by Tana French
Series: Murder Squad Series, 4
BROKEN HARBOR is the fourth book in the Murder Squad series that started off with the Edgar award winning novel, In the Woods (2007). The four novels are loosely connected and one can feel free to start anywhere in this series. Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy is a cop who likes high profile cases. He’s partnered with a rookie to investigate the murder of a family of four found murdered in their home in Brianstown, formerly known as Broken Harbor. That’s the basic premise but if you want more details you can read more about the plot description here. To cut to the chase, this book was okay but overall a disappointment for this reader.
Broken Harbor was a major disappointment for several reasons which I will try to explain. When compared to the other books this author has written, this novel’s structure was kind of a departure from the rest. Broken Harbor has kind of a gothic feel to it and is a more leisurely paced novel. That last element about the pacing is nothing new for Ms. French’s books. Her novels tend to be very long and verbose and deeply involved. One of the disappointments for me was my lack of engagement with the story. I thought the premise sounded great but the execution of it fell flat for me. I continued to stay disengaged as I kept turning the pages in this book. Continue reading
Title: Faithful Place
Year Published: 2010
Length: 416 pages
Setting: The Liberties (inner city), Dublin
Format(s): print and digital
Series? Yes but can standalone
Book Source: Bought this myself
I finished Faithful Place, Tana French’s third book, late Wednesday night. It’s apart of the loosely connected Murder Squad series. The protagonist is sometimes a minor character from a earlier book narrated in first person. In this case, it’s Frank Mackey, an undercover detective first introduced in The Likeness. Faithful Place is a better novel I thought in that the author shows the devastating effects a crime has on a family. If you read In the Woods and wasn’t impressed, Faithful Place is a solidly written story with a better ending. So I wouldn’t write her off. The author’s strengths lie in her settings, dialogue, atmosphere and creating realistic characters. Faithful Place is a suspenseful psychological thriller / detective story that will take you into the dark, secret places of a dysfunctional family within a tightly connected inner city community. I could have finished this book in one sitting. It was that good but work and life got in the way. Continue reading
Faithful Place by Tana French (2010). I am reading this book now and it is seriously good. I enjoyed her first book, In the Woods that won the Edgar in 2007 even though the ending exploded all over the place in ridiculousness. Yes, I will grudgingly admit that Tana French is wordy as hell but her writing is compelling. Her characters are well developed. She has an excellent ear for dialogue and great sense of time and place. Forget all the naysayers. Read this book. Yes, it’s the last one published but these are all standalones following a different person from The Guards or Murder Squad. Will post my final thoughts when I’m finished and trust me, that won’t be long. Stay tuned. Update: Tana French next book, Broken Harbour comes out
this August March 2012 July 2012. Declan Burke has all the details here and here. (update on book release)
“In The Woods” (2008) by Tana French won the Edgar award in 2009. This is her first book and it is apart of a series featuring Detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox. “In The Woods” is rich in characterization and atmosphere. There seems to be a lot of varying opinions about the author’s first book. I’ve been told that I’ll either love her book or hate it. Well, guess what? I enjoyed this book although the ending was like everybody said it was: disappointing. Warning: A few plot points are mentioned as well as a major spoiler about one aspect of the ending that aggravated readers.
The story starts off with a brief summary surrounding a tragic event. To set the scene, imagine a grainy film reel, showing you a memory of someone’s childhood. In the summer of 1984 three kids from Knocknaree Dublin went into the woods but only one came back out alive. Sole survivor, Adam Ryan, can’t remember what happened to his best friends Peter and Jamie. At the scene where the police officers find Adam, there’s a lot of blood soaked in his shoes but he can’t remember what happened before the police found him. Continue reading