Customer Reviews for

Broken Harbor (Dublin Murder Squad Series #4)

Average Rating 4
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(50)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

With 'Broken Harbor', Tana French has once again brought us a th

With 'Broken Harbor', Tana French has once again brought us a thrilling police procedural with lots of 'crazy' psychological turns and twists. Veteran detective , 'Scorcher' and his new rookie detective, Richie, explore means and methods of working togetherness to solve...
With 'Broken Harbor', Tana French has once again brought us a thrilling police procedural with lots of 'crazy' psychological turns and twists. Veteran detective , 'Scorcher' and his new rookie detective, Richie, explore means and methods of working togetherness to solve a terrible tragedy.

The 'perfect' couple, with their 6 year old Emma, and 3 year old Jack, have been living in the partially developed 'Broken Harbor' by the sea for about a year when their tragedies strikes them. At first it's builders going broke after just starting a new community development. Most of their houses are empty or not completed. All the extras---shops, parks, community centers---have not even begun to be built. But the Spaines and their two children find themselves living there in their new 'dream house' that is anything but a dream. Eventually more tragedy strikes and our story begins with two dead children in their beds, and a bloody mess in the kitchen, where Patrick lies dead with his barely alive wife curled up beside him.

Tana French expertly uses today's headlines to develop her psychological story line. Builders going broke, homes empty, job loses becoming more prevalent amongst the 'climbing' middle classes, and message boards on computers becoming the primary source for information, communications, and the hope of helpful comforting solutions to life's problems.

Mix this case in with a developing working relationship with a veteran and rookie cop, add in a less than admirable fellow officer, plus a large dose of our veteran cop's nearly psychotic sister, and top it off with a stalking 'best friend'. What do you have? Another winning read from Tana French!! Be prepared to keep reading till you complete this book once you open the first pages. I was on page 100 before I realized that we'd not even left the scene of the crime yet, and I was loving it!!

posted by RonnaL on July 24, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Sadly--a real mixed bag

I LOVE Tana French and have long felt she has only gotten better with each "Dublin Squad" novel--"Faithful Place" is outstanding and one of the best books I've read in the last decade. I waited very impatiently for two years for the new installment--but I cannot rate "H...
I LOVE Tana French and have long felt she has only gotten better with each "Dublin Squad" novel--"Faithful Place" is outstanding and one of the best books I've read in the last decade. I waited very impatiently for two years for the new installment--but I cannot rate "Harbor" above three stars.

On the PLUS side:

***An incredibly creepy crime and once the novel reveals the reasons behind it--OMG; I'm reeling.

***French's uncanny knack for language and dialogue--she is superb in making her characters HEARD. She is cinematic in her use of language.

The DOWN side:

***While I have always loved French's technique of centering a novel around a character previously introduced in a previous novel--Scorcher may have not been the best choice. He's so patently unlikeable, so smug, pretentious and judgemental that [SPOILER-ISH]even when he does get his comeuppance--it wasn't enough. While "Faithful's" Frank is a hard man to like, his charm and inner vulnerablity carry him; even Rob from the first novel is more grabbing than Scorcher. NO character caught me; NO character made me care enough...the Spain family, yes...but not the major characters. PLEASE bring back Cassie or Frank!

***Scorcher's crazy sister is so horrible I couldn't get past her but even she didn't make me care enough about Scorcher. I wanted her GONE.

***TOO much repetitive conversation with the partner, witnesses--it just drags; by page 200 you've read the same speculation and theories to the point of screaming; unlike the other novels, the dysfunctional family backstory just is not intriguing. I could not care about Kennedy's family (although it explained a lot about him) and felt it simply took away from the main crime. Editing? Probably needs more.

I LOVE Tana French--just not this book--but I will wait, impatiently, for book four--like I said--can we find out what Cassie and/or Frank are doing??

posted by irishclaireKG on July 26, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Sadly--a real mixed bag

    I LOVE Tana French and have long felt she has only gotten better with each "Dublin Squad" novel--"Faithful Place" is outstanding and one of the best books I've read in the last decade. I waited very impatiently for two years for the new installment--but I cannot rate "Harbor" above three stars.

    On the PLUS side:

    ***An incredibly creepy crime and once the novel reveals the reasons behind it--OMG; I'm reeling.

    ***French's uncanny knack for language and dialogue--she is superb in making her characters HEARD. She is cinematic in her use of language.

    The DOWN side:

    ***While I have always loved French's technique of centering a novel around a character previously introduced in a previous novel--Scorcher may have not been the best choice. He's so patently unlikeable, so smug, pretentious and judgemental that [SPOILER-ISH]even when he does get his comeuppance--it wasn't enough. While "Faithful's" Frank is a hard man to like, his charm and inner vulnerablity carry him; even Rob from the first novel is more grabbing than Scorcher. NO character caught me; NO character made me care enough...the Spain family, yes...but not the major characters. PLEASE bring back Cassie or Frank!

    ***Scorcher's crazy sister is so horrible I couldn't get past her but even she didn't make me care enough about Scorcher. I wanted her GONE.

    ***TOO much repetitive conversation with the partner, witnesses--it just drags; by page 200 you've read the same speculation and theories to the point of screaming; unlike the other novels, the dysfunctional family backstory just is not intriguing. I could not care about Kennedy's family (although it explained a lot about him) and felt it simply took away from the main crime. Editing? Probably needs more.

    I LOVE Tana French--just not this book--but I will wait, impatiently, for book four--like I said--can we find out what Cassie and/or Frank are doing??

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    L Not Tana French's best just ok

    Her writing is amazing but the only part i really felt sucked me in was when the wife was describing how her and her husband reached that final point. I got it.

    Still looking forward to her next novel. Still a huge fan.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Love Tana French

    Awesome just like all

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  • Posted December 27, 2012

    So, all you Tana French enthusiasts, do you even learn what happ

    So, all you Tana French enthusiasts, do you even learn what happened in the woods in first book "In The Woods"? That still bugs me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    OK Story With Lots of POtential

    Mick has been through the ringer. But when a big murder case comes in, he is selected to solve it. He is paired with rookie Richie, just transferred from traffic. In a new, higher society development, a family has been murdered. Mick starts teaching Richie the ropes with what kind of car to drive and how to act at the scene. They discover that the children and father are dead and somehow the mother is still alive, it’s questionable that she would survive.

    But things don’t add up from the start. In a huge new development, there are a lot of unfinished and barely started buildings with no sign of construction crews around. The walls are paper-thin and holes have been punched in them throughout the house. In the attic, which the entry hole is covered in wire mesh, there is a large animal trap set and several video baby monitors set up in the house. It’s clear that they were trying to catch something. The question is what was going on with this family.

    Mick has his hands full teaching Richie. You can tell that Richie just got promoted and is having a hard time distancing himself from witnesses and victims to find the killer. He has the ability to make people that are being interviewed open up to him. But it’s clear that he is new and has yet to wrap his mind around the situation.

    If the case isn’t hard enough, Mick also has to deal with his crazy sister. Years ago, his mother killed herself in the same area. His sister Dina was with her and he thinks that a lot of Dina’s problems are from that. Now she is having a spell and needs someone to be with her at all times. But Dina can’t stand to be with their sister Geri and her family. She keeps insisting that Mick spend time with her, not understanding how big the case is. But threatening to kill herself or get him in trouble with work is not helping the stressed out Mick.

    I liked the premises of this book. I have not read one of Tana French’s books before so I was mildly confused when Mick references a past case that went bad. If you have not read the other books in the series, don’t worry, you can read this as a stand-alone book.

    The Spain family dynamics were interesting, very realistic. They were in a hard situation with no jobs, like many others out there. I liked how the animal comes into play here. I was really lost with that one. I did like the twist at the end for the who done it.

    Having said that, for me, the book seems to take a long time to get around to the end. I understand how Mick’s past comes into play, especially with his sister Dina. But it made the story drag. For some reason I just couldn’t get into the story.

    This is an OK book, not one that I personally will be running out to buy. But, other mystery fans may thing it is great. Check it out, it might be something that you will love.

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Labored in spots

    This book seems to want to drag on. It is tedious in some areas but toward the end it picks up speed and finally get interesting. Too much emphesis on the main characters emotions towards his sister.
    Would not recommend but it did have its moments.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2012

    I awaited this novel all summer, and I'm not sure if it didn't l

    I awaited this novel all summer, and I'm not sure if it didn't live up to my expectations or I judged it too harshly against French's previous three novels. "Faithful Places" would have been hard to surpass, but I don't think "Broken Harbor" even came close. It was a good read, but not when you compare it to her last efforts.

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    Mixed Bag - Part Deux... Also a big fan of Tana French and the

    Mixed Bag - Part Deux...

    Also a big fan of Tana French and the way she fully fleshes out a new narrator each book. Unlike some other reviewers, I got hooked on Scorcher. Not exactly a heart-of-gold type guy, but finding out what makes him tick and living inside of his black-and-white principled perspective was fun to do. Tagging along as Scorcher and his new partner learned to work with each other was interesting. I personally was not a big fan of the crime.- No spoiler here, but the story of the Spain's tragedy is pretty corny and didn't ring too true to me. Some of the red herrings and clues felt extremely contrived and at times the book absolutely hits you over the head with the "perils" of materialism. I would've been happier with even more Scorch and far less holes in the wall. Still, any Tana French book is better than 99% of stuff out there and I already anxiously await her next book. Any guesses on who's the star in the next installment?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2012

    I am having all the trouble in the world finishing this book. I

    I am having all the trouble in the world finishing this book. I have to agree with one of the reviews re the slow pace, repeating the same facts, will it be better after page 213? I really am not sure why so many great reviews? Are people aftaid to give honest opinion? Do not care about any of these people, and find most irritating, the sister really over the top. I read all authors previous books, and really enjoyed, probably why I am so disapointed, i had Just read the new Karin Slaughter book, and really enjoyed that. I also think this book needed editing, so much wasted time during the stake out, and bringing the suspect for questining by that pompous Kennedy. I really feel 3 stars is more than generous. Do not waste money, borrow, .

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