Broken Harbour

Broken Harbour : Dublin Murder Squad: 4. Winner of the LA Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction Book of the Year

3.94 (80,561 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 ...
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Product details

  • Hardback | 544 pages
  • 161 x 241 x 47mm | 850g
  • Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0340977639
  • 9780340977637
  • 279,517

Review quote

I've been enthusiastically telling everyone who will listen to read Tana French. She is, without a doubt, my favorite new mystery writer. Her novels are poignant, compelling, beautifully written and wonderfully atmospheric. Just start reading the first page. You'll see what I mean. Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of STAY CLOSE Broken Harbour is a complex, well crafted psychological thriller as well as an exemplary dissection of the plight of the disappointed and desperate human wreckage washed up in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. As always, French's carefully wrought but seemingly effortless prose is a delight. A hugely impressive and intelligent book, with writing to savour. It confirms French as the First Lady of Irish Crime. Irish Independent Observer Thriller of the Month: 'Enticing, threatening, atmospheric prose' ... Broken Harbour is a tale about the different facets of obsession and insanity, and it winds up to a finale that is almost too distressing. The best yet of French's four excellent thrillers, it leaves its readers - just like the Spains - "throat-deep in terror"' Observer With Broken Harbour, Tana French should cement her name not only as the queen of Irish crime fiction but the queen of Irish fiction. Broken Harbour sucks you into its murky depths that any good novel - crime or otherwise - should ... the breadth of character is also astonishing ... This is a writer working at the height of her powers ... humour, pathos, well-observed social commentary, but above all a cracking story that keeps you guessing until the end ... A great Irish novel. Sunday Independent Dublin A gripping story in an atmospheric setting by an author who knows how to grab a reader's interest and never let it go ... not a word of this densely written, long novel was superfluous - I would have been happy for it to be longer still. Literary Review Gradually, an emotionally jolting story of love, obsession and madness is played out to incredible effect in this searing, intense, complex and intelligent thriller by a new master of the art. Daily Mail A thoroughly mesmerising story. After four novels, French is fast becoming one of the best crime writers around ... a briliantly twisted tale Heat Finely written psychological crime thriller ... the characters are subtly drawn and the writer reveals a sense of time and place. Choice Tana French is one of those rare novelists who combine a gift for dialogue and characterisation, with suspense, intrigue and fabulous plotting. And she's a beautiful writer, to boot. A real treat. Kate Mosse A beautifully crafted thriller that exposes the bleak repercussions of destroyed hope in recession-riddled Dublin. The setting for Tana French's stunning thriller is an eerie ghost estate on the outskirts of Dublin, where half-finished houses and abandoned buildings provide a chilling backdrop. Marie Claire Nothing short of a masterpiece. French's first three thrillers were all brilliant but this is by far her best and reaches a level of spine-chilling, gripping moreishness that will leave readers open-mouthed with admiration. Sophie Hannah, Daily Express The acclaimed Irish crime writer returns with a timely tale Irish Times Fast-paced psychological thriller ... Gripping. Image Magazine Dublin French is on finest spine-chilling form in her fourth crime thriller ... subtlety of plot, language and tone ... makes this one of the must-read-page-turners Sunday Times Dublin With red herrings and false turns aplenty, Broken Harbour by Tana French will keep you gripped right to the shocking final page. Good Housekeeping Edgar-winner French's eloquently slow-burning fourth Dublin murder squad novel shows her at the top of her game ... French excels at drawing out complex character dynamics Publishers Weekly As beautifully written as it is gripping Stellar Magazine Ireland Lauded as Tana French's best crime fiction yet, the writer's fourth thriller triumphantly conjures up the atmosphere of an Irish town ravaged by recession and the underlying animosity simmering among its actuely drawn characters Stylist - Hot New Books of July A deftly written thriller Woman & Home Creepy, compelling and uncomfortably believable, this is not just a story about solving a crime, but about the destruction of a generation's hopes and dreams Independent Tana French is one of the most assured crime novelists writing today and BROKEN HARBOUR affirms her reputation. French spins a suspenseful web, which tightens with every chapter. Time Out But this turns out to be not so much a novel about how fiscal disaster has affected ordinary people as an eerie psychological thriller that plays on fears more fundamental than worry over mortgage payments. French succeeded in frightening me and, fat though this novel is, I wish she could have done it for longer. Daily Telegraph French is an impressive writer who knows just how to manipulate her readers' emotions ... as revelation follows revelation, the dark pull of the narrative keeps you enthralled until the entirely satisfying ending. Spectator It looks like murder and then suicide on the part of the recently unemployed father but French's superlative chiller turns into something more ambiguous and sinister. Sunday Express Books of the Year Mesmerising Irish Daily Star Books of the Year
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About Tana French

Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the United States and Malawi. Her first novel, In the Woods, was published in 2007: it won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry awards for Best First Novel and the IVCA Clarion Award for Best Fiction. In the Woods and her other two novels, The Likeness and Faithful Place, were all New York Times bestsellers. She lives in Dublin with her husband and daughter. Visit Tana's website at
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Rating details

80,561 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 28% (22,196)
4 46% (36,676)
3 22% (17,633)
2 4% (3,154)
1 1% (902)

Our customer reviews

Haunting novel about the investigation into the murder of a family. The story stayed with me throughout the day, so I would rush back every evening to get to the end of the book and find out 'who and why?'show more
by bobdel
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