Broken Harbor by Tana French
Published by Viking Adult, an imprint of Penguin

From the publisher:

Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy, the brash cop from Tana French’s bestselling Faithful Place, plays by the book and plays hard. That’s what’s made him the Murder squad’s top detective—and that’s what puts the biggest case of the year into his hands.

On one of the half-built, half-abandoned “luxury” developments that litter Ireland, Patrick Spain and his two young children are dead. His wife, Jenny, is in intensive care.

At first, Scorcher and his rookie partner, Richie, think it’s going to be an easy solve. But too many small things can’t be explained. The half-dozen baby monitors, their cameras pointing at holes smashed in the Spains’ walls. The files erased from the Spains’ computer. The story Jenny told her sister about a shadowy intruder who was slipping past all the locks.

And Broken Harbor holds memories for Scorcher. Seeing the case on the news sends 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 Harbor, back when they were children.

Tana French is something of a genius, in my humble opinion. I have loved every book she has written and I couldn’t ask for her to do anything better in her novels. With Broken Harbor, her talent once again shines as she writes yet another member of the Murder Squad, Scorcher Kennedy, as he solves this grisly murder while battling demons of his own.

One thing I love about French, and she’s done it again in this book, is that she creates characters that are so REAL it’s almost unbelievable. Scorcher is a deeply flawed person, but deep down he’s trying to do everything he can to hold his life and his very messed-up family together. But at the same time, he has a majorly important job to do and he must keep laser-focused on finding the person who killed the Spains. His struggle to balance these two huge responsibilities resonated with me so deeply and I felt that he was such a genuine, true character, thanks to the mastery of French’s writing and character development. He jumped out of the page (as her characters all have in the past) and I couldn’t stop reading with the goal of getting to know Scorcher even better.

And the mystery! I was literally kept guessing this ENTIRE book. There is a point where the detectives think they know who did it, and they even get the person in custody, but even at that point I was completely up in the air and thought it could have been any one of, say, four people. French does such an excellent job crafting her mysteries every single time and Broken Harbor was no exception. I was riveted by the complexity of the thing and read this 400+ page book in one day.

I highly recommend you pick up any of French’s novels if you haven’t already. And if you are already a fan (can’t think of why you wouldn’t be) definitely put Broken Harbor next on your list. My favorite of her novels will probably always be The Likeness, but I think this one comes in at a close second. Very highly recommended!

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