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Broken Harbor (Dublin Murder Squad #4)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  33,324 ratings  ·  4,110 reviews
The mesmerizing fourth novel of the Dublin murder squad by New York Times bestselling author Tana French

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
Hardcover, 450 pages
Published 2012 by Viking
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Deb The author tends to feature a supporting character of the first book as the main character in the next, and so on, and so on. Reading them in order…moreThe author tends to feature a supporting character of the first book as the main character in the next, and so on, and so on. Reading them in order gives you an introduction to a character before he or she becomes the central character in the next book. (less)
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Most Anticipated Books Summer 2012
3rd out of 34 books — 99 voters
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16th out of 94 books — 193 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I'm the least fanciful guy around, but on nights when I wonder whether there was any point to my day, I think about this: The first thing we ever did, when we started turning into humans, was draw a line across the cave door and say: "wild stays out." What I do is what the first men did. They built walls to keep back the sea. They fought the wolves for the hearth fire..

there is no better quote to encapsulate this book. because wild doesn't always want to stay out, and tana french keeps finding
I miss Rob and Cassie. Wish she'd get back to their story :/

Tana French could write an obituary and I would read it. I would, in fact, hunt down the newspaper just so that I could read it. Ms. French's books are the sum of almost everything I love in fiction -- flawed characters, seriously messed up pasts, conflicting moral questions, interesting settings and subtle social commentary. I believe French's writing could be easily categorized as mystery or thriller, but I think putting French's books in those boxes is misleading and doesn't do her books the ...more
Sep 19, 2014 Nataliya rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone and anyone.

This may be my favorite of Tana French's novels, just barely overtaking In the Woods, and I loved it immensely.
At its heart, it's a book about the terror of madness, the dreams gone awry, the slow spiral that gets you to your breaking point, and the sad pathos of desperately grasping at the straws that tether you to the world of familiar safety of normalcy.

The setting of this novel scares me in the way it's grounded in reality. This is no longer Ireland of In the Woods, Celtic Tiger rushing o
Next time I pick up a Tana French book, someone beat me please. The spark that animated the first two books, and compensated for their structural weaknesses, has turned sour.

This book just drags. While the premise -- that Ireland's recession and housing crash can literally drive you crazy or kill you - was intiriguing, the book was just bloated and in need of a good editor. The plot bogs down for about 300 pages in the middle -- I was so bored that I convinced myself into thinking the end would
There are certain things I pride myself on - the ability to read through a tremendous racket without losing my thread of concentration, the audacity to share my blasphemous distaste for pizzas with pizza worshippers who then proceed to shoot me death glares, and more pertinently, the way I don't balk at rating a piece of mainstream literature 5 stars if it has shown the grit to discard gimmickry and preserve that golden human touch.

How ingeniously Tana French subverts the formulaic plotting of
Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
At first glance, Ocean View looked pretty tasty: big detached houses that gave you something substantial for your money, trim strips of green, quaint signposts. Second glance, the grass needed weeding and there were gaps in the footpaths. Third glance, something was wrong.

“The village of the damned.”
Every master of horror knows that true fear does not originate from a basement, fear crawls up through your spine through the emptiness of a vast, vacant room. Fear comes from isolation, and isolat
switterbug (Betsey)
I’ve been an avid fan of Tana French since her chilling debut novel, In the Woods, a poetically written murder mystery that combined police procedural with psychological thriller. She writes evocatively about solitary adults afflicted by damaged childhoods. Her novels go beyond the murder cases and weave layered tales about memories, the search for identity, the healing of broken families, and the social and economic issues of contemporary Ireland. Broken Harbor will satisfy old enthusiasts and ...more
Tana French is responsible for some of the most all-consuming, vivid characters I’ve ever experienced. Reading her books, for me, is often like becoming a different person for a little while. She doesn’t just write characters; she seems to channel them. More than just about any other writer’s, her characters are like real people to me - and these are not simple, happy people. These people have pasts. They have layers and layers of coping mechanisms and justifications and habits that shield them ...more
Emily May

Broken Harbour is yet another gripping psychological mystery from one of my favourite authors. I love how Ms French can always be relied on to deliver something brilliant that is far more about people and their mentalities than it is about simply solving cases. She has a real talent for creating personalities that seem to jump off the page and Scorcher Kennedy is no exception.

Though all her novels offer an in-depth exploration of the human mind, I think Broken Harbour is perhaps the one that be
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
3.5 stars

Netterooski's Top Five Suggestions For Alternate Titles:

The Critter In the Crawlspace
A Rodent In the Rafters
The Monitor Murders
Paddy's Pretend Pet?
Video Vermin

If you've read the book, the above needs no explanation. If you haven't yet read it, prepare yourself for obsessive coverage of animal behavior.
I crave family. Not my own poor, battered and scarred little nuclear one that raised me, the one that's settled into a comfortable but rather arms-length tapdance that I can't quite figure out how to consciously approach with the same depth of instinctive draw that wells up in emergencies. I crave the idea of that eff word, the individuals who rely on each other for supportive encouragement and the liberty to deliver buttkicking reality checks, who don't question a welcome, who will listen to an ...more
Much better than the third book in the series, and some great buildup, as always, but UGH, Tana French needs to learn to stick the landing. I'm still frustrated over the ending of the first book, and only the second has had an ending deserving of the previous x pages. With this one, unrealistic character choices makes for an ending that doesn't quite make any sense, and certainly doesn't match the journey we took to get there. But, it was better than the third book? Now can we PLEASE find out wh ...more
As seen on The Readventurer (double feature with Catie)

After more than 6 months filled with disappointments that came like blows from my favorite authors (Bitterblue, Holier Than Thou, Gone Girl, The Calling), I thought I couldn't count on any of my precious to deliver the goods. Apparently, I can still rely on Tana French to keep up her standards. Broken Harbor is not maybe my favorite novel of hers (I think Faithful Place is), but definitely not weaker than any of her previous works.

All her bo
Moira Russell
I'm going to have to try to write up a review later. I cannot believe I have been so gutted by a psychological thriller. Poor Kennedy. Poor Richie. Poor Jenny. Man.

(This is the review that made me really sure I wanted to read it: )

ETA Oh here, have a tl;dr comment since apparently I can't write reviews anymore, WARNING it is full of spoilers. Giant crashing spoilers that will make you want to go out and buy one of those old cartoon-style traps, yes.

I was
Tana French delivers again.

Murder detective Mick ( Scorcher) Kennedy is on a high profile case located in what was formerly known as Broken Harbour, now Brianstown, where his family used to vacation. He has a rookie, Richie, under his wing but it is Mick who tells us this story.

Brianstown is a relatively new community development that promised would be residents an idyllic seaside community, a safe place to raise your family, build a life, pursue your dreams, then the economy plummeted leaving B
Dec 12, 2012 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: psychological mystery fans everywhere!
Shelves: mystery, male-lead
I'm going to do two things I almost never do.
First, I'll tell you how to read: Sit down and pay attention to this book. Read in large, uninterrupted blocks of time. Trust me; you will better be able to appreciate French's character evolution (or dissolution) and the many layers of the plot become all the more shocking when they've had the chance to properly build.

The second thing I rarely do: spoiler part of my review. For my memory and discussion's sake, I must be specific.

Once again, French i
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Thane
This is another excellent psychological crime novel from Tana French. In this case the book features another member of the Dublin Murder Squad, Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy, who first appeared in a minor role in French's last book, Faithful Place.

Kennedy has the best solve rate on the squad. He's the star, and thus when a particularly brutal homicide occurs, Mick is assigned to the case. He's also teamed with a new young partner, Richie Curran, and, in addition to catching a killer, he's expected to
Ah, deadly. Thank you, Tana French, for writing whole-heartedly excellent books that come along just when I'm in a major slump & kick me in the pants. You are going to write several more of these, correct? Please?

Oh, this book. This book is so good. It scared me to bits, to the point that when I went to bed late at night on the day I started reading it, I made myself jump when I caught my own shadow moving. Baby monitors sitting in front of holes broken in the walls = way scary, in case you
Last year I was lucky enough to win a copy of The Secret Place in a Goodreads giveaway and I really enjoyed it. Since then I picked up Broken Harbour in the same series, hung on to it for a while thinking I really should read the first three books in the series first, but finally settled in for a darn good read. The wonderful thing is it doesn’t seem to matter which order you read the books in as each focuses on a different detective in the Dublin Murder Squad with no references to past cases or ...more
Creepy as hell, this one has definitely earned itself a place on my baby shower gift guide shelf…
I've read a lot of graphic, violent, extreme-serial-killer thrillers, but never, until Broken Harbor, have I read a mystery novel that scared me. This one, however, was disturbing. The events in this book--beginning with the first walk-through after the crime--completely unsettled me. A couple images from the book: (view spoiler) will stay with me--and spook me--for a long time. One of my favorite genres of novel is a haunt ...more
She's done it again - she has rewritten the rules for detective stories and psychological thrillers - this book is both of those things but different and MORE!
It is very difficult to describe why her writing is so good. Take everything you expect from those two genres and twist them round a bit and then focus in on some obscure details and you've got yourself a slam-bam-hit-you-in-the-head-screwing-with-your-mind experience!
Maybe that's a bit OTT as it's a lot more subtle than that but she knows
I keep thinking that this time I know your tricks, French. I've seen this before. You won't get me.

Never have I been more wrong about a book than I was about this one.
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 b
IN THE WOODS proved a tough read for me, but now that I’ve finished, and enjoyed, BROKEN HARBOR I’ll add the novel that started it all back into my to-read pile. True to form, the fourth novel in the series has a different spin than other mysteries I’ve read, with a flawed main character who views the world in black and white. Not your typical whodunit, this novel focuses more on why, and why certainly keeps you reading until the end.

The dialogue proves strong and compelling, sense of place play
Arielle Walker

Devastating. Devastated.

There is no joy in this book - none at all. This may sound obvious with a plot centring around the homicide of a family (including children), but in each of French's previous novels there is always a gentleness somewhere, a few moments of respite and of lightness and of hope. Yes, even the first (In the Woods) which deals with psychopaths and the murder of a child. I'm not sure if the plot in Broken Harbour is the reason for the absence of all of these, or if it is du
Lewis Weinstein
My first Tana French. So far it's terrific.

Dec 21 ... The first 100 pages or so really captured my interest. The next 100 pages have simply drifted, with long scenes going nowhere and little or no tension.

A comment added to Switterbug's review ... Your excellent review encourages me to complete Broken Harbor, which, after a terrific start, has become bogged down. Perhaps I will see, as you did, how this slow story development emerges into a satisfying conclusion.

I'll finish the book and add mo
Matt Smith
Actual rating: 3 stars

I honestly had no intention of reading Broken Harbor after being completely drained a year ago by In the Woods and The Likeness , back-to-back. And then there I was, in the bookstore, reading the inner sleeve and thinking, "Hmm, that sounds really interesting." Well played, Tana French.

Two weeks into mentoring his new rookie partner, Detective Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy is given what appears to be the case of the year: a family brutally murdered in Brianstown; husband and k
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: Broken Harbor by Tana French 3 28 Feb 20, 2015 06:33PM  
Which character is most broken (aside from the guilty party)? 8 108 Jan 18, 2015 12:41AM  
Unanswered Mysteries in Dublin Murder Series 6 151 Sep 26, 2014 11:18AM  
Broken Harbor...questions? Contains spoilers 15 443 Sep 26, 2014 11:15AM  
Do you prefer new characters or same ones developed book after book? 16 157 Sep 26, 2014 11:13AM  
Bound Together: Broken Harbor Discussion 69 185 Jun 30, 2013 05:19PM  
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Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the US and Malawi, and has lived in Dublin since 1990. She trained as a professional actress at Trinity College, Dublin, and has worked in theater, film and voice-over.
More about Tana French...

Other Books in the Series

Dublin Murder Squad (5 books)
  • In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1)
  • The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2)
  • Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #3)
  • The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #5)
In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1) The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2) Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #3) The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #5) Littekenweefsel

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“Over time, the ghosts of things that happened start to turn distant; once they've cut you a couple of million times, their edges blunt on your scar tissue, they wear thin. The ones that slice like razors forever are the ghosts of things that never got the chance to happen.” 30 likes
“People you knew when you were teenagers, the ones who saw your stupidest haircut and the most embarrassing things you've done in your life, and they still cared about you after all that: they're not replaceable, you know?” 23 likes
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