Susan Johnson's Reviews > Broken Harbor

Broken Harbor by Tana French
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's review
Aug 16, 2012

really liked it
Read from August 08 to 15, 2012

It's a gruesome murder of a father and two children with a mother barely clinging to life that confronts Detective Sergeant (that's how it's spelled in the book) Mick Kennedy. Kennedy was a minor character in French's previous novel "Faithful Place." Mick has a rookie, Rich Curran, assigned to him as a partner so he can train him. The family is discovered by the mother's sister, Fiona. They live in a virtually abadoned housing development that went bust when the economy did. The few homeowners in the development are saddled with mortgages bigger than what the house's are worth (if they are worth anything at all).

As the investigation proceeds it turns out the father, Pat, has lost his job and his wife, Jenny, is desperately trying to hang on as if nothing has changed. It's difficult as a car goes, her son is forced to drop out of preschool, and they start buying their clothes at Goodwill. Few of their friends are willing to make the hour commute out to their house and they have become increasily isolated.

What happens to this family as they try to cope with the downturn of fortune is the basis of this novel. It's hard to comment more on this book so as not to give things away. It was low on action but high on psyshological insights. There were a lot of loose ends at the end of the novel which I suppose is true in real life cases. How the case is wrapped up is very thought provoking. Did Kennedy make the right decision? Was justice served?

I like a book that makes you think and examine your own beliefs. I think it would be a great selection for book clubs. In fact, my Irish book group in Goodreads is reading it this month. Come join us for the discussion. There are many things to discuss. Even though it's set in Ireland, it rings true for America too. Great read.
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