Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Broken Harbor (Dublin Murder Squad, #4)” as Want to Read:
Broken Harbor (Dublin Murder Squad, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Broken Harbor

(Dublin Murder Squad #4)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  75,601 ratings  ·  7,179 reviews
Mick “Scorcherˮ Kennedy is the star of the Dublin Murder Squad. He plays by the books and plays hard, and thatʼs how the biggest case of the year ends up in his hands.

On one of the half-abandoned “luxuryˮ developments that litter Ireland, Patrick Spain and his two young children have been murdered. His wife, Jenny, is in intensive care. At first, Scorcher thinks itʼs goin
Hardcover, 450 pages
Published 2012 by Viking
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Broken Harbor, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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 gi…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)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  75,601 ratings  ·  7,179 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Broken Harbor (Dublin Murder Squad, #4)
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: distant-lands
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
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-challenge
I miss Rob and Cassie. Wish she'd get back to their story :/

(B) 73% | More than Satisfactory
Notes: Serviceable mystery, but the b-story lacks teeth and it's too reliant on interrogation for tension and plot development.
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
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Emily May
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The devil is in the details.

To me, the 100% spectrum of life is divided up between two tiny slivers of white and black, the great mass of the 99.999% between is a wall of grey, lighter at one end and darker at the other, but grey. For some people, this is heresy or foolishness, life is divided evenly between white and black; order and chaos, good and bad, us and them.

When I was on active duty in the US Army, there was a sergeant who loved to argue with me. He was a black and white guy, rules an
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-said
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
Alex is The Romance Fox
After playing a minor role in Faithful Place, Mike 'Scorcher' Kennedy is able to steal the spotlight and prove readers why he is the Squad's star detective. Assigned to work with, Kennedy picks up a brutal assault/murder over in Brianstown, colloquially known as Broken Harbour.

In Broken Harbour, Tana French's 4th novel in her Dublin Murder Squad Series, Mike ("Scorcher") Kennedy, who played a minor role in the previous book, Faithful Place, has been assi
Dan Schwent
In a lonely development on the Irish Sea, two children and their father are dead and the mother is on death's door. Who killed them? That's what Scorcher Kennedy and his new partner, Richie, mean to find out. Will what they find destroy them?

Broken Harbour is the story of one man's obsession with order and a family's gradual descent into chaos. When Pat Spain gets downsized, things start falling apart for the Spain family but was it enough for Pat to kill his family and himself?

Scorcher Kennedy
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
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Tana French continues to amaze with her fourth stunning Dublin Murder Squad novel, proving that binge-reading this series was a wonderful February treat. After playing a minor role in Faithful Place, Mike 'Scorcher' Kennedy is able to steal the spotlight and prove readers why he is the Squad's star detective. Assigned to work with rookie Detective Richie Curran, Kennedy picks up a brutal assault/murder over in Brianstown, colloquially known as Broken Harbour. When they arrive, the detectives dis ...more
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2020
This was a good story with plenty of excellent police work and, for the most part, an interesting relationship between Michael Kennedy and his new partner Richie Curran.

Kennedy is the Dublin Murder Squads' star detective and he has a very high opinion of himself. As he is the narrator we hear his opinions, but we can see from how he deals with others that he is arrogant and single minded. Curran on the other hand is a sympathetic and caring person and brings a balance to their partnership.

The cr
Khanh, first of her name, mother of 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 isol
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
switterbug (Betsey)
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is the fourth book in Tana French's 'Dublin Murder Squad' series, but - like the others - it can be read as a standalone.


Patrick and Jenny Spain and their two young children - Emma and Jack - living in an unfinished, decaying housing development in Brianstown (formerly Broken Harbor) Ireland are attacked.

Patrick and the children are dead and Jenny is barely alive.

Mike ("Scorcher") Kennedy and his rookie partner Richie Curran are assigned the case.

As usual with Tana French's books on
Em Lost In Books
Tana French is a author that I see on my home page frequently. Most of her books are claimed to be the best in their genre. so i was super excited to start this book and i think this was my biggest mistake.

While this started as a really gripping story with murder of a family and our detectives, Scorcher and Curran, searching for the murderer like hounds. They had their ups and down during the case. The newbie, Curran, showed a lot of potential during the investigation. He was like the fresh air
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
Jeanette (Again)
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.
Joe Valdez
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-suspense
The fourth novel by Tana French and #4 in a series narrated by a detective of or working with the Murder Squad in Dublin would've been a convenient spot for the bestselling author to go on auto-pilot and take a coffee break. She's earned it, writing three phenomenal novels in steady succession. Published in 2012, there are major challenges with this one, not only to spin another intoxicating murder mystery, but do so with main characters who seem to be running for Prick of the Year honors. In sp ...more
Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another great thriller from Tana French!

Broken Harbor is the fourth book in French's Dublin Murder Squad series, and it follows Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy and his rookie partner, Richie, who are trying to solve the murders of a father and his two children. The mother survived the attack, but doesn't remember much. Besides working on the case, Scorcher is also trying to deal with his mentally ill sister who keeps causing trouble.

One of the things I especially liked about Broken Harbor was Scorcher
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: babble-added, weep
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
Sep 20, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sonja Arlow
4.5 stars

There was a constant malevolent creepiness to this story, in fact all the books in this series has a dark feel to it but this one was particularly so. These books never have a breakneck speed however I always feel as if I have been put through a wringer when I am done reading.

I normally don’t like male narrators and took a risk getting this on audio, but I ended up loving it. Stephen Hogan you did an excellent job.

Tana French writes in such a way that her characters always leave a mark
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have recently discovered Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, and I don’t want to stop. It is that good. Having just finished Broken Harbor, I am finding it difficult to compare one book to another. Each novel is its own entity, which takes on a vibrant life of its own. Broken Harbor is such a yoke, as the Irish character in the novel might say. It is a thing that cannot be named, or at least, I hardly know where to start.

Because the book is written in first person, narrated by Detective
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Broken Harbor...questions? Contains spoilers 22 1173 Nov 04, 2019 11:37AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover 2 17 Feb 28, 2019 01:40PM  
Play Book Tag: Broken Harbor - Tana French - 3.5* 10 24 Dec 28, 2018 12:08PM  
His sister-Dena?? 2 34 Aug 19, 2018 05:07AM  
Play Book Tag: Broken Harbor / Tana French. 4.5 stars 1 13 Jan 24, 2018 08:39PM  
Goodreads Librari...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Please combine 4 24 Nov 22, 2017 02:08AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Faithful Place by Tana French Summary and Study Guide
  • All the Devils Are Here (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #16)
  • The Glass Hotel
  • The Guest List
  • Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike, #5)
  • The Turn of the Key
  • The Scholar (Cormac Reilly, #2)
  • Case Histories (Jackson Brodie #1)
  • The Ruin (Cormac Reilly, #1)
  • Long Bright River
  • When Will There Be Good News? (Jackson Brodie, #3)
  • One by One
  • A Better Man (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #15)
  • The Hunting Party
  • One Good Turn (Jackson Brodie, #2)
  • The Vanishing Half
  • The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)
  • Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)
See similar books…
Tana French is the New York Times bestselling author of In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, The Secret Place, The Trespasser and The Witch Elm. Her books have won awards including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry Awards, the Los Angeles Times Award for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Dublin with her family.

Other books in the series

Dublin Murder Squad (6 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)
  • The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad #6)

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
35 likes · 12 comments
“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.” 71 likes
“Only teenagers think boring is bad. Adults, grown men and women who've been around the block a few times, know that boring is a gift straight from God. Life has more than enough excitement up its sleeve, ready to hit you with as soon as you're not looking, without you adding to the drama.” 57 likes
More quotes…