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Break and Enter

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  155 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Peter Scattergood is a Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney, a relentless and clever prosecutor who has just landed the biggest case of his career--a double homicide, involving the mayor's nephew and his mistress. This is not the best time for his wife to walk out on their crumbling marriage and to disappear. As Peter tries to find his wife, and to build his case, he i ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Picador (first published 1990)
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Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  155 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Robert Rosenthal
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: none
I am a fan of Colin Harrison, having read The Havana Room many years ago. I would still put it on my top 20 list of contemporary fiction. Therefore, I began Break and Enter with high expectations -- never a good idea I've discovered. This is a novel with lots of potential, but like many first efforts (in the Acknowledgments Harrison thanks his editor for taking on an unpublished author), it sadly falters. There are several reasons for this. But first, the positives. The depiction of Philadelphia ...more
Dewayne Stark
Oct 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tried reading this on my Kindle App and had to quit before finishing it.
May 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was more a novel about a guy (an ass't state attorney general) trying to win his wife back than it was a legal thriller. That was fine, & there were some excellent sections. But the actions the protagonist took near the end of the book so beggared belief that I was quite disappointed & certainly can't recommend the book.

Let me add that this novel was published in 1990; his The Finder, published 18 years later in 2008, was an excellent book in the mystery/thriller category, tho'
May 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This story line had great potential but never delivered. It starts out good enough, building the characters and an intriguing plot line, but then half way through everything gets disjointed and difficult to follow. At times I felt I was reading a different book that's how detached the story became. I kept thinking it would get better and all come together but it never did and then, to top it all off, the last chapter/ending was pretty far fetched in my opinion. Wouldn't recommend.
Sam Reaves
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anybody who still doubts that crime fiction can be literature needs to read Colin Harrison. What he does is not exactly mystery, not exactly suspense, just rich, ambitious novels about people and the crimes that change their lives. In this one, a Philadelphia prosecutor juggles the breakup of his marriage, a high-profile murder case and corruption on several levels. A great read from a very underrated novelist.
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very different from the two other Colin Harrison novels I have read to date. Sort of a John Grisham wannabe. Rather clumsily assembled and not particularly gripping. When the descriptions of Philadelphia are more interesting than either the plot or the characters...there is something definitely missing.
Peter Genild
Jan 04, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love all of Colin Harrison's other books (and so will you, if you're into thrillers set in New York City and written in a Paul Auster kind of vein) but this, his debut, is quite a disaster. Avoid at all cost.
Erik Tanouye
I didn't buy the ending. But the set-up was great, and his other books are worth reading -- thrillers without the bad writing that mars many other thrillers.

Gossip: He's married to Kathryn Harrison, author of "The Kiss"
Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This started out okay, and I enjoyed it, but then it seemed to get somewhat tediousl, then a little preposterous and off kilter. The Chicago Tribune blurb on the front cover said, "Unpredictable to the very last page, so I expected something more dramatic than the author delivered.
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was excited about this because it takes place in Philly, but the story just drags on and isn't as compelling as it sounds like it should be.

Note: as of 10/29/10, the summary for this book as listed on goodreads is not at all what the novel's about.
M Har
Joe Zimmerman
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great start...
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book in which the main character was flawed and not terribly likable. The story kept me going however, and I am glad to have read it - good writing.
Peter A. Hendricks
A gripping legal thriller!

A compelling plot, yes, but much more than that, Harrison confirms what an extraordinary and knowing student of human nature he really is. Superb!
Julia Williamson
I don't remember what I think....story is lost in time.
I didn't particularly care for this book. There was just not much to it and a very boring ending.
Alan Rainey
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Colin Harrison is a crime novelist. He is a vice president and senior editor at Scribner.
He lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with his wife, the writer Kathryn Harrison, and their three children (Sarah, Walker and Julia).

He attended: Haverford College, BA 1982; University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. MFA 1986

His short nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Washington