Chel's Reviews > Broken Harbor

Broken Harbor by Tana French
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's review
Aug 11, 2012

it was amazing
Read in August, 2012

It looks like I give high ratings to all the books I read, but in fact, I only bother to post about excellent books or ones that annoy me so much I have to complain. I don't comment on the ordinary books.

This one was incredible. The narrating voice is one of those cops who show up in a lot of police procedurals, not as villains, but as "bad guys" nonetheless -- he is arrogant, smug, complacent, he knows best, he always knows right from wrong, and everyone else should just get out of his way. But French takes you inside his head, his story, and his life, and he becomes somewhat sympathetic and very much fascinating.

A middle class family is murdered in their home at night. The adults were the "golden couple" that everyone liked and looked up to, the ones who did everything right, until the economy went bust and they got dragged down into humiliation and despair, covered by a thin veneer of "it's all OK." What happened on the inside of their lives, and how did it end up in their murders? Not in any of the usual ways.

Protagonist Scorcher Kennedy believes if you do everything right and follow the rules you can keep the wolves at bay. His rookie partner is more skeptical, and they argue about who is to blame. The emerging, fraught partnership is as interesting and as troubling as everything else in this story.

I would love to be part of a bookgroup discussing the question this book leaves you with: who is at fault (a different question than whodunit)?
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Slattery Chel, I am interested in reading this book after having read your review. Did you read In The Woods?

Chel I've read all her books. My favorite was "The Likeness." It's based on a totally unrealistic premise, but I was mesmerized nonetheless.

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