Reviews

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Edgar-winner French's eloquently slow-burning fourth Dublin murder squad novel shows her at the top of her game. In a half-built luxury development near Dublin, a family of four is attacked and left for dead, with only the mother clinging to life. For Det. Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy, introduced in 2010's Faithful Place, this is a case that makes-or breaks-a career. With his new rookie partner, Det. Richie Curran, Mick arrives soon after Patrick Spain and his two children, six-year-old Emma and three-year-old Jack, are discovered stabbed to death in their home, while mother Jennifer is taken to the hospital. The house, one of the few completed in the Brianstown development, is a bloody mess, and suspicion immediately falls on Patrick, who recently lost his job. The recession figures prominently, as Brianstown-once known as Broken Harbor-was abandoned by contractors when money dried up. Mick's own childhood memories of Broken Harbor are marred by tragedy and intertwined with watching over his mentally unstable sister, Dina. As usual, French excels at drawing out complex character dynamics. 5-city author tour. Agent: Darley Anderson, Darley Anderson Literary, TV & Film Agency. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Each of French's novels (Faithful Place, 2010) offers wonderfully complex and fully realized characters. Broken Harbor offers half a dozen, not least Mick Scorcher Kennedy, the Dublin Garda's top homicide detective. Scorcher is smart, tireless, dutiful, and by-the-book, and he demands no less from coworkers. But when he and his brand-new partner are assigned a savage triple homicide in a distant housing development, abandoned before completion when the Irish housing bubble burst, Scorcher is shaken; the development is located in a place that gave him the best and worst moments of his life. Broken Harbor begins as a compelling and detailed procedural but soon shifts focus to the character of its characters. Whether cops, victims, survivors, witnesses, or suspects, all are brilliantly drawn and ultimately broken by the crime and the events in their lives. Although too little known to U.S. readers, Ireland's ghost estates are a key motif: hundreds of large, abandoned developments with few occupied homes, often shabbily built and lacking critical infrastructure, far from workplaces, being reclaimed by feral nature. French's descriptive powers are both vivid and nuanced, and her deeply creepy ghost estate inspires madness and a subtle kind of gothic horror. French has never been less than very good, but Broken Harbor is a spellbinder.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

French's fourth novel about the Dublin Murder Squad (In the Woods; The Likeness; Faithful Place) opens with a gruesome triple homicide in a seaside town outside of Dublin. Patrick Spain and his two children are dead, while Spain's wife, Jennie, lands in intensive care. A by-the-book officer with a hard-nosed reputation who is saddled with a rookie partner, Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy discovers further complications when he finds suspicious surveillance equipment near the Spains' apartment. But that's not all: Mick and his troubled sister, Dina, have a disturbing history with the town of Broken Harbor-dating back to a horrific childhood experience with their mentally unstable mother. Following a pattern established with French's first and second novels, this is another "chain-linked" novel, featuring a secondary character from the previous book (in this case, Faithful Place) as the protagonist. Furthermore, French uses Ireland's current economic recession as an effective backdrop for the escalating tension and calamity within the Spain family. VERDICT French's deft psychological thriller, focusing on parallel stories of mentally ill mothers and the tragedy of depression, offers a nuanced take on family relationships that will satisfy her fans and readers of psychological thrillers and police procedurals. [See Prepub Alert, 1/8/12.]-Rebecca M. Marrall, Western Washington Univ. Libs., Bellingham (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Edgar-winner French's eloquently slow-burning fourth Dublin murder squad novel shows her at the top of her game. In a half-built luxury development near Dublin, a family of four is attacked and left for dead, with only the mother clinging to life. For Det. Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy, introduced in 2010's Faithful Place, this is a case that makes-or breaks-a career. With his new rookie partner, Det. Richie Curran, Mick arrives soon after Patrick Spain and his two children, six-year-old Emma and three-year-old Jack, are discovered stabbed to death in their home, while mother Jennifer is taken to the hospital. The house, one of the few completed in the Brianstown development, is a bloody mess, and suspicion immediately falls on Patrick, who recently lost his job. The recession figures prominently, as Brianstown-once known as Broken Harbor-was abandoned by contractors when money dried up. Mick's own childhood memories of Broken Harbor are marred by tragedy and intertwined with watching over his mentally unstable sister, Dina. As usual, French excels at drawing out complex character dynamics. 5-city author tour. Agent: Darley Anderson, Darley Anderson Literary, TV & Film Agency. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Each of French's novels (Faithful Place, 2010) offers wonderfully complex and fully realized characters. Broken Harbor offers half a dozen, not least Mick Scorcher Kennedy, the Dublin Garda's top homicide detective. Scorcher is smart, tireless, dutiful, and by-the-book, and he demands no less from coworkers. But when he and his brand-new partner are assigned a savage triple homicide in a distant housing development, abandoned before completion when the Irish housing bubble burst, Scorcher is shaken; the development is located in a place that gave him the best and worst moments of his life. Broken Harbor begins as a compelling and detailed procedural but soon shifts focus to the character of its characters. Whether cops, victims, survivors, witnesses, or suspects, all are brilliantly drawn and ultimately broken by the crime and the events in their lives. Although too little known to U.S. readers, Ireland's ghost estates are a key motif: hundreds of large, abandoned developments with few occupied homes, often shabbily built and lacking critical infrastructure, far from workplaces, being reclaimed by feral nature. French's descriptive powers are both vivid and nuanced, and her deeply creepy ghost estate inspires madness and a subtle kind of gothic horror. French has never been less than very good, but Broken Harbor is a spellbinder.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

French's fourth novel about the Dublin Murder Squad (In the Woods; The Likeness; Faithful Place) opens with a gruesome triple homicide in a seaside town outside of Dublin. Patrick Spain and his two children are dead, while Spain's wife, Jennie, lands in intensive care. A by-the-book officer with a hard-nosed reputation who is saddled with a rookie partner, Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy discovers further complications when he finds suspicious surveillance equipment near the Spains' apartment. But that's not all: Mick and his troubled sister, Dina, have a disturbing history with the town of Broken Harbor-dating back to a horrific childhood experience with their mentally unstable mother. Following a pattern established with French's first and second novels, this is another "chain-linked" novel, featuring a secondary character from the previous book (in this case, Faithful Place) as the protagonist. Furthermore, French uses Ireland's current economic recession as an effective backdrop for the escalating tension and calamity within the Spain family. VERDICT French's deft psychological thriller, focusing on parallel stories of mentally ill mothers and the tragedy of depression, offers a nuanced take on family relationships that will satisfy her fans and readers of psychological thrillers and police procedurals. [See Prepub Alert, 1/8/12.]-Rebecca M. Marrall, Western Washington Univ. Libs., Bellingham (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.