Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
The whiplash of Ireland’s economic boom and then collapse has led to murder in Broken Harbor, Tana French’s latest suspenseful psychological thriller, the can’t-look-away fourth book in her Dublin Murder Squad series. A family of four is found dead in their home, one of the few houses completed and occupied in a partially constructed estate that has been abandoned by its now AWOL builder.
Assigned to the case is Mick (Scorcher) Kennedy, the longtime rival and nemesis of the previous book’s main character Frank Mackey. After a family tragedy Scorcher grew up to be something of a control freak, seeing the world in absolutes of black and white, but that has generally served him well on the murder squad, giving him a high solve rate. Unfortunately the events of the last book were disastrous for him and his position on the murder squad. Scorcher needs to redeem himself by wrapping up this very high profile case as quickly as possible, but though early on it looked like this murder would fall easily into one of Scorcher’s neat, time-proven templates, the truth is proving elusive.
Scorcher is training a new member of the squad, and while the rookie is inexperienced his knack of putting people at ease is a good complement to Scorcher’s high intensity, rule-obsessed style. Maybe loner Scorcher has finally found a real and worthy partner? But nothing is simple here. Scorcher’s mentally ill sister is complicating his life at just the wrong time and his partner is resisting his efforts to follow the most obvious path to solving their case.
Tana French’s rich with nuance novels are too complex to have heroes and villains you either cheer or boo. Scorcher seemed pompous and unlikable in her last book, but she has successfully gotten into his head and made him a sympathetic character here. It makes me wonder who will be the main character in her next book. Maybe the vile, black-mailing Quigley?