Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review | Broken Harbor by Tana French

Broken Harbor by Tana French
Published by Penguin on 2012-07-24
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective

The latest New York Times bestseller from the acclaimed author of In the Woods and Faithful Place   Tana French’s rise can only be called meteoric. Starting with her award-winning debut, French has scored four consecutive New York Times bestsellers and established herself as one of the top names in the genre. Broken Harbor is quintessential French—a damaged hero, an unspeakable crime, and an intricately plotted mystery—nestled in a timely examination of lives shattered by the global economic downturn. Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy always brings in the killer. Always. That’s why he’s landed this high-profile triple homicide. At first, he thinks it’s going to be simple, but the murder scene holds terrifying memories for Scorcher. Memories of something that happened there back when he was a boy.

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Tana French is my book wife. If I were to discover that she was a lesbian, I would be tempted to switch teams and actively pursue the brilliant brain responsible for some of the most fantastic novels that I’ve ever read. I am a card carrying member of her library, and hungrily absorbed her three previous novels, In the Woods, The Likeness, and Faithful Place. I didn’t get to devour Broken Harbor fresh off the presses, but now that I have, I am both sated and aching for her next masterpiece.

One of the many things I adore about her books, is that although each book is a stand alone, starting with her second novel, The Likeness, each successive novel follows a character that we meet in a previous novel. And in her enviable brilliance, we get to see a different aspect of this character as the story is told from their first person point of view. I wasn’t particularly a fan of Michael “Scorcher” Kennedy in Faithful Place, but I was completely invested in him in this novel. Aspiring authors, if you want to see an example of how to write a novel in first person perspective, with witty flare, read EVERY one of French’s novels, and take notes.

The language of the novel is first rate, and incites you into a rabid consumption of her beautiful words. As a writer myself, I want to bow down to her for the intricately woven dual story line in each of these novels: the current mystery/police case is intimately connected to the pasts of our protagonists. Each of these novels has tremendous ‘wow’ moments, and Broken Harbor delivers just as well as its previous brethren. I cannot wait until Tana French pens the next one. And I am on pins and needles to see if my guess at who the protagonist will be is right.

Take my advice. Purchase your literary ticket to Ireland and buy this novel.

Five out of five stars

Happy Reading!!

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