Broken Harbour
November 11, 2019 6:57 AM - by Tana French - Subscribe

Mick “Scorcherˮ Kennedy is the star of the Dublin Murder Squad. He plays by the books and plays hard, and thatʼs how the biggest case of the year ends up in his hands. On one of the half-abandoned “luxuryˮ developments that litter Ireland, Patrick Spain and his two young children have been murdered. His wife, Jenny, is in intensive care. At first, Scorcher thinks itʼs going to be an easy solve, but too many small things canʼt be explained: the half-dozen baby monitors pointed at holes smashed in the Spainsʼ walls, the files erased from the familyʼs computer, the story Jenny told her sister about a shadowy intruder slipping past the houseʼs locks. And this neighborhood—once called Broken Harbor—holds memories for Scorcher and his troubled sister, Dina: childhood memories that Scorcher thought he had tightly under control.

Fourth in the Dublin murder series, starring a minor antagonist from book 3 who ends up (to my mind) very sympathetic. This is probably my favourite of the series.
posted by jeather (5 comments total)
This is probably my favorite of the series as well, although it runs almost neck and neck with In the Woods.
posted by holborne at 7:20 AM on November 11, 2019

I enjoyed reading this but I found the ending profoundly unsatisfactory. I was sure the big reveal was going to be some problem with the environment (ie the housing development or house) was causing both of the adults to hallucinate. Carbon monoxide poisoning or something.
posted by bq at 7:34 AM on November 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Agree with bq. Interesting as a psychological study, but unsatisfying as a murder mystery.
posted by peacheater at 6:24 AM on November 19, 2019

I really liked this one and found it thrillingly creepy (I also listened to the audiobook, which was fantastic). Mick/Scorcher is so annoying—though the background about his family made him much more sympathetic. But regarding the murders, I still wasn’t sure what to make of it all. I mean we know who the murderer was, but wtf was up with the




otter and the animal traces in the attic and around the house? I know there are real world explanations for it but it seemed I was supposed to have lingering doubt. There are supposedly traces of supernatural in all French’s books...I guess this is an example?

Oh hang on a minute! I seem to recall reading something about the myth of the selkie and this book. I’ll see if I can find a link.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:38 AM on November 30, 2019

Okay, found it. It was a comment from blueshammer in Ask Metafilter with the word in ROT13.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:51 AM on November 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

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