Saturday, August 18, 2012

Broken Harbor by Tana French

This is a big case.  A huge case.  Patrick Spain and his two small children, Emma and Jack, are dead, butchered in their home.  Jenny Spain, the mother, is clinging to life in the hospital.  Who could have murdered this family who seemed to be the golden family who had it all?

The case is assigned to Mick 'Scorcher' Kennedy and his rookie partner, Rich Curran.  It's no surprise that Mick gets the case.  He is the top detective on the squad with the highest solve rate.  He is the consummate professional and Rich can't believe his luck in drawing him as his first partner.

As they investigate, it hardly seems possible.  The perfect family.  Childhood sweethearts who married and had two gorgeous children.  A brand-new house the couple had saved for.  The good life.  But as the surface is scratched, it soon becomes apparent that the good life was in jeopardy.  Pat had lost his job and didn't seem to be able to find another in this recession.  The housing development was dying on the vine, unable to sell the completed houses.  The family had withdrawn from their friends and family.  Pat was on the Internet posting on advice blogs.  Jenny had her defenses firmly in place; a smile that said everything was still perfect.

Even Kennedy is affected by this case.  Before the development, this was a coastside town.  It happened to be the town where his family went each summer for a happy vacation; that is, until the summer that his family's tragedy happened and there were no more happy times.  Can he push aside the past to find justice for the Spain family?

This is Tana French's fourth book in her Dublin Squad series.  Each book focuses not only on a crime but on one of the detectives who solve crime in this location.  The plotting is tight and the reader learns about police procedures.  The psychological characterization rings true, racketing up the suspense in a believable fashion and making this a page-turner.  This book is highly recommended for mystery readers.

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