Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Broken Harbor, Tana French, Fiction.  Read it.  French mesmerizes with this mystery, drawing you deeper and deeper into the solving of a family's mass murder set in a ghostly new development outside of Dublin.  Broken Harbor, newly minted Brianstown, was a lazy, quiet vacation spot of years past until developers got their hands on the harbor and hastily slapped up homes and sold a few to the highest bidders.  As soon as problems with the homes started, the builders deserted the site.  It is in one of these houses that Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy comes across one of the worst multiple murder scenes he has encountered in his years as a Dublin detective.  The only clues he and his rookie partner have to go by are what is left in the house and the mother, who is alive, but barely, in the hospital.  Very quickly, the partners figure out that nothing is as it seems in this home in the middle of nowhere - and the only witnesses are self-absorbed, alienated, and plugged-in-to-whatever-device-available neighbors, and the person who was hiding in the shell of the home next door.  Who was there?  Why are there baby monitors all over the house?  Why is there a very large animal trap in the attic?  Who would kill two children?  It is these questions, combined with the memories of his mother's suicide in the same place, that almost drive Scorcher to the edge.  French uncovers each clue carefully and hands them to the reader as if it is a present - just like the detectives must feel, and during the climactic twist, it feels like a punch in the gut.

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