Book Nook: Broken Harbor, by Tana French

Aug 13, 2012

Tana French just published her fourth novel in a mystery series that features the Dublin Murder Squad. The book immediately entered the New York Times top ten list for fiction. I taped a phone interview with French while she was in New York recently on  book tour. Here's my mini-review of the book that ran in the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News-Sun:

In her latest offering Tana French has the Dublin Murder Squad investigating a multiple homicide at a ghost estate. Half-finished housing developments known as ghost estates are a troubling legacy of Ireland’s recent economic malaise.
A family of four was apparently attacked in their home. A father and two children are dead. The mother is badly injured. Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy, a peripheral figure from the author’s previous book, “Faithful Place,” has
gotten the case. Mick heads out to “Broken Harbor” to look for clues.  There’s something odd about the crime scene. Someone has torn holes in the interior walls of the house. Who did that? What were they looking for?  Even more peculiar are the baby monitors that are set up in strange places. Truly bizarre.

Mick delves right in-they find a hideout in an abandoned building nearby.  Someone had been watching the family. They quickly apprehend this stalker and he confesses that he did it. He killed them. Whoa, slow down, that was way too easy.

While this might seem like a gory story it isn’t. French doesn’t dwell on the grisly. She specializes in performing psychological autopsies. She plumbs the mysterious depths for inklings of motivations for perpetrating crimes.