In a spotless suburban home in Ireland, a man and two children are found dead, and a badly-wounded woman is rushed to the hospital. They are residents of Broken Harbor, a nearly-abandoned new development left in the lurch after the housing crisis. This is how Detective Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy finds the Spain family, and has his chance to be top detective on the murder squad. In addition to taking on the biggest case of the year, he has a rookie, Richie Curran, to break in.
Detective Kennedy, a scrupulous man who holds fast to the rules, seems to be the one for the job. His new man, Curran, is catching on fast and even picking up on things Kennedy doesn’t see. But that, along with Kennedy’s dark connection to Broken Harbor, is exactly the problem. This psychological thriller examines not just the motives and foibles of murderers and victims, but of the detectives who are charged with untangling them.
At times I couldn’t put it down – French sustains the tension masterfully. But for me the novel lost steam at the end, and I dutifully finished it so I could tie up loose ends. Nevertheless, French is a recommendable crime novelist, especially for those who don’t like a lot of gore and violence. This is the fourth book in what some have dubbed the “Dublin Murder Squad” series, but they don’t need to be read in any particular order.