I’ve been waiting to read this book for a year now. It was released last summer, and the library ordered copies, but something went wrong with the audiobook copy they ordered. It led to a blank page on the site, and when I talked to the librarians about it, the entry disappeared altogether. Said it had been “repressed.” Yes, I could have read the actual book (and indeed, checked it out with that intention), but it just didn’t feel right. I’ve always listened to these books on audio! Unfortunately, a year later, there was still no copy of the audiobook in sight. I’m not sure if they never really ordered it or what, but after a year of waiting, I put the audio on ILL and got it in. I started it immediately after finishing The Little Stranger.
Sucked in immediately. I knew it would happen, and I was happy to get sucked in. The fourth book of the Dublin Murder Squad series is told from the point of view of Mike Kennedy, also known as Scorcher. He’s a model detective, always following every single rule – a trait that earns him both ire from other detectives and a solid solve rate. Now, he lands a new case – a family of four have been murdered in a half-built community an hour from Dublin, known as Broken Harbor. The mother survived her stab wounds, and it’s up to Kennedy and his rookie partner Richie to quickly figure out who killed Dad and the two kids, as well as attempted to kill Mom. Plot ends up involving a stalker and an imagined animal and a whole bunch of psychological twists. Add to that Kennedy’s own history with Broken Harbor, which used to be a seaside resort area and where his own mother killed herself, and his schizophrenic sister starting an episode of her illness right as the case breaks, and you have a very, very gripping story.
I swear, each of Tana French’s novels get better. I wasn’t sold on In the Woods, and I had some believability issues with The Likeness. I adored Faithful Place, and I think I like Broken Harbor even more. The first day I listened, I made it through almost six full disks. I finished the entire 17-disk audiobook in three days. Gripping. Absolutely unputdownable. I’m glad I chose the audio, because I would have finished the book in a single afternoon and probably stayed up way too late at night to finish. As it was, it was difficult enough to stop listening in the evenings to go to sleep. Fabulous book. And, unlike Jason predicted, Kennedy doesn’t become a broken shell of a man at the end of Broken Harbor. I loved the end, absolutely loved it. I was only sad about what happened to Richie. Originally I’d hoped he’d be the next book’s narrator, but apparently a sidekick from Faithful Place is going to take that role.
Only downside to this book was the audio production. For the most part, Stephan Hogan’s narration was solid, but I had a hard time following his character voices. The accents and vocal characterizations seemed too fluid, and periodically, though Kennedy would still be talking, I’d think it was someone else. In other words, sometimes the accent, rhythm or cant, or even the pitch of a character’s voice would change. That made it hard to keep the characters straight. Still, it was a minor thing, and I’m still glad I listened on audio.