With Broken Harbor finished, my Tana French days are over … at least until her next title comes along. Who will be her next victim – that is, not just the unfortunate next corpse(s), but the next member of the Dublin Murder Squad who will not only have to make sure that corpse gets some sort of justice, but will have to reveal the most devastating details of his or her very soul in the process. Rob had his murderous childhood in In the Woods, his partner Cassie her lonely isolation in The Likeness, her former boss Frank his violently dysfunctional family in Faithful Place, and here his colleague Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy his proximity to tragic mental illness.
Three-quarters of the Spain family are dead; the fourth barely hanging on to what’s left of her life. At first entry, their home seems an ideal haven for the perfect family of beautiful, childhood sweetheart parents and their two adored young children. But, of course, beneath the stylish veneer lurk secrets and lies just waiting to be discovered.
The Spain home is part of Ocean View, what should have been a posh, modern development in a Dublin suburb called Brianstown that collapsed with the recent economic downturn. With Patrick Spain out of work, Jenny Spain did everything she could to keep the family – and what should have been their dream house – together. But not only is the shoddy construction crumbling, the walls are literally riddled with mysterious holes and openings that even careless craftsmanship can’t explain …
When Mick and his newbie partner Richie are sent in to investigate, Mick is forced to confront his own tragic past that lies in Broken Harbor, Ocean View’s original name before its attempt to go upscale. Broken Harbor is where Mick’s family was shattered decades before by suicide, his sister lost to mental illness, and his recurring doubts originated about his own stability. He’s been able to keep his personal and professional compartments wholly separated thus far … but this time, the tide might prove too relentless to escape.
If I were to rank the Murder Squad, Mick would settle to the bottom. Introduced as an unlikable thorn in Frank’s side in Faithful Place, he never quite outgrows that virulent arrogance in Harbor. While he never reaches the sliminess of an especially jealous colleague, I shudder to think that nemesis might be in line for center stage in a future novel. Still, curiosity will not let me stay away … a French murder in Dublin? Morbidly, I’ll be there.