Susanita (bardhlul) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 18 - Broken Harbor by Tana French

In Broken Harbour, a ghost estate outside Dublin – half-built, half-inhabited, half-abandoned – two children and their father are dead. The mother is on her way to intensive care. Scorcher Kennedy is given the case because he is the Murder Squad’s star detective. At first he and his rookie partner, Richie, think this is a simple one: Pat Spain was a casualty of the recession, so he killed his children, tried to kill his wife Jenny, and finished off with himself. But there are too many inexplicable details and the evidence is pointing in two directions at once.

Scorcher’s personal life is tugging for his attention. Seeing the case on the news has sent his sister Dina off the rails again, and she’s resurrecting something that Scorcher thought he had tightly under control: what happened to their family, one summer at Broken Harbour, back when they were children. The neat compartments of his life are breaking down, and the sudden tangle of work and family is putting both at risk . . .

This is the fourth installment in the Dublin Murder Squad series, and again a secondary character in the previous installment is the main detective in the current story. That case is mentioned a few times in vague terms, but it's not necessary to have read the earlier books. This story continues to paint a picture of a murder squad with (mostly) hard-working and very competitive detectives investigating cases and constantly giving each other crap. The murders in this case are particularly sad and troubling, and Kennedy wrestles with various consequences and complications both for the victims' friends and family as well as in his personal life.

Though his mentally ill sister is not technically a main character, she is definitely a large presence in the story. In fact, I could probably consider that this book fulfills the Read Harder Challenge task of reading a book with a main character who has a mental illness. In a way, the idea of mental illness itself is a palpable character in the book, but to say more than that would be a spoiler. THIS IS A DARK BOOK ... but very good.
Tags: european, mental health, mystery

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