By Tana French
Viking, $27.95, 450 pages

The fourth novel in Tana French’s Dublin murder squad series brings Faithful Place’s rigid detective Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to the forefront. As he narrates Broken Harbor, the reader finds out just why playing  by the rules is so important to him. With a rookie partner at his side, an unethical colleague plotting behind his back, and an unstable sister in his face at the worst times, Mick is trying to solve a triple homicide in a place that’s haunted him since childhood. The Spain family tried to follow the rules, dreaming of a quiet suburban life in their first house. What they got was a violent nightmare in an unfinished housing development. So, who attacked them, fatally stabbing the father, smothering the children, and leaving the mother in critical condition? Why? And can Mick find the truth in spite of false confessions, compromised evidence, and personal demons pulling him apart?

Tana French’s chain-linked novels do not disappoint. A peripheral character from one book becomes the narrator of another, and the shift in perspective is fascinating. French’s books aren’t just thrillers or mysteries; they’re well-crafted character studies written with care and eloquence, prime examples of literary suspense with a wide appeal.

Reviewed by Leah Sims