Broken Harbor

By Tana French
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143123309, 480pp.)

Publication Date: April 30, 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Hardcover, Paperback

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.


Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2012 Indie Next List
“I keep wondering how long Tana French will be able to keep up the quality of her mesmerizing Dublin detective series, but they just keep getting better! In Broken Harbor, Mick 'Scorcher' Kennedy, the hardline murder detective who made his first appearance in Faithful Place, takes the starring role. A father and his two children are murdered and their mother is in the hospital, gravely injured. What happened in their almost abandoned luxury housing development? Ghosts of both the present and the past haunt the investigation in this atmospheric procedural.”
-- Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY


An addictive thriller from New York Times bestseller and the acclaimed author of In the Woods and Faithful Place

Tana French’s rise can only be called meteoric. Starting with her award-winning debut, French has scored four consecutive New York Times bestsellers and established herself as one of the top names in the genre. Broken Harbor is quintessential French—a damaged hero, an unspeakable crime, and an intricately plotted mystery—nestled in a timely examination of lives shattered by the global economic downturn.

            Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy always brings in the killer. Always. That’s why he’s landed this high-profile triple homicide. At first, he thinks it’s going to be simple, but the murder scene holds terrifying memories for Scorcher. Memories of something that happened there back when he was a boy.

Tana French's newest novel, The Secret Place, will be published by Viking on September 2nd, 2014.

About the Author

Tana French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the United States, and Malawi. She is the author of In the Woods (winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry awards), The Likeness, Faithful PlaceBroken Harbor (winner of the LA Times prize for Best Mystery/Thriller) and The Secret Place. She lives in Dublin with her husband and two children.

Sunday, Jun 17, 2012

Lynn Neary talks to three critics about the books you absolutely shouldn't miss this summer. Critic Laura Miller of, says it's a particularly rich literary summer because in election years, publishers release their juiciest books before the fall. More at

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

Conversation Starters from


  1. French’s protagonist, Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy, prides himself on his self–control. Is Scorcher’s self–control as strong as he imagines? In what other ways might Scorcher’s self–image be somewhat incorrect?

Praise For Broken Harbor’s Laura Miller has this advice for anyone who has not yet read EVERY Tana French novel, “Just go out and get them right now.”
NPR's Weekend Edition

“Part police procedural, part psychological thriller, all fun.”  — People ("Great Summer Reads")

“Every bit as piercingly brilliant as its predecessors . . . Readers can brace themselves for the gritty details of a typical police procedural and then sit back and savor the poetry.” — Chicago Tribune

“Tana French describes Broken Harbor, her latest thriller set in Dublin, as a ‘chain-linked’ book, because a secondary character from an earlier novel becomes ‘the narrator of the next.’ This is the world according to Mick ‘Scorcher’ Kennedy. He has his murder squad's highest solve rate, earning him the lead in a triple family murder near the seaside at Broken Harbor. Scorcher's narration is commanding and compelling, cynical and honest, and it'll keep you riveted to this book. Murder is ‘a unique crime,’ says Scorcher, ‘the only one that makes us ask why’... The novel is a complex psychological procedural, following Scorcher and his rookie partner, Richie, through their investigation, each step punctuated with Scorcher's teachable moments like ‘Nothing can trip you up like compassion.’”
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“French’s plotting is gripping and original, but perhaps most impressive is her facility with the psychological implications of murder. There is evil at work in this book, but it’s an evil that can be found within human nature rather than contrived to give the hero something to grapple with. Also on display is a bleak landscape of an Ireland hit particularly hard by the recession.”
The Daily Beast

“French is known for creating detectives that are as complex as the mysteries they solve.”
The, “Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2012 Book Preview”

“French’s eloquently slow-burning fourth Dublin murder squad novel shows her at the top of her game . . . As usual, French excels at drawing out complex character dynamics.”

“Each of French’s novels offers wonderfully complex and fully realized characters . . . French has never been less than very good, but Broken Harbor is a spellbinder.”
Booklist (starred review)

“A mystery that is perfectly in tune with the times . . . [French] continues to distinguish herself with this fourth novel, marked by psychological acuteness and thematic depth . . . There are complications, deliberations and a riveting resolution.” — Kirkus (starred review)

“French’s deft psychological thriller, focusing on parallel stories of mentally ill mothers and the tragedy of depression, offers a nuanced take on family relationships that will satisfy her fans and readers of psychological thrillers and police procedurals.”
Library Journal

Indie Bookstore Finder

Update Profile