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Likely Stories -- Broken Harbor by Tana French

Suspenseful story of a great detective.

I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

Tana French is one of the most talented crime writers today. She has written seven excellent novels, including Broken Harbor. Tana also has a handful of awards including the Irish Book Award for crime fiction. She lives in Dublin with her family.

Kennedy has been given a difficult murder case along with his partner, Richie Curran, who only has a couple of weeks experience on the job. The story begins, “Let’s get one thing strait: I was the perfect man for this case. You’d be amazed how many of the lads would have run a mile, given the choice—and I had a choice, at least at the start. A couple of them said it to my face: Sooner you than me, man.  It didn’t bother me, not for a second. All I felt was sorry for them. [ ] Because let’s get another thing clear, while we’re at it: I am bloody good at my job. I still believe that. I’ve been on the Murder Squad for ten years, and for seven of those, ever since I found my feet, I’ve had the highest solve rate in the place.” (1-2). Hardboiled detectives at their best.

Kennedy gets the case. ‘Do you know Brianstown?’ // ‘Haven’t heard of it.’ // ‘Neither had I. It’s one of those new places; up the coast, past Balbriggan. Used to be called Broken Bay, something.’ // ‘Broken Harbor,’ I said. ‘Yeah. I know Broken Harbor.’ // ‘It’s Brianstown now. And by tonight the whole country’ll have heard of it.’ // I said, ‘This is a bad one.’ // ‘O’Kelly laid one heavy palm on the call sheet, like he was holding it down. He said, ‘husband, wife and two kids, stabbed in their own home. The wife’s headed for the hospital; it’s touch and go. The rest are dead” (3).

O’Kelly continues, ‘I want you on this. Can you take it?’ // ‘I’d be honored.’ // If you can’t drop everything else, tell me now and I’ll put Flaherty on this one. This takes priority.’ // Flaherty is the guy with the slam dunks and the top solve rate. I said, ‘That won’t be necessary, sir. I can take it.’ // ‘Good,’ O’Kelly said, but he didn’t hand over the call sheet. He tilted it to the right, inspecting it and rubbing a thumb along his jaw. ‘Curran,’ he said. ‘Is he able for this?’ // Young Richie had been on the squad all of two weeks. A lot of the lads don’t like training in the new boys, so I do it. If you know your job, you have a responsibility to pass the knowledge on. ‘He will be,’ I said” (4).

Tana French is a talented crime writer. Broken Harbor is her latest novel, and amateur sleuths will love Tana’s books 5 Stars!

Likely Stories is a production of KWBU.  I’m Jim McKeown.  Join me again next time for Likely Stories, and happy reading!