Saturday, September 8, 2012

What To Do On A Hot Day

This is how I spent one of the especially hot days of summer:

     Lounging in the sun on my cat towel with off-brand diet coke, left over brunch (caprese omelet, yum!) and reading part of Tana French's newest novel, 'Broken Harbor.' I was super excited when I found out Tana French was coming out with a new novel this summer. She writes captivating mystery novels involving various members of Dublins murder squad. I like her books because not only does she create gripping plots but her characters have heart and feel like real, multidimensional people rather than flat and unrealistic characters. Because in the mystery genre an intricate and interesting plot is so important to the books success, some writers don't put as much effort into creating realistic characters. But Tana French is just as successful at her twist and turn plots as she is at her characters and quality of writing. My favorite book she wrote is 'The Likeness', but I quite enjoyed her newest 'Broken Harbor.'
    The story centers around Mick Kennedy, a by-the-books detective who is tasked with solving a horrendous crime involving a slain family. Although the two children and father die, some how the mother pulls through and survives her injuries. With the help of rookie cop Richie Curan, Kennedy must solve the crime. The process of solving the murders is complicated by Kennedys own connection to the place where the murder's took place, which is Broken Harbor. When he was a small boy, his family use to vacation in Broken Harbor until the horrible day his mother committed suicide at Broken Harbor.
Besides the central mystery of the book, "Broken Harbor' touches on many important issues. It is an exploration into how the Recession effects family dynamics. It shows how the shifting economic realities forces people to reexamine their own values and personal identities and how these confrontations can be devastating in many different ways. Most interestingly to me the book explores how a person can be motivated to act against their own set of values or morals. Many different characters in this book are confronted with situations that compel them to act in ways against their moral code or against societies moral code.
    Broken Harbor was an interesting, unpredictable and unsettling read. Like most books that focus so heavily on the impacts of the recession, it's also a bit depressing. I would recommend this book although it is not for the faint of heart. There are a couple of scenes that are gruesome and hard to read, but the book does not delight in the gruesome descriptions like some other mysteries I have read.

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