cover image Broken Harbor

Broken Harbor

Tana French, read by Stephen Hogan. Recorded Books, library edition, unabridged, 17 CDs, 20 hrs., $132.75 ISBN 978-1-4640-4899-9

You can tell from the very start that Stephen Hogan’s narration of French’s fourth thriller about the coppers of Dublin’s murder squad is going to be a standout. It’s not just because his melodic, accented voice is such a perfect fit for the book’s protagonist, Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy. It’s that Hogan performs French’s words, turning Scorcher’s first-person narration into a nuanced, naturalistic monologue and his conversations and interrogations into what resemble full-cast ensembles. French’s book is a psychological study of its leading characters wrapped in the popular trappings of a police procedural. The case on the murder squad’s docket is a brutal attack on the Spains, a family living in a hastily gentrified suburb, that has left the father and two children dead and the mother severely wounded. Hogan does a stellar job capturing the book’s gloomy atmosphere (a result of Ireland’s economic downturn) and the effect it has on the characters. But Hogan’s greatest success is his portrayal of the highly moral Scorcher as he mentors his partner, cares for his unstable and difficult sister, and desperately tries to do the right thing even at the cost of his honor and his job. A Viking hardcover. (July)