13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A master class in detective fiction,
This review is from: Broken Harbour (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Detective Scorcher Kennedy makes things clear from the start. He gets given high profile cases because he is the best - and this case is very high profile, a family slaughter on the outskirts of Dublin with one survivor in a coma. Kennedy is given a new partner, rookie Richie Curran and he gives us a master class of good detective practice through showing Richie how it's done. I mean that literally, Kennedy addresses us personally throughout the book. His voice is very strong, so strong that I know exactly what he looks like, even though at no point are we given a physical description of him.
We learn how the master detective keeps cool, detached, professional and above all in control. He does not break the rules, because you can lose convictions that way. He does not let his personal life intrude, even if his sister is having one of her periodic manic spells. If personal stuff can't be avoided, he makes effective provision for cover which he can monitor at all times, even if at a distance. The master detective is a champion of order. That is what he does.
The murder is gruesome. Pat and Jenny Spain are the perfect couple with the perfect children. They are a golden family. Their is house beautiful, even if the new estate on which it is built is proving to be a gerry-built affair. This impression of the family stands up to very close scrutiny. They are loved and admired by all who know them, so it is hard to fit the obvious solution that Pat, losing it after being made redundant, has battered his family to death. Kennedy and Curran work the case diligently, setting all the correct machinery in place. Hard work provides an alternative answer that fits the bill, even if it doesn't answer all the questions. (Why was the family computer wiped clean? Why are there five baby monitors? Why, in such an immaculately kept house are there holes in the walls?)
Kennedy keeps it all together coping with rivalries at work, despite his sister's shenanigans and mixed memories of camping holidays near the murder site. He is confident enough in his methods to test Curran's doubts about the guilt of their suspect, seeing it as part of his learning and sure that it will just strengthen the case they have against the suspect in custody.
This is a very long, dense book that is completely absorbing. I found my engagement with Kennedy was total. His beady eye hooked me and hypnotised me and didn't let me go until he had finished. The story is his and we see what he sees and we know what he wants us to know, and although he is reticent about some things, he is mostly straight with us. The ending came as a surprise but it shouldn't have. This is an excellent thriller, but not a quick read. Don't rush it.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Mar 2012 18:32:28 BDT
O E J says:
I just want to say that your review is HELPFUL and whoever has negged it is a loser who should be ashamed of themselves
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Mar 2012 20:27:10 BDT
Mrs. K. A. P. Wright says:
Thank you. That is reassuring.
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