In this one, as the blurb says, in Broken Harbour, a ghost estate outside Dublin – half-built, half-inhabited, half-abandoned – two children and their father are dead. The mother is on her way to intensive care. Scorcher Kennedy is given the case because he is the Murder squad’s star detective. At first he and his rookie partner, Richie, think this is a simple one: Pat Spain was a casualty of the recession, so he killed his children, tried to kill his wife Jenny, and finished off with himself. But there are too many inexplicable details and the evidence is pointing in two directions at once.
This story is about love, and obsessed love; about keeping up appearances, about old stories.
The Spain’s house has holes in all the walls. There are video cameras and mesh nailed over the ceiling door to the attic. What is going on there?
This is French’s creepiest tale yet, and despite the death of three people, less bloody than you might imagine. It is creepy because that abandoned development is creepy, with its many half built houses left in mid-construction. It is a testament to devastated expectations and hopes. It is creepy because of all the surveillance equipment. It is sad, terribly sad, because of the early buyers who bought into the dream now are stuck in the nightmare, unable to sell their homes and move.
Great book. That’s all I can say. Great book.