Viking, Jul 24 2012, $27.95
Someone attacks a family of four at their luxurious house, one of the few completed at the Brianstown development built on Broken Harbor as construction stopped due to lack of funding. The patriarch Patrick Spain and the two children (six years old Emma and three years old Jack) are dead from stab wounds; while the mother Jennifer is in ICU struggling to survive. Dublin Police Detective Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy (support player in Faithful Place) and his partner, rookie Detective Richie Curran lead the investigation at a locale that reminds the veteran of the tragic childhood suffered by him and his emotionally disturbed sister.
They learn that Patrick was downsized so the construction halted. The two cops consider whether Jenny committed a triple murder suicide though her injuries lean towards unlikely. Kennedy and Curran consider family and friends but find no one who loathed the Spain brood nor any motive for murder. Thus they relook at the parents who seem like victims but consider perhaps one of them had snapped.
The latest Dublin Murder Squad mystery (In the Woods and The Likeness) is a superb psychological suspense police procedural. The storyline is fast-paced as readers witness the second and third order effects on Dubliners. Character driven, fans will wonder whether the matriarch is a victim or killer as Tania French provides a strong whodunit with a stunning late twist.