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The Night Ferry (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Mass Market Paperback – July 29, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
At the start of the sharply plotted third thriller from Australian author Robotham (after Suspect and Lost), London police detective Alisha Barba, a Sikh woman who's recovering from a back injury incurred in the line of duty in Lost ("After six operations and nine months of physiotherapy I am fit again, with more steel in my spine than England's back four"), receives a brief note from a school friend, Cate, whom she hasn't heard from in eight years: "I'm in trouble. I must see you. Please come to the reunion." At the school reunion, the pregnant Cate tells Ali that someone is after her baby. As Cate and her husband, Felix, are leaving the event, a car strikes them both, killing Felix instantly and fatally injuring Cate. Insp. Det. Vincent Ruiz, Ali's crotchety colleague, accompanies her to Amsterdam in search of answers that involve drugs and frozen human embryos. In keeping with the opening sentence's invocation of Graham Greene, the author's terse, resonant prose hides more than it reveals. Readers will hope Robotham has many more books of this caliber in him. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Robotham gave the lead role in last year's Lost to London homicide inspector Vincent Ruiz, a supporting character from the accomplished Suspect (2005). Here he shines the spotlight on Ali Barba, who served as Ruiz's able sidekick until her back was broken by a baddie. Thematic elements also link entries in this sort-of series: each follows a British professional (psychologist or cop) confronting the fallout of crimes against children. This time, Barba's drawn into an international baby-selling conspiracy that may include the forced impregnations of immigrants. Although her strong will and young runner's physique help effect full rehabilitation, the sensible Sikh detective puts off returning to the Metropolitan Police when an estranged friend is killed and discovered to have been faking her pregnancy. With an assist from the retired-but-still-salty Ruiz, Barba begins untangling a mystery as twisted and slippery as an umbilical cord. Robotham sometimes risks subverting the story to a social message, but the plot takes several unexpected turns, and Barba proves a refreshingly different kind of protagonist for a British crime novel. Frank Sennett
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is compelling, thought provoking and haunting. However, the twists, turns and components to the story feel too extended at times.
The end of the book gives rise to the idea that another book for Alisha is in the offering.
The story is the sad plight of victims of people smuggling . This is a burgeoning problem worldwide and one that is very hard to stamp out. So this novel is a mixture of fiction and fact. The book flowed and I couldn't put it down, I couldn't wait to find out the fate of everyone involved. There is also the thread running through following the lives of the detectives ( often amusing..especially the female one!)
I will not go through the storyline, better to read it cold as I did, and enjoy. I had the pleasure of meeting Michael at one of his book launches in Australia...he lives in Sydney. He was a great speaker and very, very interesting. Yes he is an Aussie!
I have enjoyed quite a few of Michael's books and am a great fan . Do yourself a favour, if you haven't read any of Michael's books...start now!
'Trust no-one' could be the tag line for this book as Barba relentlessly pursues her quarry and, in the process, risks everything for her best friend: her career, her lover and even her life.
I really enjoyed getting to know Barba in more depth. Conflicted, honest, brave and not afraid to take risks or invest in others (eventually!) she is a joy to get to know. That Vincent Ruiz returns was a bonus. Seeing him through yet another's eyes (other than Joe's) also gave him additional depths and enhanced his already admirable qualities.
I love the way Robotham writes. Whether it's his pithy one-liners (when describing young people defacing a wall, he writes they were 'practicing their literacy skills') or the poignant insights he offers into prostitution, parenthood or the complex relationships we form with family, friends, and others we love, there is such beauty and elegance to his writing. Robotham is capable of poetic prose, or sharp, moody scenes. His descriptions of Amsterdam were wonderful. The canals, the red light district and the cobbled streets were brought to life. Equally, however, Robotham captures the horror of confinement and the physical and emotional roller coaster of childbirth. This book segues from making the reader feel assured to placing us, through the characters, in situations where we lose our equilibrium and you have to keep reading in order to regain footing. Reading The Night Ferry is, like all Robotham books, an utterly thrilling experience.
With Michael Robotham you get your money's worth. I love reading in this genre and do so widely and Robotham is one of my favorites. I notice he has a new one coming out in August called Watching You. He's one of the few authors (Michael Connelly and Jo Nesbo being a couple of others) whose stuff I will continue to read. I am not looking for earth shaking writing...I'm looking for good story telling and believable plots that keep me guessing. I like characters who can carry a series like Vincent Ruiz. If Alisha Barba were to be the main character of the series, I'd probably stop reading. As a diversion of one story, she is fine, but I get her story.
The Joe O'Laughlin series with Ruiz as partner is ok...not as much fun as Lost with Ruiz but I've continued to read them and have read all of them except Bleed for Me.
Robotham likes to move his plots around and likes to move quickly. Secondary characters by their nature in this genre are not going to be well developed, but Robotham at least gives them enough not to be cardboard cutouts and not all the authority figures are pompous idiots.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While entertaining, I once again found this one lacking compared to his Joseph O'Laughlin series.Read more