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on October 8, 2012
"Say you're sorry" is a gripping story in more ways than one. It's a very exciting thriller that keeps you on edge right until the end. Robotham's style has definitely evolved and you can see he has honed his already considerable skills to a point where he leaves you with a utterly absorbing and believable story.
On another level "Say you're sorry" is a story about children's hopes and dreams confronted with (mis)trust, prejudice and selfishness. Robotham does a very clever job at making the (abducted) girls' minds as genuine as the adults'. I couldn't help wondering if his experience with growing up children gave him some insights.
Being the next in the series featuring Joe O'Loughlin, it's good to see him back on track, rubbing shoulders with Vincent Ruiz once again and wondering where his family life is heading. Don't worry, you'll know more when you've finished the book.
So, a must-read for those already familiar with the series, but if you are not, you're still in for a hell of a ride.

Finally, I would like to make a remark about some of the "reviews" that are posted here. Apparently some people are dissatisfied with the Kindle concept and the price of the e-books. Fine, send a mail to Amazon. But what the point is of giving a single book a 1 star "review" if you haven't even read it, just to gripe about Kindle, is really beyond me. It lowers the average rating in a big way, for no reason whatsoever. A bit of moderating would do wonders.
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on October 11, 2012
I've long been a Michael Robotham fan and eagerly await each new book. Say You're Sorry is absolutely his best yet. I've always enjoyed the character development in Robotham's novels and this doesn't disappoint, giving us more than a peek into the soul of Joe O'Loughlin, the teenager Piper and her friend Tash, and even that of the grieving parents. The story begins with two apparently separate crimes--a dead woman found frozen in a pond/river and the murder of a couple in a remote farmhouse. How does a cold case disappearance link to a current murder? Little by little the pieces are fitted together to link the crimes, all while the protagonist deals with personal issues ( marital estrangement, a rebellious teenage daughter, his worsening Parkinson's disease). I would have liked to have more involvement of O'Loughlin's sidekick Victor Ruiz and a bit of an epilogue about Emily and her controlling father, but these are minor quibbles. I love intelligent mysteries that keep me guessing to the end and this fit the bill. Although I had narrowed my suspicions down to two (and turned out to be right) it was the journey, the getting to that conclusion that held me spellbound. If you are a fan of the intellectual mystery ala Elizabeth George or the Laura Lippman stand alones, you will enjoy the entire O'Loughlin series, but possibly this one most of all
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For years I have been saying that Michael Robotham is the next big thing. Now he's the new big thing. Say You're Sorry meets all expectations; it is the equal of all of his previous novels.

Say You're Sorry concerns the disappearance of two young girls in and around Oxfordshire. They appear to have been running away from home, but somehow they never got wherever it is that they were going and they've now been missing for three years.

The fascinating plot twist is that, from the very beginning of the book, one of the girls speaks to us (in italicized chapters), tells us that she is still alive and begins to reveal details about her abduction and confinement. Meanwhile, Joe O'Loughlin is helping the local police to find the person who did this and he is helped, eventually, by Victor Ruiz. Quick-cutting between the two points of view--Piper's and Joe's--with frequent cliffhanger endings in each chapter, is a tried and true narrative method and Robotham milks it very, very well.

The local environs are well-described and they will be familiar to all who have ridden the train from Paddington to Oxford. When was the last time that Didcot got this much attention in a novel?

Joe's relationship with his (sort-of) estranged wife makes for a nice subplot and there is an unexpected twist at the novel's end--not a triple-reverse Deaver twist, but a twist that is both plausible and unexpected.

Looney abductor with a smiling face meets spunky abductee while he's being tracked by Joe O'Loughlin: the perfect ingredients. Prediction: this will counter the biggest dose of Melatonin and keep you up into the small hours.
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on March 10, 2016
The Joe O'Loughin series is one of my newly discovered favorites. These books are beautifully written, despite their often horrifying subject matter. This particular story is tough, as it is about missing teenagers lost in the system and dismissed due to the fact that they are troubled to begin within. The book was suspenseful, thought provoking and utterly heartbreaking. It also kept me up late, as I wanted to find out how it would all play out.

I love the characterization in his books and enjoy the way the author has cultivated the friendship between Joe and Ruiz. While it will mean more if you read these books from the beginning of the series, you don't have to.
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VINE VOICEon May 7, 2014
First Sentence: My name is Piper Hadley and I went missing on the last Saturday of the summer holidays three years ago.

Two girls went missing. After three years, the body of one of the girls is found, frozen and mutilated. Is the other girl still alive? A family has been murdered in a farm house and the house torched. A young man is accused, but psychologist Joe O’Loughlin believes he is innocent and that the murder and the girls are connected.

The book starts off very well with a compelling opening of the situation from the perspective of a 15-year-old girl. Robotham captures the voices and personalities of his characters. He does have a compelling voice filled with wry humor and pragmatism.

Joe is an interesting character; very human with his own shortcomings and insecurities. Robotham does a good job of bringing readers, new and old, up to date on Joe’s life.

The story is about two cases; one which began in the past, one in the present. The threads are joined together very well and with a good building of suspense.

Where the story falls down is in its predictability. Because of its structure, you can guess the outcome, although not the villain, very early on.

“Say You’re Sorry” is not Robotham’s best work, which is sad. He is a very good writer who has written some wonderful books. Unfortunately, this is not one of them.

SAY YOU’RE SORRY (Lic Invest/Psychologist-Joe O’Loughlin-England-Contemp) – Okay
Robotham, Michael - 6th in series
Mulholland Books (LB&Co), 2012
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on February 21, 2016
Michael Robotham can always be relied upon for a good read. There is action and violence, but not overdone. For one family a happy ending but for another, not - even though she was so close to being saved. The evil perpetrator is not revealed until the very end, and I do not think anybody could have guessed who it was. Not saying too much so as not to give away the story and spoil a very good read.
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on August 4, 2013
England is blanketed by a layer of snow from a recent blizzard, whilst Joseph O'Loughlin, the Parkinson's inflicted psychologist we got to know in Robotham's earlier novels, is looking forward to spending a few days with his teenage daughter Charlie in Oxford. His plans are rudely interrupted, however, when he is asked by local police to assist with the investigation into the brutal slaying of a middle-aged couple in a nearby farmhouse overnight. Joe quickly makes the connection between the murder and a crime-scene Charlie spotted from the window of their train on the trip to Oxford, that of a young girl found frozen in the thick ice of a nearby lake. Bur who is the girl and what is her connection to the murdered couple? When Joe digs deeper, he discovers that the daughter of the farmhouse's previous tenants was abducted several years earlier together with a friend from school, never to be seen again. Sensing a connection between the "Bingham girls" and some clues found at the crime scene, Joe must try to convince police to re-open the investigation into the girls' abduction. And if the dead girl was indeed on of the Bingham girls, is there a chance that her friend could still be alive?

With Say You're Sorry, Robotham has once again delivered a well-plotted suspenseful murder-mystery in the style which has firmly cemented him on my list of favourite crime writers. From Robotham's first O'Loughlin novel Suspect I have been intrigued by psychologist Joseph O'Loughlin, a family man who not only has to fight against the obstacles brought upon him by the cruel disease Parkinson's, but who also brings a unique new perspective into the police investigations he is involved in. Following a growing trend of crime writers using protagonists from professions outside the police force to solve murder cases, Robotham uses his knowledge of psychology to pepper his novels with unique insights into the human psyche, which allow his character O'Loughlin to make headway in investigations where police efforts have failed. Although sometimes there is a danger of stereotyping human behaviour, I really enjoy O'Loughlin's characterisations of both the victims and the perpetrators in this case.

Part of the story of Say You're Sorry is being told in the first person by Piper, one of the Bingham girls, an ordinary everyday teenage girl who has fallen victim to the twisted mind of a sadistical child abductor and murderer.

My name is Piper Hadley and I went missing three years ago on the last Saturday of the summer holidays. Today I came home.

The topic of abduction and keeping young girls prisoner for years in dank basements seems to have grown in popularity amongst crime writers and their audiences, undoubtedly fuelled by real-life events covered in the news in recent years. It is hard not to be deeply affected by events like the Natascha Kampusch imprisonment, for example, especially the fact that an unspeakable crime against human rights can happen right under our noses without anyone suspecting anything (or acting on their suspicions). Robotham not only delves into the dynamics of the crime and the mind of the perpetrator, but also its effects on the victims' families, friends and communities.

There are enough red herrings amongst the investigations' clues to throw the reader off track, and I admit that the ending of the novel came as a complete surprise to me. And although the subject matter is as dark and chilly as Robotham's atmospheric description of the English winter, the author spares the reader some of the more unnecessarily gruesome and graphic scenes found in other novels with similar themes.

As with Robotham's previous books in the series, I thoroughly enjoyed Say You're Sorry and highly recommend it to all lovers of contemporary crime fiction - especially those looking for a different kind of protagonist. Robotham's attention to detail and his well-plotted storylines where nothing is left to chance or coincidence make him one of the top English crime writers of our time. I can't wait to get my hands on the next instalment in the Joseph O'Loughlin series!
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on September 20, 2013
It was only this year I discovered Michael Robotham, thanks to a cycling companion while touring Tasmania. Since then I've gone through the catalogue, starting with 'The Suspect', where the author introduces us to the wonderfully flawed characters of psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and semi-retired, world-weary cop Vincent Ruiz. The first thing you get about these books is that the writing is genuine, so effortless that you're immersed quickly into the narrative.

'Say You're Sorry' follows chronologically from Robotham's previous works, although it works perfectly well as a standalone novel, being an adventure in its own right. Those of use who have raised teenage daughters will be chillingly familiar with Joe's relationship with Charlie, his 15 year old, both with the sulky teenage barriers, and with the overwhelming desire to protect them from the kind of harm which the shady perpetrator has in mind for her contemporaries.

The whole point about a thriller is its ability to induce that sense of vicarious fear and force you to question human behaviour in its darkest manifestations. 'Say You're Sorry' does exactly that. 'Page-turner' is a hackneyed description, but in this case I have no hesitation in flogging it once again. If you've not read any of Robotham's books, please do, and work your way up to this one. You won't be sorry. Just a little tired from late nights, reading 'just one more chapter'.
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on May 14, 2013
I bought this book from a Kindle Daily Deal sale, having never heard of this author before. After reading it, I'm surprised that I hadn't read anything by him before. I usually love psychological thrillers, and Robotham's SAY YOU'RE SORRY was not a disappointment. Even though I didn't read Robotham's earlier novels in which the main character, Joe O'Laughlin, is introduced and developed, I was still able to like and relate to his character, although I wasn't as attached to him as I wish I'd been. I also thought that his psychologist work was probably a little far-fetched.

One thing that I really liked about this book was that I honestly had NO clue who the kidnapper was going to be. Usually I'm fairly decent at seeing things like that coming, but I was truly surprised when it was finally revealed. Although I liked not being able to figure it out, I think that the author could've done a better job with the kidnapper's character. The main reason I was so surprised was that he was such a minor character in the novel. Maybe it's just me, but I was almost like, "Wait, who is this again?" I think that the author could've fleshed out his character a tiny bit more without being so obvious as to give him away.

Along those same lines, after you figure out who it is, the author does little to resolve the lingering questions. There is an explanation as to why he kidnapped the girls, but I wish that it had gone into a little bit more detail. It just seemed a tiny bit far-fetched. There is also an event (which I won't give away) that occurs at the beginning of the book that has no resolution. We find out about who was responsible for this event, but don't ever learn why or how it happened.

The rest of the novel was pretty good, though. Piper's chapters were really creepy and I found myself having a hard time reading this book alone in the dark, particularly as it got closer to the end. I thought that the character development between the minor characters in the book — specifically the parents of Piper and Tash and their "friends" from the town — was interesting and very well done. We learned a lot about each of them, which made pinpointing who the kidnapper was going to be even harder.

Ultimately, it was a good, thrilling read, although I wasn't jumping up and down about it. But I am interested in reading more from this author.
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on August 11, 2013
I am new to this author's work, but found this novel to be enjoyable and compulsively readable. I was caught up in the story line, and though the idea of one of the kidnapped girls writing her experience probably doesn't stand up well to a close examination of what is plausible, it made for a great read. I found those parts, alternating with details about the main character, to be really well done.

And the plotting was tense, and kept me reading. I didn't see the end coming, but then again, I'm not good at figuring out "who did it." I just go for good stories, well told. I also like at least competent writing, and this is well enough done to not grate on me.

I found the ending a bit overdone and bloody, perhaps, but that's not so surprising given the genre.

Overall, a good read, and I'll read other of this writer's books. He reminds me a bit of Elizabeth George, another mystery writer I enjoy.
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