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The Suspect Hardcover – January 22, 2019
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“A nail-biting tale of missing teens and the parents who worry for them. Fiona Barton’s first two novels, The Widow and The Child, were international bestsellers....The Suspect deserves equal success. It’s...expertly written....Barton’s characterizations are exceptional.”—The Washington Post
“In The Suspect, Fiona Barton mixes universal truths with a thrilling tale.”—USA Today
“[I]n Barton's expert hands, The Suspect transcends the typical to become something more: A gripping psychological suspense about the changing relationship between parents and their grown children.…masterfully written, expertly plotted, and skillfully paced….Using her exceptional storytelling skills and her keen insight into the minds of each of her characters…Barton creates a twisty mystery that packs a serious emotional punch.”—Bustle
“Utterly engrossing...I lived inside this book for two days—and I’m still thinking about it. Superb!”—Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door
“Barton is a stunning storyteller. Her career as a journalist has helped make this story terrifyingly real. Every turn of the plot feels authentic and very scary.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“The exceedingly twisty tale...will test Kate, and her painfully conflicting loyalties, to the limit. Barton’s many fans will be rewarded.”—Publishers Weekly
“[A] tense, character-driven exploration of expectations and independence.”—Booklist
"A stylish, beautifully written and perfectly pitched thriller that will have you racing to the denouement"—Cara Hunter, international bestselling author of Close to Home
“Intelligent, insightful and compelling. A clever, twisting whodunnit that delivers an emotional punch. I loved it.”—C. L. Taylor, international bestselling author of The Missing
“A fast-paced whodunnit with heart, characters I feel I know and a deliciously dark twist.”—Gillian McAllister, international bestselling author of Everything But the Truth
“Fiona Barton has taken a nightmarish scenario and woven it into a dark and twisty tale....This is a novel with real heart and a thoroughly surprising and thought-provoking ending.”—Lesley Kara, author of The Rumor
Praise for The Widow
An NPR Best Book of the Year
One of The Wall Street Journal’s 5 “Killer Books” of the Year
One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year
“If you liked Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, you might want to pick up The Widow. Engrossing. Suspenseful.”—Stephen King
“A twisted psychological thriller you’ll have trouble putting down.”—People
“Barton knows how to ramp up tension.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[A] twisty tale...that will blow your mind.”—Oprah.com
“A smartly crafted, compulsively readable tale.”—Entertainment Weekly
“The ultimate psychological thriller!...The ending totally blew me away.”—Lisa Gardner
“[Barton] delivers the goods...Richly character-driven in a way that is both satisfying and engrossing.”—The Washington Post
Praise for The Child
An NPR Best Book of the Year
A Bustle Best Thriller Novel of the Year
“Tense, tantalizing, and ultimately very satisfying...one of the year’s must-reads.”—Lee Child
“An engrossing, irresistible story…and an absolutely fabulous read.”—Shari Lapena
“Startling twists—and a stunning, emotionally satisfying conclusion.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A lightning-paced, twisty story with an ending so surprising you might have to read it twice.”—Good Housekeeping
“[An] intriguing, twisty tale....nothing and no one is who they seem in this evocative puzzler.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A tense and rightly written tale that keeps the reader engaged and entertained....a page-turning whodunit.”—USA Today
“This being a Barton thriller, there’s more to pretty much everything than meets the eye.”—The Boston Globe
About the Author
- Publisher : Berkley (January 22, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1101990511
- ISBN-13 : 978-1101990513
- Item Weight : 1.47 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.4 x 1.28 x 9.33 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #461,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth—and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, whom she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling.
As the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think…
My Thoughts: I have enjoyed other books by this author, including the recurring appearance of Kate Waters, the journalist. She feels like an old friend, and her first person narrative personalizes her perspective even more.
How does the addition of Kate’s own son, Jake, add to the intensity?
I liked the short chapters and the switching between parents, detectives, and journalists…giving us an emotional layer we might otherwise lose in the mix.
While the detectives, parents, and journalists are revealing their stories, we see flash backs of the girls in Thailand, and with each page, we see that danger has been lurking from the beginning.
We also see the early conflicts, primarily because Alex had been planning the trip with an old friend, Mags, who had bowed out at the last moment. The substitution of Rosie, who was not a very close friend, would turn out to be a big mistake.
Will the revelations bring peace? Or will more pain and conflict arise? A slow build that didn’t feel slow, since we moved from one set of characters to another, The Suspect held my interest throughout, while touching that emotional core as I empathized with the characters.
As the police and press shift from one suspect to another, taking many wrong turns along the way, I kept guessing, and then learning something different at the next turn. The final answers left a few loose threads…and some moral ambiguity. 5 stars.
The central story is about Rosie and Alex who travel to Thailand for their gap year. The two are very different with Alex having a stronger moral compass. Rosie wants to party while Alex wants to see and experience the country. What happens to them and why forms the central mystery/suspense of the book. No spoilers here. Around them, there are other characters in Thailand and Rosie and Alex's families at home in England. The reader also spends time with a detective and reporter who were also in this author's earlier novels. Their relationships and backstories figure prominently in the narrative. There is an overlap in that Kate is reporting but her son is also traveling in Thailand and a part of the story's events.
This novel deals with tragedy and the impact of a difficult upbringing. I won't say about whom or whose so as not to spoil the suspense. Yet, despite this, I found that I did not care about the characters or story as much as I had hoped to.
Top reviews from other countries
Two English girls have gone missing on their gap year in Thailand and as Kate's own son, Jake, is also in Thailand, Kate is desperate to get out there and onto the story.
The novel is told mainly through three points of view, 'The Reporter', 'The Mother' and 'The Detective.' Ironically, Kate is both a mother and a reporter in this particular case and it's not a nice feeling being on the wrong side of the pack.
This book has action packed into each chapter and really is unputdownable. In my opinion, this is the best of the three, although I would also rate The Widow and The Child as five star reads.
As someone who lived in Bangkok at the time this book was written I was looking forward to how the city would be portrayed. With no disrespect meant to the author, I was disappointed to see that she stuck with the stereotypical view: Khaosan Road, Nana Plaza etc. The Thais come off badly in this book, and that's the problem, they are just mentioned in passing and consistently portrayed as nameless, useless, corrupt etc. I came away wondering if the author had ever actually been to Bangkok. There is a huge plot hole at the end of the novel which I can't describe without ruining the story. So I will only say that Suvarnabhumi has biometrics - on arrival and departure - so a certain character's travel movements would not have been able to take place.
These are minor points but they did affect my enjoyment of the story, perhaps because I've lived in Bangkok and am rather fond of it. It's not all sleaze and Khaosan.
Small rant aside, I enjoyed the story, it was cleverly put together and I would read more by this author.
I was absolutely gripped by this book and read it in two days I just could not put it down. Fortunately I am not a parent with teenage children which is probably a good thing as after reading this I would not want to let them go anywhere! The proof of a good book for me is one that you are still thinking about days after reading it and this is definitely the case for me. A cracking must read and I can't wait for the next book to come out.
I’m mightily impressed at how Barton has developed Kate Waters over time, transforming her from an essentially one-dimensional hard-nosed, single-minded journalist, into a working mother of adult sons, who genuinely cares about the victims of the crimes she investigates.
This latest case sees Kate’s personal and professional life clash when she finds herself at the center of an investigation. Instead of pursuing a story, she is the story. Her elder son, Jake, who has been working in Thailand after dropping out of Uni, becomes a suspect in the deaths of two English girls in Bangkok. When Jake disappears, Kate must weigh her loyalties as a mother against her moral responsibility to the truth. It’s an agonizing dilemma, and one that Barton describes vividly and believably.
Heading the police investigation is DI Bob Sparkes, another character Barton has gone to pains (over the space of three novels) to flesh out well beyond the stereotype. Like Kate, Bob finds his private life and work colliding in a way he finds impossible to balance. The sacrifice he makes for the sake of the case adds a deeply poignant note to the narrative.
I just love Barton’s take on the traditional crime novel. There are loads of series out there with female leads who conform to a particular cliché: usually either high-flying or maverick detectives. As a reporter, Kate brings a refreshing, new perspective to the genre. And her methods are lent real authenticity by the fact that her creator, Barton, is a former journalist herself. For me, this is one of the big pulls of her novels: the insight into the way the press and the police work both independently and together (and sometimes in competition) to solve a crime.
I look forward very much to Kate Waters’ next case.
Thanks for reading my review. I hope you found it helpful. You can find more candid book reviews on my profile page.