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Suspect Hardcover – February 1, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 229 customer reviews
Book 1 of 8 in the Joe O'loughlin Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Joe O'Loughlin, a London psychologist, loves his job and loves his family—wife Julianne and eight-year-old daughter Charlie—even more in Australian author Robotham's well-written, if somewhat convoluted, debut suspense novel. O'Loughlin's life takes two disastrous turns: first, he's diagnosed with Parkinson's disease; second, while helping Det. Insp. Vincent Ruiz on the case of a murdered nurse, Catherine Mary McBride, he becomes the primary suspect in the killing. The crime occurred close to O'Loughlin's London home, giving him opportunity, and it turns out that McBride had been his patient and had accused him of harassment, giving him plenty of motive. Vivid characters mostly avoid stereotype, while a fast and furious last section makes up for a wealth of asides and anecdotes that, however effectively done, slow the narrative. More seriously, the book can't decide whether it's a psychological mystery or a conspiracy thriller and strains credibility well past the breaking point. Still, Robotham shows real promise, putting a fresh spin on the familiar crime fiction trope of the falsely accused man.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Already a hit in the U.K., Suspect may do for psychological thrillers what Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent did for the legal variety. Joe O'Loughlin is a psychologist with secrets. He is trying to hide his Parkinson's disease from the world, and his wife suspects he's having an affair. And after a gruff detective asks the doctor for insights into the stabbing death of a young woman, we discover the nurse was an ex-patient who accused him of sexual assault. O'Loughlin has an alibi for the night of the murder, but he decides not to share it. That the psychologist consistently withholds key information from the police, his wife--everyone--makes this tightly plotted story even more compelling. To those who "think that the truth is real and solid," O'Loughlin counters, "The truth isn't like that. If I were to tell you this story tomorrow it would be different than today." This stance makes him a deliciously maddening character to root for, and it soon becomes clear he is a highly compartmentalized person. As a series of damning clues turn up to indict him, O'Loughlin takes flight. But then he taps a hidden reserve of cunning and pluck as he seeks to clear his name--and ultimately discovers just how easy it is to destroy someone's life while trying to figure out what's going on inside his or her head. Frank Sennett
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385508611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385508612
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,115,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on October 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The book keeps you racing from chapter to chapter, but when you take a breather you start thinking, My God, this book has too many twists. It would be enough if we had a slower story with the hero trying to deal with the onset of Parkinson's. It would be enough to read a novel in which the middle-aged hero has to come to terms with his surgeon father's apparent indifference, if not hostility, to his own practice as a psychoanalyst. It would have been an interesting story to hear of such a man's affair with a former prostitute. And then on top of all of this we are given an nastily complicated serial killer story, a tale so convoluted the word "Byzantine" may be properly used to describe it. And an inspector (Ruiz) who treats our hero (O'Loughlin) with the same fierce intensity of Inspector Javert in Les Miserables.

Julianne, the beautiful and accomplished wife of the psychiatrist hero, was at one time the object of his best friend's affections, so that Joe and Jock are in a love triangle battling for Julianne's affections.

By the time one hundred pages are done, you start wondering what incredible pit of complication you've gotten into ankle deep. Before you know it, you're up to your ass in confusion, but due to Robotham's infinitely painstaking plotting, and the narrator's wry humor, you wind up liking the state you're in. I can't see this book being the first in a long-running series with O'Loughlin, but I am very happy to hear that Michael Robotham is writing another book. This one already will win him legions of fans, both here in the USA and abroad.
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Format: Hardcover
Michael Robotham's debut novel is a psychological thriller that is deeply involving, running smoothly from the narrative of psychologist Joseph O'Loughlin. Suspect takes us into a dark world of troubled minds and we watch the beginning of the disintegration of a strong family life. This was a book that I found (at the risk of flying straight into overused cliché) difficult to put down.

The story begins in the middle of a tense situation as we are greeted with O'Loughlin sitting on a London rooftop trying to talk down a young suicidal cancer patient. We are immediately given a sense of his capabilities as a psychologist not to mention the hint of roguishness that makes him an endearing character. He seems to have a perfect life with a beautiful wife and daughter and a successful practice. The only dark cloud hanging over the vital 42 year old is that he has been recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

As well as working in his day to day practice, O'Loughlin is the kind of man who gives up his time to counsel prostitutes in ways in which they might be able to work more safely. It's while talking at one of these gatherings that he meets Detective Inspector Vincent Ruiz, who has walked in with a picture of a murdered woman hoping to get her identified by one of the attendees. In the course of their confrontation, Ruiz decides that O'Loughlin's keen eye for detail and professional credits might be useful in providing some insights into the dead woman, so he invites him into the investigation as a consultant.

The woman had been found in a shallow grave next to a London canal. She has multiple stab wounds over her body, all of them self-inflicted plus many old wounds on her arms and thighs indicating that she was a self-mutilator.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Talk about your weekend from Hell. Try Stuart Gorman's. Stuck in what has become a rather routine, now loveless yet comfortable marriage, Gorman is jolted out of his complacency by his wife's demand for a divorce. They have just become empty nester's as their only child has gone off to college. This, at a time when his wife, a beautiful orthopedic surgeon is about to start a new medical venture with another physician and see FDA approval of a hip prosthesis which she has invented and patented. Gorman makes an adequate but modest income as an outdoor novelist, has been the parent most involved in raising their rather difficult daughter and is not prepared for the divorce demand.

He handles it angrily and badly and goes storming off to a fishing cabin for the weekend, where he gets drunk, trashes the place in his anger and then returns home in the wee hours of Sunday morning to find his wife in their hot tub, both naked and dead.

A slightly over eager police inspector has numerous circumstancial reasons to suspect him of murder which causes him to hire, at the suggestion of a friend, Gina Roake, an attorney in the Dismas Hardy firm to defend his interests.

For the unintiated, Hardy and Police Inspector Abe Glitsky have been the main characters in Lescroat's writings and The Suspect is a departure from that, other than a few cameo appearances by Hardy.

The switch in characters has done nothing to diminish the writing and telling of an intriguing legal thriller/mystery, however as Roake sees her client go from a suspect to the accused, notwithstanding a largely circumstancial case against him and the presence of other, even more likely suspects.

Hopefully, that is enough to whet you interest. Lescroart will do the rest.
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