Cover Image: The Suspect

The Suspect

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Member Reviews

This is the third book I’ve ready by Fiona Barton. It’s also her third with the characters of Kate Waters and inspector Bob Sparkes. It’s not necessary to have read the first two books to enjoy The Suspect.

As Alex and Rosie are off in Thailand, having what everyone appears is a wonderful time, they are instead suddenly missing. What unfolds in this book is the story of what is actually happening and the panic and search that is happening back home in the UK.

I enjoyed the alternating points of view, from The Reporter, Detective, Alex and parents perspective and voice. We learn early on about Kate’s son, how he too went off to Thailand and while he isn’t missing in the same sense, he has gone off on his own, and his parents don’t really know what he’s doing. This may later on be a conflict for Kate, and her ability to research and tell the story of the missing girls.

DI Sparks is going through his own personal hell, his wife is very ill, and every moment away from her is grueling, and fills him with grief.

The parents, very naive about what two recent high school graduates may be doing on holiday away from home. The girls very diverse, as they find out when it appears one has plans to travel and sight see and one has plans to party and have sex. Still how did things go so wrong so quickly?

This book was a quick read, and kept me turning pages and waiting to see what odd coincidence or revelation would show next. I always like Kate and DI Sparkes. In this book I adored Alex and was hoping good things for her. I was appalled at the lack of a real police authority in Thailand, I worry how real this is. My heart ached for the parents as the not knowing and then the knowing both can rip you up inside. I found them sometimes annoyingly ignorant at times, but still, imagine the pain. I really enjoyed this book, thanks so much to Berkley for the early copy. If you enjoy a good mystery, grab this one up.

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I tried to read this book a few times and kept putting it down for another book. It just didn't grab me like her other books have.

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Reporter Kate Waters has become British author Fiona Barton’s alter ego, and the writer’s third book has placed her protagonist squarely in the crosshairs. While Kate reported on the story in Barton’s debut The Widow and in her follow-up The Child, in The Suspect the tables are turned when, halfway through the novel, Kate becomes part of the story. Click on the link below for the complete review.

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This thriller is classic Fiona Barton! It is the recipe for a twisted story that keeps you guessing until the end!
When you start with two sets of worried parents, two missing teenage girls, a murder mystery, and a few unexpected connections to the past and can you go wrong!
Barton is a very talented storyteller and writer! She connects characters in ways that suck the reader in! The moral of this story... parents think they know their kids. They raise them right, model morals, teach them the dangers of life but...then they go out on their own. Some live up to your expectations. Others, defy every intention you ever had for them. Who is who in this story?
Don't wait.... read this story!!

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I loved the international setting of this police thriller - it steadily built the tension through the end, and kept me reading - almost read it in one day!

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I enjoyed this book, as I do Fiona Barton's books in general. However, I am saying that because maybe that lead my expectation to be too high for something by her. The novel was good, a good read and I would recommend it, but I think there were pacing issues as well that could have been helped with some editing.
For a thriller, I generally want "edge-of-your-seat" type of feeling and this book didn't always deliver that. So I would knock off a star in my rating based on that. Otherwise, still a decent book.

#TheSuspect #NetGalley

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Another great suspenseful story from Fiona Barton. Well written with each chapter from another characters view, the story and characters was very believable. This would be a great movie, can’t wait to recommend it to our readers.

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Based on the premise of The Suspect, I was hoping for a faster read. The suspense revolve round two girls who are missing in Thailand. The start of the book sets the scene for the girl's trip and the reactions/actions of their families when the girls come up missing. Journalist Kate Waters ( you may have met her in prior books, but this one stands alone) is tasked with telling the girl's story. I appreciated that there were several twists and turns in the story, minimally telegraphed. My struggle came in that I wasnt able to connect well with Kate Waters this go round. Her personal story did not engage me as well as the backstory of the detective involved in the case. That left a bit of a disconnect. The pacing of the book seemed uneven, and though it was entertaining, I wouldnt consider it a thriller.
I received my copy through Netgalley under no obligation.

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Stevie‘s review of The Suspect (Kate Waters, Book 3) by Fiona Barton
Contemporary Crime Thriller published by Berkley 22 Jan 19

As I’ve mentioned before, Fiona Barton’s Kate Waters stories (and they are now officially a series) have simple titles that don’t give much away. The blurb is intriguing, but doesn’t give enough clues as to how twisty this investigation is going to turn out to be for Kate and her long-term police contact DI Bob Sparkes, or the huge impact their respective family issues will have on the case – and vice versa.

Two years on from the events of the previous book, Kate Waters is writing personal interest and celebrity gossip fluff pieces while she waits for the next big story to come her way. Her older son, Jake, is still off travelling after dropping out of his degree two years earlier, and she hears from him only very rarely. Meanwhile, DI Bob Sparkes has problems at home: his wife has been diagnosed with a recurrence of her cancer, and this time they know it’s terminal. When a report comes in regarding two teenage girls who have failed to phone home while on a gap year trip to Thailand, Bob passes the information over to Kate, knowing that she will be able to start investigating before he receives the required authorisation.

By the time the missing persons case turns into one of the scenarios those involved have been dreading, Kate has befriended the parents of one girl and the mother of the other – her ex-husband is a nasty piece of work – and is on hand to accompany them to Thailand, along with Bob Sparkes and his team, as well as other members of the press also flying out there. It soon becomes clear that Jake had met the girls, and might have witnessed what happened to them, but when Kate reaches the place he was reported to have been found, he’s already vanished again. As the investigation continues, with little help from the local police force, Jake’s status changes from witness to suspect, at least in the eyes of the press, and even Kate worries about the nature of his involvement. Of course, nothing is ever so simple as there being one hero and one villain.

I loved the storytelling aspect of this story, giving us the viewpoints of those involved in the investigation, Kate, Bob, and the girls’ parents, as well as showing us what happened to the girls in the days leading up to their disappearance from the point of view of one in particular. There were red herrings aplenty and some tough choices for both Kate and Bob regarding whether they should prioritise work or family – and I do like that both our main protagonists have stable, mostly happy marriages that survive, in spite of the time they spend away from home.

All in all, a gripping read with a thought-provoking ending. I’m keen to know what kind of case Kate will find herself investigating next.

Grade: A

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This is the third book in this series, but can totally be read as a stand alone. Two college girls travel to Bangkok and thing go astray in the worst way possible. The story is told from the perspective of the detective, the mother, the girls, and the reporter. I didn't see this EPIC ending coming. Fast paced, quick read.

**Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley. All opinions are my own. **

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I haven’t rated this book yet. On one hand, I really wanted to find out what had happened with Alex and Rosie yet on the other hand I felt that at times the book dragged out a bit unnecessarily. I have enjoyed previous books in this series but find the fact that Kate’s son had been in the same hostel as and interacted with the girls in a different country a bit far fetched. I feel that the other books in the series were much better.

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I requested this book from NetGalley based on the author. I’ve previously read novels by Barton so wanted to pick this one up.

Kate Waters is a reporter who ends up on a case regarding two young girls who died in a fire in Thailand. Thai officials call it an accident, but there are some ends that don’t quite tie up, and eventually it’s discovered that these girls were dead when the fire started. Kate’s even more shocked to realize that her son - who’s been in Thailand working at a turtle sanctuary - actually hasn’t been and has instead gotten mixed up in the case she’s reporting on.

I love how this novel jumps perspectives. The story is told from the perspective of Kate, from a detective on the case, from the mother of one of the girls, and through the eyes of one of the girls. I love this change in pace and this birds eye view of everything that’s going on.

This book did start out slow for me, and I can’t quite put my finger on why. By the end, I was frantically turning pages, but the beginning had me feeling a bit meh. Still recommend, especially to readers who are fans of this author.

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The storyline almost reads like a Criminal Minds episode, but I just couldn't stay along.

I felt their was some unnecessary information that just kept turning me away from the story. Nothing to keep me actively reading it.

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This is the second book by Fiona Barton and I thoroughly enjoyed this suspense thriller.

It was a bit of a slow start but once the story picked up steam, and we caught up with the travelers, I really enjoyed the story. This is told from many points of view and the author did a great job keeping things straight and building their worlds; the complexity between the relationships between parents and children at the forefront.

But what I really enjoyed were the new connections, ones that hinted towards what was to come. This provided for a gradual unfolding of the mystery. All in all it's very well done.

I recommend this to readers of suspense/thrillers.

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This is the first Fiona Barton book that I didn't find completely predictable. It had me from the first page and did not let go until the very end.

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The Suspect” by Fiona Barton
Journalist Kate Waters has not seen her son since he left to travel for a “gap year”. When she investigates the evolving story of two 18-year-old girls who disappear traveling in Thailand the emotions and tension hit close to home.
Fiona Barton tells the story from the points of view of the terrified and distraught parents as well as the police investigators and journalists involved. Their personal stories are suspenseful and evolving. The author is skilled at conveying the twisting plot as parents experience their worst nightmare. The pace and tone of the book is masterful and will stick with you after you turn the last page.

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Three stars. The Suspect by Fiona Barton is a middle of the road crime novel that kept me occupied but that ultimately didn’t leave me wanting more. Barton has a promising set-up - two young girls disappear during a gap-year trip to Thailand, and we follow the ensuing search from the varying perspectives of a mother, a reporter, and a detective. The beginning of the book hooked me - it was easy to read and had an exciting premise.

Once the plot is established, however, the story slows. There are a few “twists,” but I saw all of them coming prior to the reveal. Other reviewers promised an ending that was worth sticking around for, but I was left dissatisfied and ultimately disappointed that Barton couldn’t maintain the momentum of the first third of the book.

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I for the most part found this book to be very meh. I didn't enjoy the mystery and found it hard to sympathize with any of the characters. I found them to be insufferable. The parents were so paper thin that when they "screeched" and "wailed" (especially the mothers), I found that my hatred grew. The victims with the exception of Alex weren't any better. Alex was at least somewhat better sketched but Rosie was was so horrible and told completely through the eyes of another character that she was never a true character.

I finished this book, but only because I wanted to know the circumstances of their deaths. It was a more clinical reaction. I had started the book and needed to finish, but I wasn't really invested in the outcome. It was underwhelming anyway. Like I said, it was all very meh. Don't think I will read this author again.

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The Suspect by Fiona Barton

This is the third book in which reporter Kate Waters is featured but can be read as a stand alone. I was often surprised by the twists and turns, which kept me reading past my bedtime.

This is Fiona Barton's third mystery following The Widow (2016) and The Child (2017). Scanning reviews revealed this is considered a series and certainly Barton has found a formula that works. Each book is told by three different participants, one of which is journalist Kate Waters.

FIRST SENTENCE: "The call comes at three a.m."

THE STORY: Two young girls travel to Thailand for a gap year adventure and then go missing. Told from three viewpoints (the Mother, the Detective, and the Journalist), the author creates sympathetic, if imperfect, characters.

Alex was supposed to go to Thailand with a good friend. Instead the friend cancelled and Rosie volunteered to take her place. Alex has carefully planned the trip but Rosie only wants to party. After a couple of weeks, they both disappear and it is obvious something bad has happened. Complicating things for Kate, is the fact that her son has also gone off the grid in Thailand.

The puzzle is who is telling the truth (and is it the whole truth?) and who is lying. The answers slowly come into focus.

QUOTES: ". . .we look for the familiar in everything, don't we? We look to anchor ourselves in safe waters."

"When I hit a dead end in a story, my instinct is always to go back to the beginning and see what I missed ."

WHAT I THOUGHT: I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book based on what I knew about the plot, but once I started reading, I was totally immersed. The exotic locale, the variety of voices, and the mystery itself were all compelling due to the careful plotting and excellent story telling skills of Fiona Barton.

BOTTOM LINE: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. You'll want to read ALL the books in the series.

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Berkley (January 22, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1101990511
ISBN-13: 978-1101990513

DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-copy of The Suspect by Fiona Barton from NetGalley/Berkley for my honest review.

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My favorite thing about this series is that ever book can be read as a stand-alone book. I’ve read the first in the series and the third (this book), but didn’t feel like I was missing anything. This storyline was so unique and had so many different things going on within the big picture. The whole thought of traveling as a young woman in and staying in hostiles scares me in general, so I found it really creepy to read about.

Kate is definitely one of my favorite characters in this genre, she is an outstanding journalists who goes to extreme lengths to get her story. I loved that this delved much more into her personal life. I loved that we read from different perspectives and that they all intertwined in a perfect way. I loved some characters and couldn’t stand some so it was nice to see all of their inner thinkings.

I will absolutely be reading the rest of these books, and am definitely going to pick up the second installment soon. I love getting to know more about some of out main characters and hearing how life is turning out for them. There was a lot I just loved about this book as you can see and I can’t wait to jump into another one by this author.

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