Cover Image: The Suspect

The Suspect

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The Suspect is the tale of two teen girls who disappear while in Thailand. That is just the beginning in a story that starts off slow but definitely heats up throughout the novel, which I really loved. Kate Waters a journalist soon enters the picture going out with the parents to try and find their daughters but soon things take a turn and Kate finds herself pulled into the picture. I love and enjoyed the twists and turns in the novel where in time you find out never count anyone or anything out. Another winner by Fiona Barton!

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Journalist Kate Waters tackles another mystery and finds that it hits a little too close to home. A stay up all night thriller, with many twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing until the end.

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This a a fun thriller/mystery centered around two missing girls (Brits) who disapear while on vacation in Thailand. Add in the main journalists missing son, a cast of colorful characters and a fast pace and I was hooked. Most of the story happens in the first 150 pages or so, and the end does seem rather sudden, but it's an engaging book. I didn't realize till I had finished that this was part of a series, and I don't feel like I missed any information by not reading the previous titles.

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Amazing! Once again Fiona Barton delivers a suspenseful tale that has readers wondering up to the end if the suspect really is the murderer. Barton re-teams Kate Waters and DI Bob Sparkes from the Widow into a new mystery, one that hits close to home for Kate. When two British girls on holiday to Thailand are found murdered, the lead suspect is none other than Kate's son. As Kate works to try and save her son, more questions than answers are found. Barton leads the reader right to the reveal at the end leaving us with a released breath. Amazing! Could not put it down until the end.

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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 present….how 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 was so excited to see Fiona Barton's newest book on Netgalley. I had no idea it was going to include Kate until I actually picked it up to read. I was really excited to see her character pop up again. Even though these books have turned into a series, you can read them as a standalone. I do have to say each book ends up being better than the last so I would highly recommend starting from the beginning for the full experience.

So the story is about two girls who on their trip to Thailand go missing. Kate Waters, the eager reporter, jumps on the chance to cover the story. She also has a son who is currently living in Thailand. She soon begins to find out that her son might have something to with the missing girls. Kate will do whatever she can to get to the bottom of this story.

So after reading this I saw some people were saying they thought the story was a bit slow. I have to agree but I felt Fiona's writing still keeps you engaged in the story. It was a slow pace but I found myself wanting to know more each step of the way. I also think it helps that she writes such short chapters. I would tell myself just one more chapter so many times. It really helps.

Another thing that I enjoyed is the point of you. You have the point of view of the mother of one of the missing girls, one of the missing girls, Kate, the reporter, and the detective on the case. I really enjoyed the point of view of the missing girl. I enjoyed hearing about her trip and trying to find out what ended up having to her and the other girl. I do wish there were more chapters in her point of view. I know there weren't because the author probably didn't want to give to much away. I do feel we could have done without the point of view of the detective. I feel his point of view didn't really add much to the story. I didn't really care what was going on in his life. It just felt a bit unnecessary to me.

Overall I thought this was an enjoyable story. I liked that it was a slow pace. I feel it really built up for the surprises that happened towards the middle and end of the book. Fiona really does a great job keeping you engaged with the story. I couldn't wait to find out what actually happened. I do hope she ends up writing another book with Kate in it. I would like to see how she's been dealing with everything that ended up happening in this book. Plus I her stories just keep getting better and better.

*I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.*

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Love this author. The setting was interesting and the plot of missing young people really hit home with me

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This is a captivating search for two teenagers, who went on a seemingly innocent trip to Thailand, but this story is so much more than that. When the girls aren’t heard from again, their families beg for help from the Thailand police. Then, they turn towards journalist Kate Waters who is quite interested in telling their story and help search for the girls.

Kate Waters is having her own family difficulties when her son left home two years ago and hasn’t been seen since. The story takes a personal turn for Kate.

Fiona Barton sure has a wonderful knack for writing twists and turns. It almost felt as if the story was over early, but it was far from done. It’s told from different point of views - the journalist, the detective, one of the girls, and the mother of one of the girls. It’s a clever way to bring it all together.

I didn’t always like all the characters, but my heart went out to them. This author knows how to grab her reader’s attention and keep it to the end of the book. I read the last book, but have to go back and read the first one. Although this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a standalone.

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I liked this book. The story is about two girls who go to Thailand together after school and then go missing. It is told from different perspectives. A reporter from a newspaper is covering the story. An English police detective is also involved. The characters are all somehow connected but the reader only finds out towards the end what the connection is. A good and quick read with an interesting plot.

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The Suspect by Fiona Barton was an interesting mystery read. The main characters - "The Mother", "The Reporter", and "The Detective" were all well written and easy to identify with.

While I thought this was a good book, I was able to figure out the story pretty early on. I was enticed to keep reading to see if my thoughts were correct and how exactly they played out. I did have a difficult time keeping track of all of the "secondary" characters i.e. the other members of the police force and press, but that didn't seem to hinder the story line at all..

I will look into reading other books by this author as well as the first 2 books in the Kate Waters series.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.

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Children grow up and leave home. It's the natural order of things. But in The Suspect, two eighteen-year-old girls, Alex and Rosie, go on what is supposed to be a joyful first trip on their own to Thailand. When they are reported missing, their desperate, heartbroken parents find themselves thrust into an international spotlight as they struggle to learn what the girls were doing when they suddenly disappeared.

For journalist Kate Waters the search for the two girls becomes more than another attempt to get an exclusive story. Her own son, Jake, left home two years ago to travel around the world after abruptly leaving school. He has communicated little with his parents in that time. When Kate begins chasing the story of Alex and Rosie, she has no idea of the personal connect that she will discover or how it will impact her family.

"We don't always know what our children get up to when we're not there, do we?" Author Fiona Barton brings back the character of Kate in this creative, unique mystery. The story is multi-layered and will resonate with readers long after they read the last page. The theme of whether it is possible to ever really know another human being is not a new one in literature. Perhaps less explored is the question of how well parents can ever really know their children. Or how they respond when parents learn that their grown children are not really the people they believed them to be. In The Suspect, at least two sets of parents are confronted with those questions as the search for Alex and Jenny proceeds. In this instance, the 2 young women journeyed to a country they had never visited before, where they did not know anyone, and their safety depended upon their ability to depend upon and trust each other. However, Barton illustrates with startling clarity how such a trip can go tragically wrong. Concurrently, the reporter following the story finds herself dealing with her own family crisis when it is discovered that Jake was at the same boarding house as the two girls. Barton has believably constructed a mystery that, as it is unraveled, evokes a deep emotional response, particularly from readers who are parents.

The story twists and turns, providing shocking surprises at a pace as relentless as the parents' frantic search for their children. Barton also looks at the roles the media plays in such events, shaping public opinion and loyalties which shift uncomfortably as details about the girls' fate and Jake's activities emerge.

The result is a haunting, heartbreaking story exploration of parents' relationships with their adult children, the difficulty inherent in watching children grow and venture into the world on their own, and the way parental expectations can impact the relationship. It is ultimately a thought-provoking tale that would be ideal for book clubs, providing plenty of themes and colorful characters for vigorous discussion.

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This was just alright. I found it a little slow for the first half of the book, and I didn't really have any interest in the characters in the way that I would like. The mystery was interesting enough, but it wasn't the best that I've ever read, either. The ending was kind of just alright for me, too. Nothing inherently wrong with the book, it just didn't pull me in like I was hoping that it would.

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When reviewing books, I strive to be as honest as I can without being rude. I have never written a book and I admire anyone who has. This statement is not a prelude for a negative review, more like a bit of advice. When you start a series with book one and for whatever the reasons do not care for it ; do not give up on the series. Give book two a try. This was certainly the case for me with Fiona Barton’s Kate Waters series.

I did not like the first book of the Kate Waters series, The Widow. I did not like Kate. I found her obnoxious, pushy, and invasive. I finished The Widow but I was not sure if I wanted to read any more books in the series. When the second book The Child released; I was intrigued by the synopsis and gave Kate Waters another shot. I absolutely loved The Child. Somehow Kate seemed softer. She came across as resourceful rather than devious; a truth seeker rather than invasive. Kate Waters has now become one of my favorite characters in crime fiction.

In Thailand two teenagers, Alex and Rosie are on a trip of a lifetime, away from their families in England for the first time. When the girls fail to call home to get the results of their placement courses, Alex’s and Rosie’s parents report them missing to the Thailand police. Investigative Journalist Kate Waters learns of the missing girls and jumps at the chance to cover the story for her newspaper. Once Kate arrives in Thailand she discovers her shocking and troubling connection to the missing girls.

Reading a crime fiction book from the perspective of a journalist is always fun for me. Unlike police officers, journalists have little to no authority when interviewing witnesses. They cannot make someone come in for questioning or walk freely around a crime scene. They have to be smart, intuitive, and fast on their feet. Kate is able to read people, by their body language and where they choose to pause when answering a question. While I was reading I thought, Kate would make a great police detective.

In The Suspect, the third book of the Kate Waters series, we find Kate in a different set of circumstances than in The Widow and The Child. She is still a journalist but she is also a major part of a developing story. Her fellow journalists are using all the tricks of the trade on her. The new situation gives Kate a chance to reflect on some of the things she has done over the course of her career; the privacy of a grieving family she invaded to get a picture of them at their most vulnerable moment, the white lie told to gain access to a crime scene. While Kate does not seem ashamed of her past behavior, I do think she recognizes the irony of the situation. I believe this unexpected and forced self-reflection will have a lasting affect on Kate personally and professionally.

Although Kate is the main character of The Suspect, Barton gives readers access to the police officer who is investigating Alex’s and Rosie’s disappearance as well as Alex’s mother. There are also flashbacks from Alex leading up to her disappearance. These multiple perspectives make the story well rounded and gives readers a complete picture of what was going on before and after the girls vanish.

The Suspect, The Widow, and The Child can each be read as a stand alone. Each new installment of the series is a different case unrelated to the last. Characters from previous books are mentioned in The Suspect but they not vital to the plot. Readers in the mood for a bittersweet, shocking yet subtle read, should add The Suspect to their list of must reads.

Murder and Moore Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

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Though I have the first book by this author in print, I haven’t yet read it. And when I requested this book, I had no idea that either of them was part of the same series, so…there you go. Fortunately, I don’t think it made much difference, at least not to my enjoyment of the story.

Definitely a slow burn, this one. The first half jumps between narrators, giving insight into what the girls were up to before they went missing, while simultaneously walking us through the parent’s feelings and actions as they try to find them. Honestly, I was a bit bored and even a smidge irritated. Fortunately, it picked up in the second half, when it was finally revealed what became of the girls, and the story started to unravel the who’s and the why’s. Thanks to the second half, I don’t regret having pushed through.

The characters were rather flat as was the mood. There just wasn’t enough character development to latch on to anyone in a significant way. The primary reason for this is there was so much going on, so many different background stories offered as a means to muddy the waters (all that motive!). However, I feel like there should at least have been some deeper connection to Kate and the Detective as I suspect they are the two characters that connect the series.

And the ending! Just. No. Nuh uh. I can’t say for certain that I would have done differently because I’m not in that situation, and I can’t elaborate because *spoilers* but it didn’t sit well with me. Not even a little bit.

Nutshell: Slow start, much better second half, minimal buy in, decent mystery, frustrating ending.

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3.5 stars for a return to Kate Waters! I have always been a fan of procedural series and love watching a main character evolve over various cases. Barton has put an interesting spin on the procedural with Kate operating as a reporter on the periphery of law enforcement. In The Suspect, Kate has more stake in the case than we've seen before, as her own son Jake may be involved.

Laced with tension and unfolding suspense at every turn, Barton has written an interesting mystery with connections even the most observant reader would not uncover. I'm looking forward to seeing what case grabs Kate next!

Thank you to Berkley for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

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I really enjoyed this novel, as I have Barton's previous novels. This story of a Thai gap-year adventure of two British girls that turns tragic kept me turning the pages, and I found the portrayals of its characters believable. With spare language, this author delivers a punch. No one comes out smelling like rose in the end.

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I am a huge Fiona Barton fan ever since I read her first book The Widow so anytime I see her books its an automatic buy or request. for me. She some how manages to suck you in right from the get go and this was no exception.

Without going to deep into the book I have to say that this was certainly a roller coaster of emotions and feelings. Just when you think you have it figured out she flips the script leaving you questioning how could you have gotten this wrong and that was me.

Great storyline with great characters and each one played a fantastic part in telling the story.

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I was really drawn to this book because of the premise of two young girls going to Thailand on a gap year. As someone that loves to go travelling myself, I was intrigued to read a novel that highlighted the real risks that can come with travelling which we never think would ever happen to us!

The story was told from the perspective of four different people. Kate Waters the Journalist, DS Salmond The Detective, Alex’s mother (one of the girls who goes missing) as well as Alex who writes emails to her friend back home while she is in Thailand leading up to her disappearance. I loved reading from the Journalist’s point of view as this was the first time I had seen a book done like this. The majority of crime novels are written from the perspective of a detective so it was interesting to see the media’s involvement in such cases.

The novel follows unravelling the mystery of WHAT HAPPENED TO ROSIE AND ALEX? I really enjoyed the Facebook posts written by Alex, one of the girls that go missing as it gave us an insight into what was happening in Thailand before the mystery happened. It is then written in a step by step police-procedure style following the Detective and Journalist while they uncover the mystery of the girl’s case. It was great to get an insight into how the media and police force work together in mystery’s like this and how they use each other to uncover the truth of what happened. We then are hit with the emotional side from a parent’s perspective and how devastating it is/every parent’s worst nightmare to have something happen to their child while abroad.

I found this book took me a little longer to read altogether because I wasn’t as interested and drawn to the character’s as I have been in other stories. Which sometimes made it hard to pick up and easier to procrastinate! However, the chapters were short which I always like! The story was a slow burner and there weren’t any major plot twists in place but it definitely delivered as a great mystery novel. I would recommend to those that like this slower burner and the mystery unravelling aspects of a book instead of being thrown off with HUGE twists.

I would like to say THANK YOU to Netgalley, Berkely Publishing and The Author Fiona Barton for an advanced copy of The Suspect to read and review.

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It’s been two years since reporter Kate Water’s son left for Thailand, so when she gets a tip about two missing girls there, she jumps on the story. The girls turn up dead, and Kate heads to Bangkok to learn why. Take a steadying breath, Barton’s sharp thriller reveals the fear deep in a parent’s heart.

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I absolutely love Fiona Barton so I was quite excited when I was approved to read an advanced copy of The Suspect. This book had me on the edge of my seat, with a lot of twists and turns. Just when you think you know how the story is going to go, it changes pace and you have no idea what to think. I would recommend this book to anyone! 5 stars

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