Sunday, February 3, 2019

Review - The Suspect

Title:   The Suspect
Author:  Fiona Barton
Series:  Kate Waters #3
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher:   Berkley
Format:  eARC
No. of Pages:  416
Date of Publication:  January 22, 2019
My Rating:  3.5 Stars

The New York Times bestselling author of The Widow returns with a brand new novel of twisting psychological suspense about every parent's worst nightmare...

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft, and frantic with worry. What were the girls up to before they disappeared?

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... 


Journalist Kate Waters is powerless when it comes to the fact that her son has dropped out of college and taken off to Thailand with limited communication, so she jumps at the opportunity to help in another manner. It is a dead season in her business, so she jumps in with both feet when it comes to finding information about two missing eighteen-year-old girls taking a gap year and who have disappeared in Thailand. Can Kate be the first on the story, thus providing relevant information, and bringing peace to the families of the girls?

I wasn’t aware until preparation of this review that The Suspect is the third book in the Kate Waters series. However, I was able to jump right into the story, as I was keen on the mystery of whatever happened to the two girls. We learn how dedicated Kate is as a journalist, but also how she is as a parent who is very concerned with her son, whom she hasn’t seen in two years. The story fills readers into the lives of the two missing girls, Alex and Rosie. Social media plays a big role in helping Kate to learn about the girls moves. 

Along with Kate’s role in this story, there are also DS Tara Salmond and DI Bob Sparkes. As the social media posts have trickled and eventually stopped, the police are a big part of Kate’s own investigation. Imagine the terror those parents faced when their girls, who didn’t even know each other well, disappear without a trace, thousands of miles away from home!

This story is presented from several third-person points of view. There was a definite mystery here and I was kept on tenterhooks throughout. Kate's son Jake is never far from her mind. In fact, there is a rather disturbing chain of events that has occurred that is hardly likely to be coincidental.

Although it got off to a slow start, this was a very intriguing story, with a good measure of twists and turns, bringing to a surprising conclusion.

Many thanks to Berkley Books and to First to Read for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion. 


My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist - senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.

But through it all, a story was cooking in my head.
The worm of my first book infected me long ago when, as a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the wives of those accused really knew - or allowed themselves to know.

It took the liberation of my career change to turn that fascination into a tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the man suspected of the crime, the detective leading the hunt, the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.

Much to my astonishment and delight, The Widow was published in 36 countries and made the Sunday Times and New York Times Best Seller lists.

It gave me the confidence to write a second book ,The Child, in which I return to another story that had intrigued me as a journalist. It begins with the discovery of a newborn's skeleton on a building site. It only makes a paragraph in an evening newspaper but for three women it's impossible to ignore.

The Child will be published in June 2017 and I am embarking on my next novel. My husband and I are still living the good life in south-west France, where I am writing in bed, early in the morning when the only distraction is our cockerel, Titch, crowing.

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