When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.
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, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal.
And 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…
I have been very excited for this tour so it has felt like it has been a long time coming but the day has finally arrived when it is my turn on the blog tour for The Suspect by Fiona Barton. Huge thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for offering me a place and to the author and publisher for my gifted copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
This is the first book I have read by Fiona Barton, although I have had a copy of The Widow sat on my TBR for an embarrassingly long time (like most things on my TBR). Why have I waited so long to pick one up, I am now asking myself? This was the most enthralling, exciting and heart-stopping book I have read in a long while.
The story of two young girls going missing whilst travelling has to be every parent’s worst nightmare so, as a mother myself, I was immediately in the shoes of the parents of the missing girls; feeling their pain and confusion and riding that rollercoaster with them. However, things begin to get very interesting when a second parent-child relationship is thrown in to muddy the mix. It is difficult to say more without throwing in spoilers, so you are going to have to trust me on this – if you are a parent, this book is going to may you feel tense all the way through.
The structure of the book is interesting, told as it is from the viewpoints of one of the missing girls, her mother, the chief detective on the case and a reporter who is following the investigation very closely. The narrative jumps between these viewpoints very quickly but not in a specific order, so you have to pay close attention to begin with but the different points of view are clearly labelled and you soon get familiar with the different voices and find it easy to follow. This method of telling the story is a very effective way of revealing different plot points at relevant stages, but also giving the reader different windows on to the investigation. I really enjoyed it.
The book is set in two locations – in the UK where the missing girls’ parents are suffering their agonies and the UK police are investigating, and in Thailand where the girls have gone missing, which adds an extra level of interest to the story for readers who like to read books set in overseas locations (as I do) and the Thailand portion is very well portrayed and authentic. I really enjoyed the contrast between the way the investigation was carried out in Thailand and in the UK. The flow between the two locations was seamless and you would think that the author was equally familiar with both locations. I need to get some research tips from Fiona Barton for my own writing.
This book is full of, excuse my French, WTF moments, as all good thrillers are. There are a number of unexpected things that happen, and that happen at really startling times. I honestly raced through this book in a day because I could not put it down, and my heart was racing at points, as if I were personally living the story. The ending, for me, raised some interesting moral and personal questions, and I would be interested to see how this affects some of the main characters going forwards, if they are included in any of the author’s future books.
All in all, this is a slick, intelligent and gripping psychological thriller that covers some interesting personal and moral questions. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of this genre, in fact I already told my sister to read it.
The Suspect is out now and you can buy a copy here.
If you would like to see what my fellow bloggers made of the book, please follow the tour as detailed below:
About the Author
Fiona Barton’s debut, The Widow, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been published in thirty-five countries and optioned for television. Her second novel, The Child, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Born inCambridge, Fiona currently lives in south-west France.
Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the DailyTelegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.
While working as a journalist, Fiona reported on many high-profile criminal casesand she developed a fascination with watching those involved, their body language and verbal tics. Fiona interviewed people at the heart of these crimes, from the guilty to their families, as well as those on the periphery, and found it wasthose just outside the spotlight who interested her most . . .
Connect with Fiona:
Facebook: Fiona Barton Author