The Suspect by Fiona Barton
English news reporter Kate Water has helped the Police solve some disturbing cases, but she faces her toughest assignment yet, when two 18 year old British girls go missing in Thailand.
A week ago, Alex and her friend Rosie said their goodbyes and embarked on a backpacking adventure of a lifetime. When Alex’s concerned parents don’t hear from their daughter, they alert the Police. Kate’s reliable contact, Detective Inspector Bob Sparkes tells her about the missing girls in the hope she will write a story, encouraging them to make contact. During his career, he’s seen many young backpackers reported missing by family and then quickly located.
Meanwhile, Kate identifies with the worried parents, since her estranged son has been living in Thailand for two years with very little communication. Soon Kate finds herself on assignment in Thailand with a press contingent in search of answers. As the case unfolds, it becomes personal when Kate learns her son is connected to the investigation. Her loyalty is painfully conflicted and Kate must balance her journalist instincts with her compassion as a mother.
Although this book is the third in a series, it is a standalone title and I’m keen to read Fiona’s previous novels. I enjoyed how the narrative alternated between the reporter, the detective, one of the mothers and the missing girls.
This is more than a story about two missing girls, it explores several interesting themes and is a believable read. The Suspect is a psychological thriller, full of suspense and its characters remained with me after I had finished reading it.
Fiona Barton’s debut novel The Widow was a bestseller and has been published in 35 countries. It was followed by another best seller The Child. Fiona is an award winning reporter and news editor. While working as a journalist, Fiona reported on many high profile criminal cases and developed a fascination with watching those involved. She interviewed many people at the heart of these crimes, including the guilty and their immediate families. She found it was those just outside the spotlight who intrigued her the most…
Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Penguin Random House, RRP $37.00