Publication: 24th January 2019 – Transworld Books
‘The police belonged to another world – the world they saw on the television or in the papers. Not theirs.’
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 . . .
Reporter Kate Waters is back. This time she investigates the disappearance of Alex and Rosie, two young women who went missing in Thailand during their gap year. Their parents are very worried about them and, with no other exciting story to make the headlines, Kate wants to discover what happened to them, but soon things take a personal turn for her.
Even though it’s the third book that has as protagonist journalist Kate Waters, THE SUSPECT can perfectly be read as a stand-alone. The story is told from different points of views. Kate is a brilliant reporter who doesn’t stop until she finds out the truth. She knows how to talk to families and how to get the police to reveal things to her. Without hesitation, she travels to Thailand to find out what happened to Alex and Rosie, but she has also her personal reason to go: she hopes to find her son Jake who left university to find himself in Thailand and she hasn’t heard from him in two months. In the meantime, DI Sparkes is investigating the girls’ disappearance from England, but he has his own personal problems to deal with as his wife has cancer. Then we have Lesley’s point of view. She is Alex’s mother. She doesn’t stop until she finds out what happened to her daughter and it was painful to read this mother’s worry, distress, and grief to her daughter’s disappearance. However, Alex’s point of view was the hardest to read. She is a young girl full of expectations and curiosity. She’s been planning her trip to Thailand for months, but, right from the beginning, things don’t go as she hoped. As I read her narrative, her frustration at Rosie, her disappointment in the whole trip, I really felt for her.
Fiona Barton masterly portrays three mothers who only see the good in their children, no matter what is the truth, three mothers who are ready to do anything to find their children, including traveling in a foreign country and dealing with a police force that is not cooperative and journalists who twist the truth to sell more copies. They are determined and brave. They are likable and realistic and the descriptions of their panic and concern makes them more human.
Once again, Fiona Barton didn’t disappoint. After The Widow and The Child, she returns with a thrilling, dark, and riveting novel that captivated me from the first to the very last page and a final revelation that completely took me by surprise.