The Suspect by Fiona Barton

Fiona Barton, bestselling author of The Child and The Widow, is back with her newest thrilling suspense novel, The Suspect.

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Reporter Kate Waters is back in this third offering of Barton’s, along with DI Bob Sparkes. For Kate getting the story, being first on the scene and first to press is key to her success so when she hears about two British girls who have gone missing in Thailand, she manages to find a way into the confidences of the girls’ families. The girls, teens on their “gap year” abroad, were supposed to follow an itinerary but it soon becomes apparent that the girls are not where they were meant to be and are no longer phoning home. As Kate calls on resources in Thailand, she learns that the bodies of two young girls have been discovered in a “flop house.” Their deaths have been ruled accidental. But Kate and the families want answers – they want to know what happened to the girls. Or do they? The answers to the questions will have far reaching implications that fall closer to home than any parent could possibly imagine.

The Suspect is every parent’s worst nightmare – a missing child, the subsequent death of a child, and mountains of international bureaucratic red tape that stymies all questions. I truly empathized with these parents, perhaps because I have grown children who travel abroad nearly as often as they stay at home in the states and they have done so since they were teens. There is such a fine line between trusting your kids and knowing when to be wary of what they are telling you. So, for me, these parents and their reactions were very believable. I also have been a small-time reporter in my much younger days so Kate is someone with whom I also identify. In the end, the entire story – while focusing on the girls’ travels and exploits – ultimately is about the parents, their lifestyles, decisions and, in the end, what they will do to protect their children and their families.

This is, of course, the third book in what appears to be a series but, maybe I’m just dense, I didn’t read it as part of a set. Yes, Kate has been in the previous books but until The Suspect she was not a focal character. She and Sparkes are recurring characters, and I hope they continue to be, but certainly this book could be read as a stand-alone. It should be noted, I suppose, that there is a lot of graphic sex, drug use and descriptions of dead bodies. I’ve grown somewhat callous to this type of thing in suspense/thrillers but I’m noting it just the same. I adore Barton’s writing style and have loved each of her books. She has become an author whose book I know I will relish and I hope that you will enjoy this, her latest book. I couldn’t wait to read it and, now, I cannot wait to read her next one.

Much appreciation to #Edelweiss, @BerkleyPub and #FionaBarton for my copy of #TheSuspect

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12 thoughts on “The Suspect by Fiona Barton

  1. Mackey, there was no graphic sex in my reading. I am nearly at the end, everything was hinted at, nothing was said.. My ARC is from NG..
    The post mortem was described but nothing else… So are there two different versions of this book?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shalini, I have some blog followers who prefer not to read about rape, LGBT sex, among other things. Normally the murder/suspense books that I read don’t go into quite as much detail as this one did physically. It doesn’t bother me, but for those whom it might offend, I offered that. Different cultures view these things differently. Americans, in general, tend to be more cautious in these areas than most parts of the world. I’ll never understand why. While I don’t usually mention it, I was asked about it on regarding another book so I thought I would mention it for this one. I’m never one for continuity you know. 😉

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      1. Mackey, I asked because my book was not formatted well, so I thought some pages were missing and the things you have said weren’t there… Or maybe I am. Immune to all that… Hence I was wondering… I received a couple of books from NG where everything was jumbled up. Hence 😂😂

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    2. I actually think I’m pretty immune to it and violence as well. It happens after years of reading perhaps, just like with watching movies in this genre. Certain books will send my imagination running all over the place and others are just “meh” for me. I didn’t really notice much but after a few readers asked about another book I was more aware while reading this one. And I know what you mean about the books being jumbled. Lately, I think they are rushing the ARCs out to us faster and there are more typos and pages in the wrong order, some missing completely. I thought it was my reader at first but, nooooo, it’s definitely the ARC itself. It’s not just you.

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    1. Thank you Jonetta. Kate, as well as the DI, were just peripheral characters in both books. They were there, but the primary characters were the focus – at least that’s what I thought. Maybe I should go back and re-read them to see if I missed something. LOL! Even in this one, there are so many points of views and characters that it’s difficult to say that Kate is in the forefront. Regardless, it’s terrific and Barton is very much an author whom I love. I hope you enjoy it too!

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    1. Thanks! Maybe I’m just clueless!! LOL!! I actually read it as a stand alone and had to try to remember why others knew who Kate was and that is knowing that Barton is a favorite writer! I also just discovered that her book, The Widow, has been made into a series. I just saw it on Amazon. I’m pretty excited about that! I hope you enjoy it – the book, I mean.

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