by Fiona Barton
Publication Date : January 22, 2019
Pages : 416
Synopsis from Publisher :
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...
When reviewing books, I strive to be as honest as I can without being rude. I have never written a book and I admire anyone who has. This statement is not a prelude for a negative review, more like a bit of advice. When you start a series with book one and for whatever the reasons do not care for it ; do not give up on the series. Give book two a try. This was certainly the case for me with Fiona Barton’s Kate Waters series.
I did not like the first book of the Kate Waters series, The Widow. I did not like Kate. I found her obnoxious, pushy, and invasive. I finished The Widow but I was not sure if I wanted to read any more books in the series. When the second book The Child released; I was intrigued by the synopsis and gave Kate Waters another shot. I absolutely loved The Child. Somehow Kate seemed softer. She came across as resourceful rather than devious; a truth seeker rather than invasive. Kate Waters has now become one of my favorite characters in crime fiction.
In Thailand two teenagers, Alex and Rosie are on a trip of a lifetime, away from their families in England for the first time. When the girls fail to call home to get the results of their placement courses, Alex’s and Rosie’s parents report them missing to the Thailand police. Investigative Journalist Kate Waters learns of the missing girls and jumps at the chance to cover the story for her newspaper. Once Kate arrives in Thailand she discovers her shocking and troubling connection to the missing girls.
Reading a crime fiction book from the perspective of a journalist is always fun for me. Unlike police officers, journalists have little to no authority when interviewing witnesses. They cannot make someone come in for questioning or walk freely around a crime scene. They have to be smart, intuitive, and fast on their feet. Kate is able to read people, by their body language and where they choose to pause when answering a question. While I was reading I thought, Kate would make a great police detective.
In The Suspect, the third book of the Kate Waters series, we find Kate in a different set of circumstances than in The Widow and The Child. She is still a journalist but she is also a major part of a developing story. Her fellow journalists are using all the tricks of the trade on her. The new situation gives Kate a chance to reflect on some of the things she has done over the course of her career; the privacy of a grieving family she invaded to get a picture of them at their most vulnerable moment, the white lie told to gain access to a crime scene. While Kate does not seem ashamed of her past behavior, I do think she recognizes the irony of the situation. I believe this unexpected and forced self-reflection will have a lasting affect on Kate personally and professionally.
Although Kate is the main character of The Suspect, Barton gives readers access to the police officer who is investigating Alex’s and Rosie’s disappearance as well as Alex’s mother. There are also flashbacks from Alex leading up to her disappearance. These multiple perspectives make the story well rounded and gives readers a complete picture of what was going on before and after the girls vanish.
The Suspect, The Widow, and The Child can each be read as a stand alone. Each new installment of the series is a different case unrelated to the last. Characters from previous books are mentioned in The Suspect but they not vital to the plot. Readers in the mood for a bittersweet, shocking yet subtle read, should add The Suspect to their list of must reads.
*Thanks to Berkley Books for my free review copy of The Suspect*
Murder and Moore Rating:
5 out of 5 stars