A Razor-Sharp Thriller: The Suspect By Fiona Barton
The razor-sharp thriller, The Suspect, reaffirms the reputation of Fiona Barton as an author who combines propulsive narrative with subtle, insightful commentary on the universal stories of family, identity and loss.
Perhaps this is one reason many critics are comparing her to the likes of Tana French, Louise Penny, Megan Abbott, and Paula Hawkins.
Barton entered the mystery genre only few year ago but with a bang: Her debut novel The Window was an instant international sensation when it was published in 2016.
Upon release it drew rave reviews, spent seven weeks on the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list, and was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR. The Child was next: It hit the USA Today bestseller list and drew positive response.
With The Suspect, Barton has drawn on her thirty-five year career as a journalist to craft Kate Waters [the main character] into the dogged, resourceful reporter that readers have come to love in the previous two books.
Readers have come to love the dogged, resourceful reporter Kate Waters in this series…
The Suspect has a suspenseful start: After two girls go missing in Thailand during their gap year, Kate receives a call from her police contact Bob Sparkes, who wants the media help sound the alarm.
Kate can’t help but think of her son Jake, who ran off to Thailand after a rough patch in school and has barely been heard from since.
When the story of the missing girls turns to tragedy, Kate flies to Thailand to investigate the potentially grisly crime. But upon her arrival, her professional and personal worlds collide in a shocking way: It seems like her son is somehow involved in the crime. The rest of the book, in short, is a journey by Kate to find out the truth.
The new installment in Kate Waters series is a well-crafted commercial thriller: Short chapters which make the story flow fast, changing narrator point of view, and flashbacks to different times and locations all provide a slow-burn narrative which encourage the readers to keep reading.
While the plot the ending are not entirely novel or surprising, the tight writing style and believable characters make up for it and turn the book into a solid thriller read.