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Summary and book reviews of Suspect by Michael Robotham

Suspect

by Michael Robotham

Suspect
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2005, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2005, 368 pages

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Book Summary

The hunter becomes the hunted when an expert consultant in a baffling murder case becomes the prime suspect in this intricately crafted first novel.

The hunter becomes the hunted when an expert consultant in a baffling murder case becomes the prime suspect in Michael Robotham's stunning debut thriller.

At forty-two, psychiatrist Joe O'Loughlin seems to have it all: a thriving practice, a beautiful wife, an adoring daughter. But Joe's snug, happy world is crumbling. Recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, he's dreading the inevitable and all too palpable deterioration of his body and mind. Then, when the police ask for his help in solving the brutal murder of a woman they assume is a prostitute, he's horrified to recognize the victim as a nurse he once worked with, and with whom he had a bit of a past. As Joe begins to suspect that one of his patients may be responsible, the police zero in on him.

Michael Robotham possesses the rare ability to create fully believable characters, fashion terrific dialogue, and generate nonstop suspense. Suspect is a powerhouse first novel, intricately crafted and chillingly authentic.

1

From the pitched slate roof of the Royal Marsden Hospital, if you look between the chimney pots and TV aerials, you see more chimney pots and TV aerials. It's like that scene from Mary Poppins where all the chimney sweeps dance across the rooftops twirling their brooms.

From up here I can just see the dome of the Royal Albert Hall. On a clear day I could probably see all the way to Hampstead Heath, although I doubt if the air in London ever gets that clear.

"This is some view," I say, glancing to my right at a teenager crouched about ten feet away. His name is Malcolm and he's seventeen today. Tall and thin, with dark eyes that tremble when he looks at me, he has skin as white as polished paper. He is wearing pajamas and a woolen hat to cover his baldness. Chemotherapy is a cruel hairdresser.

The temperature is three degrees Celsius, but the wind chill has chased it below zero. Already my fingers are numb and I can barely feel my toes through my shoes ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

The Washington Post - Patrick Anderson

The plot is not a new one -- Respectable Citizen Wrongly Accused -- but Michael Robotham handles it with unusual skill as he has us suspecting one person and then another.

The New York Times - Marilyn Stasio

[A] pleasantly creepy story, which is plotted with precision and narrated with real intelligence by the doctor, whose decision to keep mum on a serious medical condition of his own makes him look suspicious -- and leaves him vulnerable when the real murderer shows up.

Publishers Weekly

Vivid characters mostly avoid stereotype, while a fast and furious last section makes up for a wealth of asides and anecdotes that, however effectively done, slow the narrative....Still, Robotham shows real promise.

Library Journal - Caroline Mann

This fast-paced thriller, with twists and turns reminiscent of The Fugitive, makes for a quick and satisfying read.

Kirkus Reviews

British journalist/ghostwriter Robotham's first novel is a masterful riff on I Confess with a psychologist substituting for the embattled priest.....Readers will forget their own jobs, meals and families while they race to find out which one of his targets the killer actually hits before he's brought down.

Booklist - Frank Sennett

Starred Review. Already a hit in the U.K., Suspect may do for psychological thrillers what Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent did for the legal variety.

The Telegraph (UK)

A clever plot . . . an absorbing read . . . a welcome new name in the genre.

The Mirror (UK)

Nail-biting tension full of fine characterization, brilliantly researched detail, and subtle humor.

Adelaide Advertiser (Australia)

A highly effective thriller . . . well-engineered plot, with gathering horrors . . . a gripper.

Author Blurb Tess Gerritsen, author of Body Double
Suspect is one of those rare literary gems, a beautifully written thriller that is both moving and relentlessly suspenseful. This is a debut not to be missed!

Reader Reviews

Ashly

Amazing
I found this book extremely intriguing and beautifully written. The pace of the book was great I never felt bored or unconnected, there was always something else grabbing my attention. As the book went on it just get pulling you in even more and even...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

About the author: Michael Robotham is a former journalist and the ghostwriter of at least fourteen autobiographies of prominent figures in the military, arts, sport and science worlds, including Lulu, Ricky Tomlinson, Geri Halliwell, Rolf Harris and Tracy Edwards (which, dependent on the subject have been published in various English speaking countries, but never in the USA). He lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and three daughters.  Suspect is his first novel (published in the UK in 2004, and USA in 2005); a second novel, Lost, was published in the UK in May 2005.

Is ghostwriting good experience for becoming a novelist? According ...

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