"A gripping first novel...taut and fast-moving."Washington Post"
One of those rare literary gems: a beautifully written thriller that is both moving and relentlessly suspenseful."Tess Gerritsen"
A dramatic, well-written debut."New York Times"
Terrific....a classic 'wrong man' thriller that puts its hero in hot water, then raises the Fahrenheit to a fever pitch....Robotham not only builds the suspense masterfully but tops it off with a stunning twist."
"A dramatic, well-written debut."
"A gripping first novel...taut and fast-moving."
"Terrific....a classic 'wrong man' thriller that puts its hero in hot water, then raises the Fahrenheit to a fever pitch....Robotham not only builds the suspense masterfully but tops it off with a stunning twist."
"One of those rare literary gems: a beautifully written thriller that is both moving and relentlessly suspenseful."
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 Washington Post
There's usually some plot loophole in a suspense novel that takes the fun out of it. The protagonist of Michael Robotham's first novel, Suspect, a London psychiatrist named Joe O'Loughlin, refuses to divulge a perfectly good alibi and goes on the lam when one of his former patients is killed in a peculiarly gruesome manner. But, for once, the flawed logic doesn't sink the 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. The thing about shrinks is, they may know it all, but they just have to make it complicated.
The New York Times
Joe O'Loughlin, a London psychologist, loves his job and loves his family-wife Julianne and eight-year-old daughter Charlie-even more in Australian author Robotham's well-written, if somewhat convoluted, debut suspense novel. O'Loughlin's life takes two disastrous turns: first, he's diagnosed with Parkinson's disease; second, while helping Det. Insp. Vincent Ruiz on the case of a murdered nurse, Catherine Mary McBride, he becomes the primary suspect in the killing. The crime occurred close to O'Loughlin's London home, giving him opportunity, and it turns out that McBride had been his patient and had accused him of harassment, giving him plenty of motive. 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. More seriously, the book can't decide whether it's a psychological mystery or a conspiracy thriller and strains credibility well past the breaking point. Still, Robotham shows real promise, putting a fresh spin on the familiar crime fiction trope of the falsely accused man. Agent, Mark Lucas at Lucas Alexander Whitley. (Feb. 1) Forecast: A bestseller in Australia and the U.K., and an international BOMC, Mystery Guild, Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection, this title may have a tougher time hitting the bestseller lists here. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Professor Joseph O'Loughlin, a London psychologist in his forties, is leading a comfortable existence with his wife and eight-year-old daughter when his personal and professional lives come apart. Responding to a detective's request to do some psychological profiling on a murder victim, O'Loughlin finds that the deceased is a former patient-a fact that he initially withholds from the police, citing doctor/patient confidentiality. After he reveals the truth to a now antagonistic and mistrustful detective, the police focus their suspicions on him, and the more he delves into the investigation, the more he manages to implicate himself. To complicate matters, O'Loughlin has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and his reaction to this sobering news has placed a strain on his marriage. This fast-paced thriller, with twists and turns reminiscent of The Fugitive, makes for a quick and satisfying read. Though this is Australian Robotham's first novel, he has ghostwritten 14 biographies and is a former journalist (which may account for the precision of his writing). Strongly recommended for most popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/04; a best seller in Britain, Holland, and Australia, Suspect is a main selection of the BOMC, Mystery Guild, Literary Guild, and Doubleday Book Club.-Ed.]-Caroline Mann, Univ. of Portland Lib., OR Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
British journalist/ghostwriter Robotham's first novel is a masterful riff on I Confess with a psychologist substituting for the embattled priest. Professor Joe O'Laughlin is shocked to hear about the murder of Catherine Mary McBride, the Liverpool nurse he'd treated for self-mutilation who responded by coming on to him and crying rape. He's even more disturbed when he realizes that one of his current patients, Bobby Moran, fits DI Vincent Ruiz's description of the sadistic killer. Bobby's nightmares and violent behavior, together with compelling circumstantial evidence, make Joe itch to share his suspicions with Ruiz despite his secular priesthood's promise of confidentiality, and eventually he gives in. But it's already too late: Ruiz, pointing to baffling discrepancies in Joe's description of Bobby and Joe's lack of alibi for the fatal night, arrests Joe for murder. So far, so predictable-especially the hoary reason Joe can't say where he was when Catherine was killed. When Joe turns detective in order to save his skin, however, his narrative takes off, for he's both desperate and drastically competent, fully a match for the demon bent on destroying his livelihood, his family, his home and his life. 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. Agent: Mark Lucas/Lucas Alexander Whitley LTD.; Book-of-the-Month Club/Mystery Guild/Literary Guild/Doubleday Book Club main selection