THE SUSPECT by Fiona Barton {Review}


Series: Kate Waters, #3
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: 


The New York Times bestselling author of The Widow returns with a brand new novel of twisting psychological suspense about every parent’s worst nightmare…

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…


Two 18-year old girls, Alex and Rosie, go missing while on holiday in Thailand. After their parents notify police, reporter Kate Waters jumps at the chance to cover the story. This time, however, the tables have turned on Kate. She discovers that her son who’s been living in Thailand may somehow be involved. What happens when her own family is thrust in the spotlight?

The story is told in short chapters and alternating POVs – the reporter, the detective, the mother, and one of the missing girls. The opening grabbed my attention, though I had a harder time staying engaged with this book versus the first two in the series. At about the 30% mark, the major twist (IMO) was revealed. I thought, huh. Now what’s going to happen for another 300 pages? The middle moved by slowly, but things picked up closer to the end.

I very much enjoyed The Widow and The Child, but something was a bit off about this one. The premise was intriguing, but the execution didn’t grab me, and I never warmed to the characters unfortunately!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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THE CHILD by Fiona Barton


Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★


The author of the stunning New York Times bestseller The Widow returns with a brand-new novel of twisting psychological suspense.

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…


THE CHILD is an intriguing mystery surrounding the discovery of a decades old baby skeleton at a construction site. Given the premise, I figured it would also be an emotional read, and it was that. The story is told in alternating perspectives of four women, the investigative reporter (who we first met in THE WIDOW) and three others whose lives will be upended by the discovery.

Journalist Kate Waters is looking for her next big story when the baby’s remains are found. Kate’s investigation leads her to the unsolved disappearance of a baby from a maternity ward in 1970. Could they be related? Kate wants answers not only for her story, but also for the grieving family who’s been in limbo for over 40 years. I think Kate’s character has grown over the course of two books. She sees the humanity in this story, and not just a sensationalized headline for her publication.

I enjoyed Fiona Barton’s first novel, and THE CHILD I liked maybe a bit more. I loved how all the pieces came together in this haunting family drama. It’s a perfect blend of mystery, suspense, and women’s fiction. Unsettling and touching.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton

TheWidow
Publisher: NAL
Released: February 16, 2016
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Rating: ★★★★


For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, an electrifying thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife.

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen…

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…


Fiona Barton’s debut novel THE WIDOW is a dark, unsettling story – not exactly a thriller as it’s billed – but an intriguing page-turner nonetheless. I enjoyed it very much.

The book begins shortly after Jean Taylor’s husband Glen dies in an accident. Four years prior, Glen was accused of kidnapping a two-year old girl who disappeared without a trace. Jean’s support for her husband was unwavering despite the horrible things that surfaced about him. But why? And now that he’s gone, and his weird hold over her is broken, will she come forward and tell the real story?

This book was well written, with a cast of unpleasant yet compelling characters. Perspectives alternate between Jean, the widow, Kate, the reporter, Bob, the investigator, and Dawn, the missing girl’s mother. Of course, the most interesting of them all was Jean. As the wife of the accused, what did she really know?

THE WIDOW was a hard book for me to put down, as I was itching to know how the mystery of the missing girl played out. Nice blend of suspense, crime noir, and good story-telling. Impressive debut!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher though NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.