Category Archives: Kate Waters Series

Review: The Suspect by Fiona Barton

Title: The Suspect by Fiona Barton
Kate Waters Series Book Three
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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…


The Suspect by Fiona Barton is a suspenseful mystery about two missing girls in Thailand. This third outing in the Kate Waters series can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend the previous installments as well.

Reporter Kate Waters knows all too well how Alexandra “Alex” O’Connor’s and Rosie Shaw’s parents feel when their daughters fail to call when expected. Her oldest son, Jake, dropped out of university two years earlier to go to Thailand. His contact with his worried mum and father, Steve, is infrequent and they have no idea exactly where he is or what he is doing. So when Kate learns Alex’s and Rosie’s are missing, she sticks close to their parents, Lesley and Steve O’Connor and Jenny and her ex-husband Mike Shaw. The case quickly becomes entangled in bureaucracy and a lackadaisical investigation by Thai police.  Detective Inspector Bob Sparkes and Detective Sergeant Zara Salmond start their own inquiry in Britain but will they be able uncover the truth about what happened to Alex and Rosie?  And when the story takes Kate and her follow journalists to Thailand, will she finally locate her missing son?

As the truth about what happened to Alex and Rosie is slowly but surely pieced together, Kate finds herself on the sidelines of the news story.  Now on the other side of the story, she is reluctant to discuss her unexpected personal tie to the Alex and Rosie case. Kate is also very worried about Jake especially as the details about his inexplicable departure from university and his hurried trip to Thailand is revealed.  She also begins to get a clearer picture of what he has been doing in Thailand and Kate has good reason to worried about his future.

Through a series of Facebook posts and emails to a friend back home, Alex describes what she and Rosie have been doing in Thailand. Her plans for the trip have been quickly derailed by Rosie whose interest in Thailand does not include sightseeing or leaving their first stop. Eighteen years old and away from home for the first time, Alex is uncertain about what she should do. The situation is quickly hurtling to a crisis point that culminates in a shocking series of events.

The Suspect is an engrossing mystery with an intriguing storyline and an eclectic cast of characters.  The investigation into what happened to Alex and Rosie is interesting and full of unforeseen twists. In addition to trying to uncover the truth about what happened to the young women, DI Sparkes is dealing with a heart wrenching issue in his personal life. Kate is quite worried about Jake and it soon becomes apparent she will go to any lengths to protect her son. While the final revelation about what happened to Alex and Rosie is easy to predict, Fiona Barton brings the novel to a surprising conclusion. This latest addition to the Kate Waters series is sure to be a hit with old and new fans.

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Filed under Berkley, Contemporary, Fiona Barton, Kate Waters Series, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Suspect