Fiona Barton, author of three thrillers—The Widow (2016), The Child (2017), and her latest, The Suspect—knows what it takes to solve a mystery. Barton's 30-year journalism career earned her some serious investigative chops and even helped inspire The Suspect's main character, Kate Waters, a reporter writing a story about two 18-year-old girls who go missing while traveling in Thailand. However, the case becomes personal when Waters finds out her son is connected to the investigation.
Fans of Barton's previous novels gave The Suspect mixed reviews, mainly due to what some #ReadWithMC reviewers called an unsatisfying ending. Still! Other members of the club assure that if you're in the mood for a captivating thriller to breeze right through, you won't be disappointed.
Here, the #ReadWithMC community shares their honest thoughts about Fiona Barton's The Suspect, which was our February selection. Find out how you can have your review featured on the site for next month's Marie Claire book club pick (The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray), here.
"This is one of those books that I had to start as soon as it arrived. It gives off vibes from the movie Taken at first as well as the true story about Amanda Knox. A tale of two girls traveling across seas who have turned up missing. It took me a bit to get used to the many multiple point of views, but I was completely hooked around 40 percent of the way through. It’s a solid ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me!" —@livereadandprosper
"Really enjoyed this one and I'm kicking myself for not reading anything by the author before now. Will definitely go back and read her previous novels. This is the third book in the series, but can easily be read as a standalone. A little bit of backstory is provided for some of the characters, but it enhances the current plot rather than feeling like information overload for those of us who haven't yet read the first two books."
"I loved how the story went back and forth between the reporter, the detective, one of the missing girls, and one of the mothers. The book might seem at first glance just a simple story about two missing girls, but there's a lot more to it than that. One of the more interesting themes explored in the novel is a mother's love for her child. This book was pretty darn close to perfect for me, and I highly recommend for fans of Fiona Barton or readers that are just looking for a good, solid mystery." —Katie B. on Goodreads
"Ok, just finished The Suspect and have mixed thoughts. I was definitely captivated by it and read it really quickly, but I thought the plot was a little too convenient (the reporter writing the story about the two missing English girls just happens to have a son in the very same place?!). Still, there were some twists and turns I didn’t anticipate. But I’m not sure I was satisfied by the ending." —@danismcnally
"Welp...another thriller that missed the target for me. The plot line sounds intriguing at first: two girls go missing while traveling abroad, but then things get really muddled with all the different characters and overdone clichés. Mainly the fact that Thailand is perceived as this corrupt, drug-ridden, sex-driven tourist destination. Additionally, that two naive teens would just go gallivanting around with little to no regard to their plans or safety. I digress, the main part I didn’t like was the ending. Call me old-school, but I don’t like an ambiguous ending. How do you guys feel about unclear endings?" —@katieladyreads
"So at first the book started a little bit slow, but then I could NOT put it down. I also took a girls trip to Thailand and kept thinking about my time there and what would have happened if things went south or my friend went full Rosie on me. Also Jake Waters!!! So many questions still. I really appreciated Kate’s role from journalist to mother. Seeing her switch and struggle to find where was most suited for her was fascinating. We all get stuck in our roles and for it to be turned on its head would change life completely, so the idea of the thriller makes for a great movie. I’m still not over Bob not being there for Eileen." —@klchavez27
"⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Suspect was my first Fiona Barton novel, and I would definitely recommend it. This story has a darker, more sinister tone to it, and I don’t think I’ll be visiting Thailand anytime soon.😳 Several “WTF” moments as I raced to figure out how everything would shake out. Kate Waters was strong female protagonist who was easy to root for, which always make a book more enjoyable for me." —@kmc_reads
Missed out on our February book club pick? Starting March 1, we'll be reading Anissa Gray's debut novel, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls. Learn more about the book and read an exclusive interview with the author here.
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