The Suspect by Michael Robotham

A Bookish Observation

“The Suspect” by Michael Robotham is the first in his Joe O’Loughlin Series. It’s a thriller; a real page turner.

My journey to this book was bit convoluted like so many of my journeys to books. This series was brought to my attention by a good friend with whom I often swap bookish observations. My friend knows I’m not too keen on edgy, graphic, psychological thrillers, but she thought I may enjoy the series, so she recommended I give “The Suspect” a try.

Let me say, I abandon books easily, so I have no difficulty picking up a book and giving it a try, and then, without guilt, I can put it down again without a qualm.

I started reading “The Suspect”, and thought, after five or six pages, I’ve read this before, so the search began; I went through my internet Amazon eBook Library list, my internet GoodReads list, and my internet Audiobook library. I cast an eye over my books on our bookshelves in our reading room. I couldn’t find it anywhere, and then I realised I must have read the sample some years ago.

After I figured out that I had read only the first few chapters, I relaxed, and was comfortable to settle down and continue reading. (I hate the idea of accidentally re-reading a book. I don’t mind if it is an actual plan, as long as it is not a dreaded accident, LOL.)

Michael Robotham is an Australian author; I’ve seen him interviewed several times at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. He has an Impressive presence, and communicates his interesting points of view very well. With these character traits in mind, I was keen to read one of his books. I had tried some years ago, however it was, “Bombproof”, and the story was too edgy for me, so I shelved it. And it wasn’t until my friend encouraged me to try Mr Robotham’s Joe O’Loughlin Series, that I tried again; I wasn’t disappointed. My friend said that she too had read one of his stand-alone books, and found it too edgy, but she told me that when she read “The Suspect” she was hooked on the series and found the tone and pace was a little more to her taste; she has read through most of the series.
Thrillers … I tell people: I don’t read them. I prefer slow paced mysteries I say, but that’s not quite true. So let’s talk about thrillers on a scale of one to ten: one being the less edgy, and ten being the most graphically violent edgy story. On a scale of one to ten, I’d place “The Suspect”, at about a three, and I’d place “Bombproof” (the book that I’ve shelved) at about a six. And that’s the difference. “The Suspect” is certainly a thriller, but for me it’s on the right side of the scale, that is, less than a five.

I read “The Suspect” straight through over two days. It is a real page turner, I like the main character Joe O’Loughlin, and I thought Detective Ruiz was brilliant; the writing style was excellent. The question that hangs in the air, is, will I read through the whole series. I often read complete series, I read Deborah Crombe’s Kincaid and James Mystery Series, all sixteen books, straight through, without a break. At this stage I’m not sure if I want to do the same thing with the Joe O’Loughlin series, because the frantic desire to know what-happened-next drove me to read at my topmost speed. I nearly ran through the book. No time to ”smell the roses”. I could hardly stop myself reading the last chapter, to make sure the characters were going to be OK, but I was disciplined, and read through the story, like one should, in the normal page sequence. It was a really good read.

So will I read the whole series? Probably not, its pace is too fast for me, I enjoy a calmer experience; a slower read. That said, I would recommend “The Suspect” to anyone who was looking for a good, well written, page turner. And I may, every now and then, when I’m in the mood, pick up another book in the series. I had a peak at a sample of “Lost”, book two of the series; the beginning is very intriguing.

Book One – Joe O’Loughlin Series: The Suspect
Book Two- Joe O’Loughlin Series: Lost
Book Three – Joe O’Loughlin Series: Shatter