The Suspect by Fiona Barton

The Suspect by Fiona Barton

Published by Berkley Books on January 22, 2019. Classified as Mystery & Thriller. Received via Edelweiss as an eARC. 



When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry. 


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, who she hasn’t seen in two years since he left home to go traveling. This time it’s personal.


And 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 . . .

[su_spoiler title=”→ Trigger Warnings!” style=”simple”]Death, violence.[/su_spoiler]

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[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]REVIEW[/su_heading]

The Suspect was a steady thrilling story with a back and forth story telling and multiple POVs. This is my first time to read Fiona Barton’s work, so I’m not sure if this is her earmark, but I enjoyed it. I’ve read a few books with the similar style that turned up to be pretty bad, because it ended up to be confusing rather than interesting. But for The Suspect, I’d say that it works perfectly.

“Two teenage girl backpackers in Thailand have been reported missing by their families.”

The only problem that I have is the mysteries was unsolved way too fast and bit by bit. Not exactly my favorable way to find out who’s the bad guy is. Hence, I can also predict most of the story line since the earlier chapters and it totally lessen the mystery and thrilling essence.

She’s ruining everything. I could kill her.

But other than too fast to reveal mystery, I’m okay with the other aspects of this book. The characters was interesting enough to keep me attached to each of their own story and motive, the relationship between the protagonists and antagonists was quite dynamic and the mixing of objectivity and subjectivity was at the right balance. It’s a pretty good suspense story. However, this book doesn’t amaze me.  I’m not sure whether I’ll read other works from Barton, but I saw a few reviews saying that The Widow and The Child was better than this book, so I might pick it up later in the future.

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Image credits: Jacky ZengSérgio Alves Santos

NeverHaven by Michael W. Garza

This is my first time to encounter a YA Occult and honestly, I couldn’t be more excited! I’m a big fan of this genre on screen (any American Horror Story fan around?), but I just never happened to read it in a book before, so it’s definitely a new experience for me! I enjoyed reading this book and I’m looking forward to reading the next one. I got the e-ARC of this book from YA Bound Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review. Let’s started, shall we?

The bond between twins can bend but never break. Elizabeth is crazy, at least that’s what everyone believes. She sees things, terrible things no one wants to hear about. Her twin sister, Jessica, used to see things too, but she convinced herself long ago it was all in her head. The sixteen-year-old was left to drift through the chaos alone, abandoned by her other half. But now the darkness has come calling.

As I stated at the beginning of this post, this is my first time to read a book from YA Occult genre and I was super excited about it. NeverHaven started a bit too slow for my liking. I keep waiting and I think there are too many unnecessary details at the beginning. It’s not bad, but I guess I’m just too excited and I want to see the fun bits as soon as possible!

It gets so much better as it continues. You started to sense the characters and their role (or maybe not?) along the story. I was surprised the book took a twist of a point of view from its characters. We all know a ‘plot twist’, right? But, I’d like to call this one as a ‘POV twist’. When the story started, I really thought that Person A will be the superstar of this book, but turns out, not really! Even though I was kinda annoyed when I first noticed this, I eventually started to sit back and enjoy it. Quite a surprise, even for myself, actually!

What I truly like about this book is it made me keep suspecting everyone! I’m a sucker when a story allows us to position ourselves as Poirot and analyze every possibility (most likely wrong, but hey, I have fun!) that might happen after one incident to another. I also enjoyed the pace of this book, especially when it passed several chapters, things started to get really intense!

However, I feel the characters (not just the main ones) doesn’t really get an opportunity to become more complex. I get it, pardon me for this silly example, but Thor is always the good guy and Loki is always try to be the bad guy. But, a lot of us adore Loki, right?! Because he’s not just the bad guy. He got history and character development. So, I think this book will be so much better if they can show us a stronger motive, both for the protagonists and antagonists.

Rating: ★★★½

[su_heading size=”12″ margin=”10″]Title: NeverHaven | Series: Vision of the Elder #1 | Author: Michael W. Garza | Publisher: NeverHaven Press | Genre: MysteryOccultSupernatural | Publication Date: July 27, 2017 | Format: eBook | Source: YA Bound Book Tours | LINKS: GoodreadsAmazon[/su_heading]

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[su_accordion][su_accordion] [su_spoiler title=”Read Excerpt” style=”fancy”]Jessica’s eyes sprang open. It took her a moment to realize she was awake. Her room was dark, and only a thin line of light shone through the slit under her bedroom door. A haze of sleep clung to her mind, and she couldn’t understand the panic in her chest. She was shaking, and her heart thumped wildly in her ears. She took a moment to gather her thoughts before sitting up in the bed. She couldn’t shake a strange sensation of pain in her hands and feet. For a moment she thought she might be having a heart attack. It took her another few seconds to recognize the connection she’d blocked out for so long. Something was wrong with Elizabeth. Jessica threw back the covers and hopped onto the floor. The cold boards sent a shock through her body, but it was a sound that froze her in place. She was midway between her bed and the bedroom door when the panic increased tenfold. The pain in her limbs intensified, and the fear for her sister was the only thing that convinced her to move. Jessica reached the door, grabbed hold of the handle, and then pressed her ear to the wood. A series of sounds echoed across the hall outside the room, ending with a muffled cry. Jessica clenched her teeth as she pressed down on the handle. The door slowly cracked, and she slid her eye to the opening. The entire floor was cloaked in darkness, but moonlight offered a view into Elizabeth’s room. Jessica pulled open the door enough to squeeze through. Her foot touched the floor out in the hall when a shadow crossed the light in Elizabeth’s room followed by a loud thump. Another muffled cry struck Jessica’s heart with terror. She rushed across the open space and pressed her back against the wall outside Elizabeth’s doorway. The sounds of a struggle intensified, and Jessica tried to gather her courage. She was through the doorway before she knew what she was doing. The moonlight revealed several figures standing throughout the bedroom. The main struggle came from Elizabeth’s bed, where at least two people stood over the girl. Jessica’s mind seized up as several figures lurched toward her. She managed to get out a scream before they grabbed hold of her. The initial impact flung Jessica onto the floor. The side of her head smacked the ground, and her vision blurred and then filled with sparkling lights. She tried to yell again, but something was forced into her mouth the moment she opened it. Confusion erupted within the room as all of the shadows moved at once. Jessica made one last attempt to roll over when a vicious strike caught her on the back of the head and everything went dark.[/su_spoiler] [/su_accordion]

About the Author

Michael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it’s always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He hopes everyone will find something that frightens, surprises, or simply astonishes them.

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