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The Wreckage (Joseph O'Loughlin #5)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,105 ratings  ·  183 reviews

Journalist Luca Terracini is living outside the wire and investigating a series of deadly bank robberies involving tens of millions of dollars. But in his pursuit of the truth, he's about to get in the way of clandestine agents and powerful nations who seek to bury secrets and manipulate the truth, regardless of the cost.


A thousand miles away, ex-cop Vincent R...more
Paperback, 437 pages
Published January 2012 by Sphere (first published January 1st 2011)
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With Luca Terracini investigating a series of bank robberies involving tens of millions of US dollars throughout Baghdad, he didn’t realize the closer he came to uncovering the secrets the more danger he would find himself in. As a foreign correspondent he found he could go places others couldn’t but when he met auditor Daniela Garner their lives became entangled; suddenly danger through sources he had thought he could trust surrounded them. Always his motto had been to follow the money – would...more
Within a short number of pages, I was wrapped up in "The Wreckage." Robotham puts together a multifaceted mystery that involves Iraq, the US and British governments, terrorist networks, major banking institutions, and various competing interests from a sizable cast of characters. The protagonists are honest and earnest folk who suffer the nay-say of skeptics and the punches of opponents, and the villains are made from the same clay--just with heavy doses of greed and cruelty thrown in to make th...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Based in part on true events, The Wreckage is a taut thriller that spans two countries and exposes the twisted threads that link international terrorism and the global financial crisis.
In a series of short chapters, Robotham alternates between the seemingly unconnected stories of retired detective, Vincent Ruiz chasing thief Holly Knight, Luca Tarracini's investigation into a series of robberies in Iraq, and Elizabeth North's frantic search for her missing banker husband.
Ruiz falls for a con a...more
A retired cop, a young grifter, a heavily pregnant society wife and a half-Iraqi financial reporter. They shouldn't have anything in common but they do. A notebook. The grifter stole it. She also stole from the cop. The wife's husband is missing and there are pictures of him with the man who killed the grifter, Holly's, boyfriend, searching for the notebook. The financial reporter can translate the notebook. Did I mention that the wife, Elizabeth's, husband, is the chief compliance officer for t...more

Michael Robotham writes thrillers/mysteries that grab the readers attention from the first sentence. The stories are complex, the conclusions satisfying. What sets Robotham apart are his characters. In the first book, SUSPECT, the author introduces Joseph O’Loughlin, a psychologist, happily married man, and devoted father. The protagonist of LOST is Detective Inspector Vincent Ruiz who played a minor role in the first book. THE NIGHT FERRY focuses on a character in a previous book and offers the...more
Karen Brooks
I have a complaint to make about Michael Robotham’s books, or rather, the effect they’re having on me – they have turned me into an insomniac. From the moment I pick up one of his novels until I turn the last page, I am unable to sleep. Last night, The Wreckage, proved to be no exception and, as a consequence, I feel the book’s title now applies to me ☺
Seriously, last year, I spent a couple of weeks reading everything of Robotham’s I could get my hands on and loved every story, character, plot a...more
Detective Inspector Vincent Ruiz takes centre stage in this high octane cross continent thriller. Shady bankers and terrorist extremists fall into Ruiz’s lap when two seemingly unrelated events collide. From protagonists Ruiz in London to Luca in Baghdad, all roads lead to an accountant (Daniela) sent to Iraq to audit against the perceived bookkeeping issues who uncovers a gross misspend that sets a series of violent events in motion.

An innocent bystander, Elizabeth sees her life crumble at the...more
Randi Reisfeld
I like this author; his main characters, a shrink whose Parkinsons disease progresses through each book, and his co-hort in crime solving, an over-the-hill, ex-detective, are resourceful, witty and play off each other well. The setting for the series is mainly London, but The Wreckage volleys between there and Iraq (Bagdad). The action is kicked off by an intrepid, fearless war reporter, the woman accountant he meets, an extremely screwed up, if intrepid girl scam artist, and a wealthy, lovely s...more
Robotham creates three story lines. One story line involves an Iraqui-American journalist named Luba Terracini who has lived outside the Green Zone for three years, thus defying deadly odds in his pursuit of significant stories. One of those stories involves the robbery of 18 banks that held American reconstruction money. (The robberies have been incredibly violent. The most recent one killed at least seven people. It is clear that the Iraqui government is not sufficiently aroused to pursue the...more
Paige Turner
The wreckage is the latest book by talented Australian author, Michael Robotham. I reviewed his second book Lost in 2007 and liked his writing so much that I have read every one of his thrillers since.

This story features one of Robotham’s favourite characters ex- Detective Inspector Vincent Ruiz who finds himself the victim of a robbery after rescuing a young woman from her violent boyfriend. The only problem was, the whole thing was a set-up and Ruiz finds himself trying to track down the woman...more
Nancy Oakes
First, my thanks to LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's Program for sending this book. I feel a bit embarrassed about the length of time it's taken me to get this book read and reviewed, but life sometimes gets in the way of the fun things.

Second: I'm really giving this book a 3.5 star rating, but it shows up as 4 because of the inability to give star fractions.

The Wreckage is Robotham's seventh novel, and it is a tough book to pigeonhole. It is a combination of crime fiction, international intrigue...more
I can't tell you how pleased I was to finally get to read THE WRECKAGE. I've been a fan of this series since it's inception, with only one minor disappointment in the last book which headed off into shock tactics a little too overtly for my liking. THE WRECKAGE, however, is a terrific thriller, with a complex and masterfully executed plot and a sense of pace and tension that is nicely balanced with a bit of romance and some family secrets.

It probably doesn't hurt that the action centres around V...more
Lizzie Hayes
‘The Wreckage’ by Michael Robotham
Published by Sphere, June 2011. ISBN:

Luca Terracini, is a British journalist currently living in Iraq outside the wire, and investigating a series of bank robberies – eighteen at last count, and the amount involved is millions of dollars – who is doing it, and how are they getting away with it?

In London ex-cop Vincent Ruiz goes to the aid of a young woman in a bar, but helping her he ends up robbed, taken in by an elaborate scam. He needs to get back something...more
I completed this book in a sporadic time frame and that was not a great idea. One thing that didn't help is the extensive amount of characters. I would quickly skim the previous chapters just to get back on track, but that was difficult considering all the different accounts and perspectives of the characters. There were 3 main story lines and what seems like 10 minor ones. One minute I'll be reading about Luca searching in the unruly harsh environment tracking the dissipated mone...more
Being one of Michael Robotham's biggest fan makes it difficult for me to give him fewer than five stars , I feel as if I am emotionally involved with his characters. Having said that, The Wreckage is not his best in my opinion - still, it is difficult to find fault with his story - telling prowess.
Based on true events, the story follows three main threads - Luca Terracini, a foreign correspondent in Iraq; in London ex-cop Vincent Ruiz - victim of a set-up and Elizabeth North - wife of a missing...more
Amanda Patterson
I like Robotham's writing style. He understands the value of short sentences, lots of dialogue and beautiful white space on the right hand side of the page. And he understands that this suits the genre of political thriller writing.
I would have found it difficult to be critical of this novel after meeting the author less than a month ago. He was a lovely, inspiring man, and I was grateful that his novel was really good.
Written in present tense, based on true stories from Iraq and London, and cle...more
I discovered Michael Robotham by accident, and became an instant fan. The Wreckage takes on a grander scale than his mostly London-based previous novels. While I didn't like it quite as much as Lost and Shatter, I zipped right through this one, intrigued by the many converging storylines and perspectives. Robotham introduces likable new characters -- most notably Luca Terazzini -- while bringing his two most reliable characters, Vincent Ruiz and Joe O'Laughlin. I've always appreciated Robotham's...more
What a great read - couldn't put it down! This novel is wildly ambitious in that it ranges over several, disparate aspects of the conflict in Iraq and the theft of vast sums of money meant for reconstruction, from petty theft in the London suburbs to murder, fraud and skulduggery in the City. Spooks, bankers, hired assassins, homeless waifs, pregnant ladies, jihadists, Russian au pairs and the Bill mingle with the journalists and police trying to unravel a tangled web of intrigue in the world of...more
4.0 out of 5 stars -- Follow the money...

This 5th in the series has several plot lines but the main story has to do with journalist Luca Terracini's interest in the billions of dollars that have vanished from Iraqi banks. Luca is a foreign correspondent working in Baghdad as US soldiers are pulling out. The area is still a war zone and reconstruction is barely more than a promise. Constant fear of bombs and stray bullets remind Luca that death lurks everywhere and "grudges are a national sport i...more
This is one of those books that literally has it all: from an international bank heist, to a missing banker, to a love story.

This book is awesome and I'm just going to come right out and say that I am a tiny bit in love with Luca Terracini, the journalist who is one of the main characters of this book. (So I like a guy who lives on the edge, what can I say?)

I don't want to say much more, but I can't wait to share this one with you.
I could very easily become a fan of Michael Robotham. This is one of the best action thrillers that I have read for some time. Another reviewer described it as taut, which is totally accurate, it grabs you and refuses to let go and even the intricacies of the financial dealings which are at the core of the book are relatively easy to follow. In the Good Reads listing it is described as the fifth in a series. Two points about this; firstly I will have to read the rest; but, most importantly, you...more
4.5 stars, rounded up because I could NOT put this book down and resented every minute that I had to. I slightly downgrade because the reveal(s) was (were?) a bit overly complex. I realize that a reader has to do SOME work, but the intricacies of who was whom amongst the bad guys and how they were all interrelated wasn't made entirely clear at the end, and that's annoying. That said, this book is a compulsive read and one of the best in this really interesting UK based series. As a US tax payer,...more
Protagonists in Michael Robotham's books are not heroes. They are smart, sure, but flawed. So when ex-detective Vincent Ruiz rescues a young woman from her abusive boyfriend and she realizes her purse and phone are gone, Ruiz takes her to his home so she can search for her friends' number, use his phone, and clean up. But it's part of the ploy, because she drugs him with the wine he offers, then robs him. He can't even go to the police, because he'll look like the lecher that this once, he was n...more
Drifting windless along the dreaded in-between stretch, I am neither reading the last book nor the new. The air humid and cloudless, I find the space of these doldrums both expansive and claustrophobic. What's that on the horizon? A coughing plume of tire-black smoke? Do I taste the tang of burning gasoline on the air? Indeed, my eyes find the flaming skeleton of a car (see The Wreckage, cover art).

In other words, at the library I had no idea what book to pick up next. My goodreads app was not l...more
Barry Hammond
Australian thriller writer, Michael Robotham, is becoming increasingly international in his outlook. Having started with police crime novels such as The Suspect in 2004, his last few books have taken a broader view. The Night Ferry (2007) dealt with international human trafficking and Bombproof (2008) explored the convoluted world of terrorism. This latest outing sees him in the shadow realms of global espionage, terrorism and money laundering.

One of the things which has always made Robotham int...more
The Wreckage begins with three seemingly unrelated storylines -- journalist Luca Terracini’s investigation of a series of bank robberies in Baghdad, ex-cop Vincent Ruiz’s attempt to help a young woman that lands him in a dangerous situation, and the disappearance of bank executive Richard North. The threads eventually come together to expose a massive struggle between nations to control money and power - no matter what the cost.

Michael Robotham was an international investigative novelist himself...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Wreckage, by Michael Robotham, B. Narrated by Sean Barrett, Produced by Recorded Books, downloaded from

The Wreckage is inspired by a real-life heist at the Central Bank of Iraq - the largest such crime in history. Millions of dollars are missing from Iraqi
banks, and journalist Luca Terracini will stop at nothing to find the money. But the closer he gets to the truth, the more his actions reverberate around
the world, and the more dangerous everyone’s position becomes. While the r...more

Though the 5th novel in the Robotham series about a psychologist named Joe O'Loughlin, it was my first encounter with this author and this character.

I presumed the lead character of the series would be Vincent Ruiz, the retired London copHe's a taciturn, skeptical, hard-skinned soft-on-the-inside detective in the mold of Ian Rankin's John Rebus or John Connelly's Harry Bosch. -- A perfect set-up for me.

When I read other books, and learned Ru...more
Paul Reid
Well I've read almost all of Michael Robotham's writings and can't wait for his new book to be released, although I've got to say I've read them in a very random order. I love his main characters Joe and Vincent but for me they just weren't used enough in this book, especially Joe.

At the start this book jumped around a little too much, London, Baghad and back with multiple story lines in both and at times I was left wondering 'who is this speaking again?' but as usual, Robotham tidied and tied t...more
David Gee
Two separate stories play out in this edgy fast-paced thriller. In post-Saddam Baghdad a British journalist gets himself and a female financier into hot water when they investigate the powerful men implicated in a series of multi-million-dollar bank raids. In London an ex-cop befriends an inexperienced hooker who drugs and robs him; she previously ripped off a merchant banker whose employers have set the heavies onto her because of something she stole from him.

As the two cases converge, a vast c...more
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Born in Australia in November 1960, Michael Robotham grew up in small country towns that had more dogs than people and more flies than dogs. He escaped in 1979 and became a cadet journalist on an afternoon newspaper in Sydney.

For the next fourteen years he worked for newspapers in Australia, Europe, Africa and America. As a senior feature writer for the UK’s Mail on Sunday he was among the first p...more
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“Here you can shoot the bad guys,' a mercenary says in Baghdad. 'In America we give them corporate bonuses.” 4 likes
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