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The Night Ferry

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  2,066 Ratings  ·  240 Reviews
A young policewoman breaks all the rules to get to the bottom of the mysterious death of the best friend she betrayed in this stunning follow-up thriller from the author of Suspect and Lost.

Ali Barba, a Sikh detective with the Metropolitan Police, is recovering from injuries sustained in the line of duty when she receives a letter from her estranged friend, Cate, imploring
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 10th 2007 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

A stand alone thriller from master storyteller Michael Robotham, The Night Ferry was first released in 1997 but has been reprinted for American audiences.

The Night Ferry features Detective Alisha Barba who is drawn into the murky world of human trafficking when her estranged childhood best friend begs for her help, shortly before being killed in a hit and run.

The investigation leads Alisha from London to the heart of Amsterdam's red light district. The plot is complex involving the enforced surr
May 14, 2014 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Detective Alisha Barba received the note which had been thrust under her front door, she wasn’t prepared for what it contained. It was a note from her once best friend whom she hadn’t seen or spoken to in eight years. The best friend who had declared she hated her and never wanted to see her again. Dear Ali, I’m in trouble. I must see you. Please come to the reunion. Love, Cate.

Alisha was on sick leave after being dreadfully injured by a criminal she was apprehending; her long stay in hospi
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
My View:
Fantastic! In my eyes Michael Robotham can do no wrong!

A pulse raising mystery and thriller this book will engage and keep you breathless, turning pages to the very last word. Michael Robotham’s words are a joy to read – the narratives engage and are complex, the characters are well developed, most are likable unless you are meant to dislike, the sense of urgency and drama is always taut and palpable, the contemporary social issues merge seamlessly into the narrative. Just bril
Judy Collins
A special thank you to Mulholland Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

After Michael Robotham’s sensational psychological thriller (March, 2015) Life or Death landing on my Top 30 Books of 2015, was thrilled for an opportunity to read THE NIGHT FERRY, which I missed the first publication— a fast-paced intriguing mystery into the dark world of evil human trafficking.

As the book opens, Alisha receives a note from an estranged childhood best friend, Cate, requesting h
Dec 14, 2012 Mike rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Once again, I have ventured into an author without looking both ways. Although “The Night Ferry” and its predecessors “Suspect” and “Lost” do not form a tightly knit traditional series the central characters are shared. The linkages that do exist in this novel are placed firmly in the background making it stand alone very well.

The story centers on a very unpleasant concept that I won’t name. Let it suffice to say that the problem is complicated from both a piratical and moral point of view. As i
Eva • All Books Considered
Review originally posted at All Books Considered: 3 STARS

The Night Ferry was a fine mystery/crime thriller although the mystery was solved long before the book ended leaving the last 20% or so of the book as a bit boring. I liked the MC, Alisha Barba, but the she was definitely a bit self-righteous and so confused at times. I couldn't help but think that she was made to seem to indecisive and weak because it was a male author writing a female MC but it is possible that I am projecting. I did l
Aug 15, 2007 Dorian rated it it was ok
Robotham uses the increasingly popular technique of "cascading protagonists" (that is, a minor character in his first novel narrates the second; a minor character in that book narrates this, his third). (Simon Kernick has used this technique to especially good effect.) Personally, I'm fond of this idea--it expands the fictional world or landscape that the author is creating, and it casts some interesting lights back on the earlier works, by allowing us to identify fully with characters we unders ...more
THE NIGHT FERRY (Police Proc-Ali Barba-England/Netherlands-Cont) – VG
Robotham, Michael – Standalone
Doubleday, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780385517904
First Sentence: It was Graham Greene who said a story has no beginning or end.
*** DS Alisha Barba is going to her school reunion to see her former best friend Cate Beaumount, from whom she has been estranged for eight years. Cate appears to be eight months pregnant but when a car runs her down, Ali finds Cate is wearing padding to appear pregnant y
Jun 08, 2015 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 out of 5 stars -- "Regret is such an odd emotion because it invariably comes a moment too late, when only imagination can rewrite what has happened."

Alisha (Ali) Barba, formerly with the Metropolitan Police, but on leave after a spinal injury, had a huge falling out with her best friend, Cate, the summer after they both finished university 8 years ago. So why now -- why would Cate write Ali begging for help because "she's in trouble." Before Ali can find out any information at the reunion, C
Sep 30, 2015 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thriller, 2015
Slave trade...

Alisha Barba is due to return to her job as a police officer after a long period of sick leave following a serious injury she received in the line of duty. Out of the blue she is contacted by an old friend, Cate Beaumont, who asks her to come to a reunion at their school. Ali and Cate had had a serious falling out eight years earlier which left Ali feeling guilty and sorry to have lost her closest friend, so she's delighted to hear from Cate, and also intrigued to know what has ins
Jul 13, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

The Night Ferry is a complex and intriguing mystery by Michael Robotham. More than just a "whodunit", this suspense laden thriller delves into the dark world of human trafficking. Fast-paced and riveting, it is a thought-provoking story touches on social relevant issues that will resonant with readers.

Alisha Barba is stunned to receive a plea for help from her estranged friend Cate Elliot. The two have not spoken in eight years but Alisha is quick to agree to a meeting and she is surpr
Patrick Gibson
Nov 27, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it liked it
I thought this book was a sequel to ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ where faeries would fly out of the darkness and bring visions of Lysander and Demetrius preparing their wedding invitation and Oberon paying for Tatiana’s sex change. Well, what do I know.

Oh, of course. I know better. This is the third mystery/thriller/beatyourbraintoapulp novel lifting characters from the previous two and elevating one of them into a major player. The stories keep getting darker and (I hate to say it) a little more na
Aug 25, 2011 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Fairly readable thriller which covers surrogacy and human trafficking. The main character is a female sikh detective. This is the third in a series but can be read as a stand alone. However reading this one has not prompted me to read the others. The characterisation did not convince me and some of the minor characters were a bit two dimensional. however it was an easy read which sent me to sleep several nights in a row.
Here's a borrowed summary of the plot;
DCI Alisha Barber agrees to attend a
Apr 05, 2012 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-modern
C2007. I came across this author as he was on one of those lists that other authors make when asked about authors they enjoy in the same genre as them. It was an okay read with a good pace and conclusion. The style was fairly spasmodic; I suppose to represent the action etc. I am not sure whether or not I liked the main character, Alisha Barba, and I wonder if that is because, most unpolitically correct, I am not sure that a male author can take on an intimate female character study. The review ...more
This is the third of Mr. Robotham's books, the three of which make the start of a mystery series that, unusually (and cleverly) moves the first person narration for each book among each of three related characters. This title, "The Night Ferry," focuses on Ali Barba, a detective introduced in "Lost," the second book in the series. Since the first two, "Suspect" and "Lost," were so terrific, I eagerly looked forward to listening to this edition, read by Clare Corbett. Well, my assessment may have ...more
Mar 31, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice effort by this popular author with a good plot and well-researched background material. The focus of the book is human trafficking and the issue of women forced into becoming surrogate mothers for profit, the setting is England and the Netherlands. This held my interest throughout, a 4+ rating for me.
Mar 22, 2015 Marsha rated it really liked it
Alisha Barba, a Sikh detective who appeared as a character in
Robotham's "Lost" takes center stage in this story of international intrigue, baby selling and exploitation. When an old school friend contacts her after many years on the outs, Detective Barba goes to see her at a party. The friend requests her help but before she can explain is rundown and killed by a truck driver. As Alisha pods and probes in search of the truth she is drawn into a shadow world of illegal immigrants, ruthless crimin
Charmaine Clancy
Mar 06, 2013 Charmaine Clancy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie
Last time I reviewed a Robotham novel I wasn't very impressed. The author had a great writing style but the character, a whiney psychiatrist, was unlikeable. I'm glad I persevered! This time the main character was adorable! Alisha is very driven with external goals and some hidden internal motivations that she has not yet revealed even to herself. She is a modern girl who also tries accommodate some of her Sikh traditions. The drama is high, with death, black market child adoption, and the ensla ...more
Jun 29, 2015 Hanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fear the day I get to the last book of this writer
Donald Grant
The Ferry to Nowhere...

This is the third book by Michael Robotham and it falls short of the first two. Alisha Barba is resurrected and the novel is written in first person from her viewpoint.

First person narration can be fun to read and is difficult to write. Robotham shows he has yet to master the technique. His attempt at first person made this a tedious read. This was surprising since his first two books had first person viewpoints also, and were fine. The repetition of “I” in this one was ov
Feb 18, 2016 Nissanmama rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robotham's thrillers are thrilling. He proves himself again as a skillful writer in The Night Ferry. I was gripped by from everything from his storylines to his word choices. Through the course of this one book he seamlessly covers love, motherhood, surrogacy, human trafficking, the interaction of varied cultures, and his biggest strength, creating truly life-like, relatable characters. The single thing that keeps me from placing this well crafted book on my list of favorites is that Robotham, i ...more
Eva • All Books Considered
Review originally posted at All Books Considered: 3 STARS

The Night Ferry was a fine mystery/crime thriller although the mystery was solved long before the book ended leaving the last 20% or so of the book as a bit boring. I liked the MC, Alisha Barba, but the she was definitely a bit self-righteous and so confused at times. I couldn't help but think that she was made to seem to indecisive and weak because it was a male author writing a female MC but it is possible that I am projecting. I did l
Dec 03, 2014 Jen rated it really liked it
The Night Ferry by Michael Robotham

I read my first book by Michael Robotham as a NetGalley selection this year, and I was suitably impressed! When NetGalley generously offered Suspect and Lost, the first two in the series, I was all over them.

Robotham has a unique method in his series that features the psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and/or D.I. Vincent Ruiz. Both characters may appear or only one, but in most cases, neither will be main protagonist. There is always another character, the character
Jul 21, 2015 Deborah rated it liked it
I knew there was a new Michael Robotham coming out and when I saw this appear for review online I sent off my request without a second thought.

It wasn’t until I opened the book and started reading that I realised I’d read the book before – indeed… it was a 2007 release.

However, I’m a fan of Robotham (obviously) and although the plot was still familiar I couldn’t really remember #whodunnit so figured I’d keep reading.

Robotham’s a great writer and offers up believable and complex characters.

Jul 30, 2015 Gary rated it liked it
I have now read all of Michael Robotham's novels and have found them very enjoyable and he is certainly one of my favourite authors. Although I found this book a good read it was not at the same high standard as most of the others. As per usual the characters are strong and there is plenty of action but the novel failed to hold my interest. Maybe it's just my personal choice and I certainly won't let it stop reading his next novel.
Lynn Mccarthy
Aug 07, 2015 Lynn Mccarthy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody
I have read most of Michael Robothams books they are all brilliant and this one is no exception.

Just a note about the Author i have meet him at my Local Library where he was talking about his books ,what an interesting man he is.

Alisha Barba goes to a school reunion and meets her pregnant friend who is hasn't seen for years. The same night Cate her friend is hit by a car Cates husband is killed and Cate is in a coma but she never regains consciousness but just before the hit she says they are tr
Micky Cox
Mar 24, 2016 Micky Cox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book follows the story of detective Ali Barba as she has recovered from serious injuries and tries to find a foothold back on the police force she once wanted to work for with great passion. As she struggles with the powers that be about getting her position back, a long lost friend calls on her and requests her help. The story develops quite quickly and very intriguingly. We see the return of Detective Ruiz, now retired, but always at the ready to help a friend. This author does a great jo ...more
Deborah Robb
Aug 04, 2014 Deborah Robb rated it really liked it
A good read although a bit confusing at times. Ali is a police officer whose estranged friend Cate asks her to come to their high school reunion. Ali goes to the reunion hoping to make amends with her friend. Once there she finds out Cate is pregnant but before Ali can congratulate her, Cate tells her "They want to take my baby. You have to stop them." As they are leaving the reunion, Cate and her husband are run down by a car and killed. After the accident, it comes out that Cate is pretending ...more
Feb 08, 2016 Ingo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although highly recommended page-turner, just bit too much information at some times and therefore just a tad too long, could have been 10-15% shorter, would have been stronger then.
Liked the setting (UK, Amsterdam), and most times the information about Sikh-Livestyle, but it got too much. The theme of the book is difficult with no obvious solution, and it does not offer one.
Instead, even the main characters questions her mistakes and wether she should have stayed out of it, if more people woul
Jun 10, 2014 Cyn rated it really liked it
This was my fourth Robotham novel. It was interesting to hear a story told from Alicia's perspective. The narrator was great, imo - and at one point in the book I actually laughed out loud at an exchange between the protagonist's father and mother because of how well the Indian voices were done and how funny their particular conversation was. The main character could be unlikable at times (pushing her boyfriend away, then getting all heartbroken when she thinks she's 'lost' him - personally, I d ...more
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Gold Dagger winning author, Michael Robotham was born in Australia in November 1960 and 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
More about Michael Robotham...

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“Friendship is a difficult thing to define. Oscar here is my oldest friend. How would you define friendship, Oscar?"
Oscar grunts slightly, as though the answer is obvious.
"Friendship is about choice and chemistry. It cannot be defined."
"But surely there's something more to it than that."
"It is a willingness to overlook faults and to accept them. I would let a friend hurt me without striking back," he says, smiling. "But only once."
De Souza laughs. "Bravo, Oscar, I can always rely on you to distill an argument down to its purest form. What do you think, Dayel?"
The Indian rocks his head from side to side, proud that he has been asked to speak next.
"Friendship is different for each person and it changes throughout our lives. At age six it is about holding hands with your best friend. At sixteen it is about the adventure ahead. At sixty it is about reminiscing." He holds up a finger. "You cannot define it with any one word, although honesty is perhaps the closest word-"
"No, not honesty," Farhad interrupts. "On the contrary, we often have to protect our friends from what we truly think. It is like an unspoken agreement. We ignore each other's faults and keep our confidences. Friendship isn't about being honest. The truth is too sharp a weapon to wield around someone we trust and respect. Friendship is about self-awareness. We see ourselves through the eyes of our friends. They are like a mirror that allows us to judge how we are traveling."
De Souza clears his throat now. I wonder if he is aware of the awe that he inspires in others. I suspect he is too intelligent and too human to do otherwise.
"Friendship cannot be defined," he says sternly. "The moment we begin to give reasons for being friends with someone we begin to undermine the magic of the relationship. Nobody wants to know that they are loved for their money or their generosity or their beauty or their wit. Choose one motive and it allows a person to say, 'is that the only reason?'"
The others laugh. De Souza joins in with them. This is a performance.
He continues: "Trying to explain why we form particular friendships is like trying to tell someone why we like a certain kind of music or a particular food. We just do.”
“One of the strange things about friendship is that time together isn't cancelled out by time apart. One doesn't erase the other or balance it on some invisible scale. You can spend a few hours with someone and they will change your life, or you can spend a lifetime with a person and remain unchanged.” 19 likes
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