Margaret's Reviews > The Night Ferry

The Night Ferry by Michael Robotham
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Mar 20, 09

bookshelves: audio-books, thriller-mystery-suspense
Read in March, 2009

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 suffered from raised expectations since I just wasn't crazy about this book, which suffers from two flaws: One, the "case of the smart female character who nevertheless does stupid things" and, two, to my ears, a not particularly well suited reader.

Detective Barba with the London Metropolitan Police as depicted in "Lost" is a persevering, smart, discrete detective. In "The Night Ferry" she is still persevering, but, unfortunately, in a rather stupid, dumb-dumb female sort of way that, frankly, irritates the cr*p out of me. This is the sort of dumb that causes female leads in movies to trip and fall while running away from the bad guy - I mean, for Pete's sake. Detective Barba uncovers a scheme involving international human trafficking and surrogate pregnancy. The story is timely, interesting, and reasonably fast paced, excepting the multiple parts where the plot is unnecessarily elongated as a result of yet another stupid move by the supposedly intelligent Barba. I put all this down to perhaps a male author just not "getting" that women aren't necessarily dumb bunny emotional beings. The narration doesn't help given the sometimes breathy and semi-hysterical tone to the reader's voice as Barba once again bursts out with something totally unhelpful or idiotic. Detective Vincent Ruiz (the narrator in "Lost") is now a supporting character in "The Night Ferry," and it's refreshing when he's on the scene because intelligence and sanity return.

I still plan to read Robotham's "Shatter" (pub. 2008), which returns to the psychologist Joe O'Loughlin (from Robotham's "Suspect," his first book), and hope it will be a less frustrating read.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Mohawkgrl (new) - added it

Mohawkgrl Thanks for this review; I`m going from Lost straight to Shatter now, instead of ordering this one. Would not be my cuppa tea either. I much preferred the Joe O`Loughlin narration but Ruiz`in Lost was good, too. Looking forward to beginning Shatter. :)


Margaret It's been a few years, but I remember enjoying "Shatter" more than "The Night Ferry" but not as much as the first two books. Still, well worth the read. Robotham is a talented writer. There's another one out since then, also worth looking up - I listened to it earlier this year and it kept me good company on a long solo driving trip.


message 3: by Cyn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cyn I found the narrator particularly talented, personally. But I do agree with the part about the female protagonist doing some pretty stupid stuff.


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