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The Night Ferry

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,770 ratings  ·  370 reviews
Struggling detective Alisha Barba is trying to get her life back on track after almost being crippled by a murder suspect. Now on her feet again she receives a desperate plea from an old school friend, who is eight months pregnant and in trouble. On the night they arrange to meet, her friend is run down and killed by a car and Alisha discovers the first in a series of haun ...more
ebook, 432 pages
Published July 14th 2015 by Mulholland Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,770 ratings  ·  370 reviews

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Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy this authors books and The Night Ferry was no exception. As usual there was plenty of action and suspense and some interesting police work in more than one country. A little bit of romance between the main character and her policeman boy friend was nice and it was great when a familiar character popped up in the form of Vincent Ruiz. It is always fun when an author pops in a character from his other books.

The story revolves around human trafficking and it gets a bit bogged down fr
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another blind purchase from this gem of a bookstore, I'd heard good things about Michael Robotham, but hadn't read any of his work, this looked a good place to start, a detective crime thriller, sounds good.

Minor Spoilers

Alisha Barba is back on the Police force after a nasty injury, she is contacted by an old school friend Cate Beaumont, who is 8 months pregnant and wants to meet Alisha at their old School reunion, they fell out almost a decade ago and haven't spoke since so Alisha suspects Cate
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is Michael Robotham's third book. Although labeled as a stand alone, this book's main character, Alisha Barba, appeared as a minor character in a previous book. Retired detective Vincent Ruiz from the Joe O'Loughlin series plays a part in this book as well. I believe it works well as a stand alone.

Alisha is a Sikh detective. Her personal and professional lives, her determination, and her self-doubts made her very likable. "New Boy" Dave is a saint.

Robotham maintains his writing style in thi
 Li'l Owl
This is the fourth book I've read by Michael Robotham and I have not been disappointed yet! The story lines are realistic, the tension is nerve jangling, the emotions run high, and I've come to the end amazed, excited, and a little breathless. Read at your own risk!

My favorite quote from The Night Ferry
"Paranoia is not reality on a finer scale; it is a foolish reaction to unanswered questions."

DC Alisha Barbar is more than ready to return to the job. She's been on long term injury leave af
This was a slow boiler that took a while to get started but it was an engaging read and although slow at times it picked up well and made for an interesting read.

DC Alisha Barba is back on the force after a near career ending injury when she gets a distressed note from Cate, an estranged friend asking to meet up with her at their school reunion. However, before she has a chance to talk to Cate she and her husband are hit and killed by a speeding driver. Alisha can't believe this was an accident
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Night Ferry is crime thriller murder, sex trafficking, slavery and exploitation. Detective Alisha Barba was not going to go to her school reunion until her friend Cate contacted her. On the night Cate was involved in a hit and run, and the family found out that she was not pregnant. Detective Alisha Barba was on sick leave and wanted to find answers about the death of her friend. The readers of The Night Ferry will follow Alisha Barba investigation into the death of Cate.

Night Ferry is the f
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a different type of book from Michael Robotham. For a start there was no Prof Joe in this one. The main character is D.C. Ali Barba, who appeared in an earlier book with D.I. Ruiz.
So what was different? Is this book is a thriller, is it page turning? Yes. But it is also attempts to throw light on the problems facing refuges who are seeking asylum in a safer world. Only to find that the world is an awful place. It made me feel guilty for what we, as a society, turn our backs on. Althoug
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
Sep 23, 2013 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 hosp
Rebecca McNutt
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Night Ferry was better than the average run-of-the-mill detective novel, although I wish my edition was in paperback or hardcover (I hate ebooks), and sometimes this book follows very predictable tropes in the genre.
Alex Cantone
It’s strange talking about love. I used to hate the word. Hate is too strong. I was sick of reading about it in books, hearing it in songs, watching it in films. It seems a huge burden to place on another person – to love them; to give them something so unbelievably fragile and expect them not to break it or lose it or leave it behind on the No. 96 bus.

DC Alisha Barba of the Metropolitan police, nudging 30 and unmarried - despite the attempts of her Sikh family - receives a text from her best fr
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 D 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
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-recent-ones
So good! I like Robotham's books generally and this one is no exception. Alisha is an excellent character as are a number of others. Taken as a straightforward crime read it's very good. However it is excellent on a number of levels for me. There is a a story of friendship, there is the aspect of morality and a fast moving tale. Plenty of good twists and turns. Tense and well paced read. Very satisfying and I'll read more by the author when I can.
May 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I've finally finished The Night Ferry, with a sense of relief. I'm a great fan of Michael Robotham's writing, but unfortunately The Night Ferry didn't float my boat.

For the first third I was strongly engaged, and thoroughly enjoyed the rolling out of the mystery. From there, I thought the writing lost its sharpness and the storyline became excessively complicated. For me the plot became enmired in Alisha's personal crap, and I came to dislike her intensely by the end. It is a well-known crime fi
Kate Forsyth
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can always rely on Michael Robotham to deliver an intelligent, fast-paced and psychologically indepth crime thiller, and The Night Ferry is no exception.

At the end of his earlier novel, Lost, young Alisha Barba has her back broken by a murder suspect. She is now trying to get her life back together again, but no-one wants her on their team. One day she receives a plea for help from an old school friend:

Dear Ali, I’m in trouble. I must see you. Please come to the reunion. Love, Cate.

Alisha has
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5*. I read this sime time ago. I have to say I was a little dissapointed. Just found the story a little to predictable and didnt really love any of the characters. From the books he's written, this would be in my opinion his weakest so far. I expected a little more.
Jun 04, 2015 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
'The Night Ferry' was recommended to me by someone who insisted that I make it to the end when I wanted to give up somewhere around the middle. A recommendation that implied the ending is worth the hard work required to reach it. Personally, I wish that I had given up because I didn't like the telling of the story.

The plot was okay if you push aside the fact that it turned from a simple case of 'avenge me' into this tragic, global and mass criminal activity that our lone wolf Alisha had to get
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
Aug 15, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Claire Collignon
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am reading the O'Louglin/Ruiz series in order, but almost skipped this book because of the many blah reviews. But after reading The drowning man I was too invested in detective Barba to leave her alone. And I am glad I persevered because this book exceeded my expectations, even though I did agree with some of the criticisms. Just as some other reviewers, I am getting REALLY tired of all these maverick cops going it alone. And the ending was more than a bit twee. But despite this, I found mysel ...more
Amanda McGill
Apr 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
A bit of a disappointing read, since I had loved Life or Death.

I found the novel to be long in places that I didn't want it to be and it wasn't long enough in some other places. I wasn't a fan reading about the sex trafficking and slavery aspect and I wished there was more time spent on the ending and how everything came to be at the end.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Setting: London & Amsterdam. Sikh-born police detective Alisha Barba (not 'Barber' as it inexplicably says on the book cover and all the other blurbs) receives an urgent plea for help from estranged friend Cate Beaumont she only manages to discover that Cate is pregnant and someone is trying to 'take her baby's before she and her husband are mown down by a mini-cab in an apparent accident. When it is discovered that seriously-injured Cate has been pretending to be pregnant and doubts are thrown ...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
Aug 25, 2011 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
Charmaine Clancy
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Andrew Bryson
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of Michael Robotham. In the thriller/suspense genre, he is one of the most descriptive authors around, bringing his readers a vivid sense of scene, crafting flawed, everyday characters that are easy for readers to relate to. Add to this a well-researched and topical storyline, in this case human trafficking, and you have the ingredients of a book that will keep your attention riveted.

The main characters are familiar to Robotham regulars, except this time round PC Alisha Barba very
Robotham is one of the best of the modern crime writers. Within the first few pages of this book, there is an 8 month pregnant woman who is not pregnant who is killed in a hit and run. The driver of taxi has been dead for years. And Alisha Singh, a 29 year old Sikh policewoman is wondering what is happening.
Then there is people smuggling, forced pregnancies of refugees who are paid to provide surrogate children to desperate couples, murders, IRA link, prostitution and shady characters. It's a pa
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Edgar finalist and 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 write

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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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