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The Wreckage

(Joseph O'Loughlin #5)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  3,506 ratings  ·  327 reviews

An international thriller based on one of the biggest bank heists in history.

Billions of dollars are missing from Iraqi banks, and journalist Luca Terracini will risk everything to discover where it is. His Iraqi-American background has made it easier for him to infiltrate the darkest corners of the war, but death of his beloved Nicola in a suicide bombing has made him

Hardcover, 447 pages
Published June 16th 2011 by Mulholland Books (first published May 5th 2011)
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Dave Gibson I think it's because, from a selling point of view, Robotham has made his name through O'Loughlin. He is the better known character therefore the…moreI think it's because, from a selling point of view, Robotham has made his name through O'Loughlin. He is the better known character therefore the publisher would want to ride this to the nth degree. It is a Ruiz novel and he is a fine character. Simplistic, but I believe that would be the case. Hill without D & P; Dexter without Morse; Mankell without Wallander, etc ... Cheers Dave.(less)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  3,506 ratings  ·  327 reviews

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Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading the Joe O'Loughlin series in order and really enjoying them. This one was a bit of a let down. First, it starts out in Baghdad and that gave me some initial reservations. Second, it features Ruiz more than O'Loughlin, which is fine, but even Ruiz isn't the most prominent character in this book. And third, the storyline of Iraqi bank robberies with an Iraqi American journalist and a United Nations representative who follow the money wasn't very interesting to me.

This was a
The Wreckage by Michael Robotham is book 5 in the Joe O'Loughlin series and it's definitely as exciting as the first book.
This one also has the feel of real life about with the descriptions of Baghdad with how terrible it's been with all the war crimes and just the general way of life there (how people live with bombs and shooting going off everyday like it's normal makes my brain ache) but the saddest thing of all... its all about money
It's a very heart pounding, edge of your seat and
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4000-books
This one starts slowly and a little confusingly as two very different story lines run parallel, one in London and the other in Baghdad. As the book progresses though both stories start to heat up and eventually they come together in a very well planned finale.
There are many strong and likable characters. Joe is there in a minor role. Ruiz is back as a retired cop. And then there are Luca and Elizabeth and of course Holly. I enjoyed all of them.
The book is action packed, particularly the war
David Staniforth
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bit of a slow starter this one, probably due to there being two apparently separate stories that are building at the same time. Gradually these two threads begin to entwine, however, resulting in a strong bond that just refused to let go (of this reader at least) and led to an exciting and tense conclusion.

Great writing, great characters and great plot lines. Loving Robotham's series.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aussie-authors
Number 5 in the Prof Joe Series.
5/5 stars
What a nail bitting, addictive read. Every time I pick up a Michael Robotham book they just get better and better.
Two separate story lines, seemingly unrelated, one in London and the other in Bagdad. In London ex DI Ruiz intervenes when he witnesses a young woman being assaulted by her boyfriend. After seeing the young man off, Ruiz finds the young woman in quite a state, sobbing and feeling very frightened. Ruiz offers the young woman a bed for the night
Karen Brooks
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Dec 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy Lee Child's Jack Reacher series
I picked up this novel because it is the July 2015 choice of my book club. I was dreading it, having read the dust jacket and thinking that it was really not my thing. Once again, I am grateful that my book club compatriots have stretched my reading comfort zone.

Having said that, it still really wasn’t my cuppa tea, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get pulled along for the adventure. Just like the Jack Reacher novel that we read last year for book club, it’s hard to resist finishing the
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
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 ...more
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this - well written as always. Good to have one that features Ruiz more strongly to. Good pace and tension in this international thriller about terrorism and money - some nasty people in this. Glad I still have some to read in this series ...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
Maureen DeLuca
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Michael Robotham is by far one of my favorite authors. This is the 5th book in the Joseph O'Loughlin series, and I have to say , for me , it fell short. I just could not get into the story line whatsoever- and I wound up skimming thru, just to finish it.

But hey, having said that - please, if you never picked up this series, you are missing out! Start with the first one Suspect and then enjoy the ride! This book, in my opinion , you can skip. But don't skip on a great series!
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing

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
Jan 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, own, read_2012
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
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 ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another good read in Robotham’s Joe O’Loughlin series. It doesn’t feature Joe much in the story instead it focuses on Ruiz and other new characters. I found this a bit disappointing when reading the novel, which is why I have only given it four stars rather than five.

It could easily be read as a stand-alone book rather than part of a series.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OMG. Edge of your seat and plot twists that all tie up. This book is more about Vincent, with just a little bit of Professor J, and the story line is very different from the rest of the series, but wow. There are many layers of British society here, and it throws light on current events and issues.
I read this out of order, and I’m glad I went back for it.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is like the Law & Order TV show where they would turn something from the news (HSBC laundering money for terrorists) into a murder. Unfortunately, the author here adds on multiple other complex plot-layers as well as characters who are either uninteresting or not believable. On the other hand, it's relatively well-written and dealing with important stuff.
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Amanda Patterson
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another very well written thriller by Michael Robotham. It cleverly mixes fact and fiction as a gargantuan money trail makes it way from war-torn Iraq into the hands of the ne'er-do-wells. The main protagonist is ex-policeman, three times married and three times divorced, Victor Ruiz. He reminds me a little of TV's Columbo - shabby, underestimated, but ultimately smart as a whip.
Again he teams up with Forensic Psychologist Professor Joe O'Laughlin, as they work their way towards the top of a
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read ... taut and terrific
Maybe even my favourite Robotham! (Oooo but I still love “Shatter”)

Really enjoyed this! I loved the fast pace ~ this was a page turner but so much more than a “beach read”. The background was complex and the research was well woven into the story. I loved the characters and the way the storyline swapped between the two scenarios. When I was “in” England, I wondered what was happening in Iraq. I was also mental guessing how the tow storylines would come
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery

3.5 stars

I like this author. He writes great stories with great characters. I also love his writing. He gets to the point in a few words that manages to convey so much more than what is going on at that moment.

The plot in this book seemed a little more intricate. It toggled around with 3 different story lines going on, but they progressively got closer and closer before they finally merged. It was very well done. Michael Robotham can definitely keep the plot moving in the right direction. His
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was one hellova book. Michael Robotham is a skilled storyteller. Not two but three separate plots weave themselves together to form a story of epic proportions. The skill though lies not just in telling the story but making you feel as if you're living it. Credible characters and a monster plot written with feeling add up to five stars.
Jul 30, 2013 rated it liked it
The 5th book in the Joseph O'loughlin series by Michael Robotham although really its more about Vincent Ruiz with a cameo from Joseph O'loughlin.
I struggled with this book early on and it failed to hook me. Starts with 2 seemingly unrelated stories but predictably it all makes sense in the end.
Not quite a 4 rating but certainly a good read.
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller
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Victor Eustáquio
Great disappointment. In my opinion, the failed novel of Robotham. After 10 amazing books.
I'm still a big fan. And look forward to read the upcoming
Carolyn Mck
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Although this is listed as one of the Joe O’Loughlin series, Joe (the psychologist we’ve met in previous novels) is a minor character in this well written thriller. We have two stories - one set in Baghdad (where a journalist is following a dubious money trail) and the other in London where Vincent Ruiz, the police officer from previous books is now retired but gets mired in the story of Holly, a homeless and mysterious young woman. The plot is a bit hard to follow at times but as the stories ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Joseph O'Loughlin (9 books)
  • Suspect (Joseph O'Loughlin, #1)
  • Lost (Joseph O'Loughlin #2)
  • Shatter (Joseph O'Loughlin, #3)
  • Bleed for Me (Joseph O'Loughlin #4)
  • Say You're Sorry (Joseph O'Loughlin #6)
  • Watching You (Joseph O'Loughlin, #7)
  • Close Your Eyes (Joseph O'Loughlin, #8)
  • The Other Wife (Joseph O'Loughlin, #9)
“Here you can shoot the bad guys,' a mercenary says in Baghdad. 'In America we give them corporate bonuses.” 4 likes
“Although reality can sometimes corrupt the fairy tale and alter our ambitions, some things remain unalterable. From the richest to the poorest, we start and end with family.” 2 likes
More quotes…