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Suspect (Joseph O'Loughlin, #1)
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Group Read Discussions > June 2018 Group Read - Suspect by Michael Robotham

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message 1: by Bill (new) - added it

Bill This is your space to discuss Suspect, by Michael Robotham. NancyJ will be the discussion leader.

There is a separate thread for spoiler comments.


message 2: by NancyJ (last edited May 29, 2018 09:45PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) Hi everyone, let's start here. Remember, no spoilers on this board.

You can comment on the first questions even before you start reading the book.

I liked the book and the lead character. I thought it was a very fast paced book, and I liked the fact that the character was a psychologist. I wouldn't call it a literary work, but it hit the spot.

1. Who is planning to read this book? Are you planning to read the print book or listen to the audio book?

I often do both, but with this book, I had to stick with the print book. It might have been different if I started with the audio.

When I read the print book, I got a strong sense of the Joe's personality and "voice," and I really liked him. About half way through I tried the audiotape. The voice was so different (older and more serious) I couldn't adjust. It was like he was replaced by a changeling. "That's not Joe" I thought.

I'm looking forward to hearing your opinions on the difference in this book or other books.

2. How important is the "voice" that YOU give to a character in a book?

Could it help explain why some people like a character and others don't?


NancyJ (nancyjjj) After starting the book... (remember no spoilers)

3. What do you think of the first scene?

What does it tell you about the character of Joe? Why do you think the author started with that? (We'll revisit this question in the spoiler section)


Skye | 2105 comments I am planning to participate, Nancy, but I don't have the book, yet. I had to wait to find which books were selected, and then I ordered from B an N's Marketplace..


Skye | 2105 comments I can say this, though: Voice is very important to me and my perceptions of a book.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 581 comments I am planning to read along (dead tree print copy) but probably won't start for another day or two.


message 7: by NancyJ (last edited May 30, 2018 12:53PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) Randy wrote: "I am planning to read along (dead tree print copy) but probably won't start for another day or two."

Skye wrote: "I am planning to participate, Nancy, but I don't have the book, yet. I had to wait to find which books were selected, and then I ordered from B an N's Marketplace.."

No hurries. It's still May! I wanted to get started early in case I go out of town this weekend for my anniversary.


Skye | 2105 comments Ok, and I hope you get to leave and celebrate your anniversary!!!
How very lovely, Nancy.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Skye wrote: "Ok, and I hope you get to leave and celebrate your anniversary!!!
How very lovely, Nancy."


Well we didn't have a chance to go out of town yet, but it's been nice.


message 10: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments Are you still trying to go?
Good news, Nancy, the book came yesterday.


message 11: by NancyJ (last edited Jun 03, 2018 05:10PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) No, we're staying home for now. I'm glad you got the book. I'll be interested in your first impression of Joe, the lead character.


message 12: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments I definitely like the tone Robotham set starting out this story. The voice the author gives to Joe did not strike me as that of a psychologist initially. I guess I had to many preconceived notions about that profession. That said, I am glad Robotham chose this particular style. It makes Joe more relatable, an average bloke.

I hope everyone else is enjoying this selection so far.


message 13: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Harrison | 8 comments I’m planning to read along Nancy. I’ve just received the book via eBay - along with The Night Ferry as it was a double book offer. Just got to finish Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths first.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Bobby wrote: "I definitely like the tone Robotham set starting out this story. The voice the author gives to Joe did not strike me as that of a psychologist initially. I guess I had to many preconceived notions ..."

I agree. I think most psychologists are a lot life the rest of us, especially if we see them in a different setting. The part I didn't like though was when he was trying to profile the detective. That's the kind of thing that makes people nervous, and I don't think it's realistic.

What did you think about how he dealt with the suicidal kid?


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Jackie wrote: "I’m planning to read along Nancy. I’ve just received the book via eBay - along with The Night Ferry as it was a double book offer. Just got to finish Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths first."

Great we'll see you soon.


message 16: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments I also just received the book, and it seems very good, I like Joe so far. I believe he dealt well the kid about to jump. Although there were moments, I was uncertain.


message 17: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments I love the reason he gave for becoming a psychologist ( to figure out Julianne).


message 18: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments I thought it was very interesting how he dealt with the suicidal teenager. The way he went about handling the situation was very much like talking with an old friend. You can tell from that encounter how he feels about his patients, and how he seems to really want to help people. I thought the analogy about being scared and the Bear was definitely an indicator of what was going to occur throughout the novel and I've seen various points where this is true.

This is definitely shown later on in the book as you read about his various patients and the psychological issues they have and how he goes about assisting them.


message 19: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments Do you think that he is more eager to help other people rather than himself? I have definitely noticed points where he seems to set himself up for scrutiny or failure by overthinking. But he seems very at ease when dealing with the psychological issues that his patients present.


message 20: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments Some interesting comments; many psychologists have their own personal motives for studying the field. It's altruistic, but it's also personal.


message 21: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments Very true. I like the contrast between him and his friend Jock. It shows Joe's character traits more, and allows you to see more of how he is indicative as a psychologist.


message 22: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments I haven't gotten that far, yet, but reading these comments spurs me on to keep reading ( I have so many books on my plate at the moment---two are nearly finished).


message 23: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments I am exactly the same way! Right before I started reading this book I hurried through the last one so that I could start this and ignored sleep just so that I could get some of it read.


message 24: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments Bobby, I do this all the time! However, the two other books are simply wonderful!


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Bobby wrote: "I thought it was very interesting how he dealt with the suicidal teenager. The way he went about handling the situation was very much like talking with an old friend. You can tell from that encount..."

Skye wrote: "I also just received the book, and it seems very good, I like Joe so far. I believe he dealt well the kid about to jump. Although there were moments, I was uncertain."

I liked that he tried different things to read the kid. I thought the question about hitting something with spit was funny and sort of ridiculous. But it was a good distraction for a teenage boy. And the question itself got the kid to think analytically - he talked about accounting for wind speed or something - and that gets him to use the logical part of his brain, not emotions. Sometimes a little distraction can help someone change their focus a little. He was also observing his body language/

I liked that he was showing some humility in all this too. Unlike his cocky conversations with the detective later on.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Bobby wrote: "I thought it was very interesting how he dealt with the suicidal teenager. The way he went about handling the situation was very much like talking with an old friend. You can tell from that encount..."

Interesting. When I read that question about the bear I couldn't tell what he thought was the answer. When you see the bear, does the THOUGHT ("I should run") come first, or does the body reaction come first? * Do you think he concluded action comes first? Later on in the book I think he does a lot of things without thinking.

* BTW, we always hear about the "fight or flight" reaction that comes from the adrenaline coursing through your body when you're under stress. In reality though, a lot of people "freeze" first while they try to take a few seconds or minutes (or hours) to decide what to do.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Skye wrote: "Bobby, I do this all the time! However, the two other books are simply wonderful!"

Skye, don't feel pressured to rush through good books. Take your time. I got in a bit of a slump last month because I felt pressured to finish other books that I had started. When I finished, I was going to take a break. I picked this up to see what it's about and the next thing I knew, it was done. It was refreshing.

I think a lot of people opted to start with the more literary book this month, so they might need a quick read afterwards.

I've got a lot of work the next few days, but I'll be back this weekend to discuss more.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Bobby wrote: "Very true. I like the contrast between him and his friend Jock. It shows Joe's character traits more, and allows you to see more of how he is indicative as a psychologist."

When I read the blurb about the book, I wondered if the author was going to lead us to think maybe he did murder someone. The author made him a hero right away, with a serious illness, and that made us more likely to trust him I think.


message 29: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments I agree! I just finished the book five minutes ago. I couldn't put it down!


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Bobby wrote: "I agree! I just finished the book five minutes ago. I couldn't put it down!"

Good to hear!


message 31: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments NancyJ wrote: "Skye wrote: "Bobby, I do this all the time! However, the two other books are simply wonderful!"

Skye, don't feel pressured to rush through good books. Take your time. I got in a bit of a slump las..."


Thanks, Nancy: I am enjoying this book so far, but as you said....I am wondering what's wrong with him, although, he seems to have a problem with his joints and hands.


Linda (beaulieulinda117gmailcom) | 1484 comments Is this part of a series? Are there other books that should be read before this one?


message 33: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments I think this is the first in the series, but I am really enjoying it very much!!!!!!


message 34: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments Bobby wrote: "I agree! I just finished the book five minutes ago. I couldn't put it down!"

You are amazing, Bobby!!


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Skye wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "Skye wrote: "Bobby, I do this all the time! However, the two other books are simply wonderful!"

Skye, don't feel pressured to rush through good books. Take your time. I got in a bit..."


It's Parkinson's disease.


message 36: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments Thanks, Nancy! How sad; I really, really like him; he's smart, yet kindly. I love the work he does with the prostitutes.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Linda wrote: "Is this part of a series? Are there other books that should be read before this one?"

This is the first book in the series, and it's the perfect place to start.

In this group we almost always start with the first book in a series for our group reads. I was going to read this on my own, and I was tempted to start with a later book that fans say is the best, but like most people here, I like to start at the beginning and see the characters develop. The character arcs are often more interesting to me than the mysteries themselves.

Jump in, the water is fine.


message 38: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments I do too, Nancy


Linda (beaulieulinda117gmailcom) | 1484 comments Thanks Nancy


message 40: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments Skye wrote: "Bobby wrote: "I agree! I just finished the book five minutes ago. I couldn't put it down!"

You are amazing, Bobby!!"


Awww, thanks. I actually had yesterday evening off from both jobs, so I wanted to read as much as I could. The action picked up, and I just couldn't stop. It was almost like an episode of Criminal Minds.


message 41: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments Skye wrote: "Thanks, Nancy! How sad; I really, really like him; he's smart, yet kindly. I love the work he does with the prostitutes."

I do as well. It really helps with the characterization of Joe. He appreciates that life is different for each person, and that the path a person decides to take does not determine who that person is deep down.


Sherrie (sbrittig) | 47 comments I finished the book last night. At first, I didn’t think I’d like it, but was drawn into the story. I was frustrated with the interplay between Joe and Ruiz—how Joe seemed to be so weak and ineffectual in proving his innocence and how he hid things rather than help himself. So his actions at the end were surprising. I am disappointed at the ending, since it seemed to me to be rushed in tidying everything up after the drawn-out drama. But I enjoyed the book overall, and will add the others of the series to my TBR list.


message 43: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments Frankly, I am not only loving the story, but the characterizations are simply amazing. Joe is an incredible character, and each person that is showcased is well drawn. Ruiz is very shrewd, and from the onset, I believe, he knows more than he lets on.


message 44: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments I agree. Ruiz is a very shrewd individual. At some points I was almost convinced he may be in on the set-up.


message 45: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments I thought that, as well; sometimes things happen by chance, and at other times, gazing backward, there seems to be a 'plan.' Just think to how Joe felt in the cemetery, and then how Ruiz came to the prostitute meeting....interesting, huh?


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Sherrie wrote: "I finished the book last night. At first, I didn’t think I’d like it, but was drawn into the story. I was frustrated with the interplay between Joe and Ruiz—how Joe seemed to be so weak and ineffec..."

Yes, I want to talk more about this later - on the spoiler thread.

I felt the same way about the ending - that it seemed rushed. I attributed it to the fact that I read it so fast, but I do want to re-read the last chapter or two.


message 47: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments I am no where that far; right now he is dealing with a very nasty client, who has finally admitted to being violent. One never knows. This man ( client) seemed overly meek and very conscious of his size.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 581 comments I'm about a quarter of the way through so far and not really feeling this one. I'll continue on and see if it gets better later.


message 49: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments That's where I am, but I am truly loving it, Randy.


message 50: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments Randy wrote: "I'm about a quarter of the way through so far and not really feeling this one. I'll continue on and see if it gets better later."

The beginning moved a bit slowly for me as well, but I found that it picked up as the story progressed. Hopefully it will for you as well!


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