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

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message 1: by Bill (new) - added it

Bill Use this thread to add spoilers about the book... Enjoy!


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Hi, have you finished the book?

If not, stop, drop and roll.

No, I mean Stop and and turn around. Go to the other thread for this book.

If yes, what did you think overall?

What did you think of the first scene in the book. Why do you think the author started with that?


Skye | 2105 comments I haven't even gotten the book, yet, Nancy. Waiting for it to come.


message 4: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments I just completely binged on this point. I love the characteristics of Joe. Robotham nailed it with this guy. I found myself getting completely emotional while reading. I would go for moments of feeling angry at Joe to moments where I felt sadness, back to anger, moments where I question his intelligence and wonder why he acted the way he had, and then at the end rooting for him and being excited when he finally figured out the plot against them!


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Bobby wrote: "I just completely binged on this point. I love the characteristics of Joe. Robotham nailed it with this guy. I found myself getting completely emotional while reading. I would go for moments of fee..."

YES! That's exactly how I felt!

I really liked him. I liked the fact that he could be humble and vulnerable. I like it when he did somewhat unpopular things like having training sessions to help prostitutes stay safe.

I was getting mad at him too. (I think I said "Stupid" out loud while I was reading. I always laugh at my husband for yelling at people on TV, so he thought it was funny.)

I really understand that when you're stressed out, it distorts your thinking. He was a professor, so he's used to being able to take a lot of time to think deeply about narrow things He's just not used to this kind of action.

At one point I thought - Hey, you think you're a profiler but you missed the clues that there was a second unsub! (I watched too many episodes of Criminal Minds.) He knew his profile of the killer didn't match the person he thought was responsible, but it didn't occur to him there could be two people acting together.

I loved how the author built up the details of the early case with the social workers, and all the steps and people involved in a case when when sexual abuse is alleged. That was pretty interesting and heartbreaking.


message 6: by NancyJ (last edited Jun 04, 2018 07:57PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) What did you think about the scenes with his father? My dad was a quite, stoic type, so I loved it.

I felt sad about the creepy things his "friend" did. What a slime ball! But he sort of redeemed himself, and there was an explanation of sorts.


message 7: by Skye (last edited Jun 12, 2018 12:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments I believe his father was horrid; a medical snob who went out of his way to make Joe feel very small. I was also wondering why the good psychologist spends so much time discussing himself; it appears to me, he is providing the reader with a clear vision of a well educated man with low level of self-esteem; even when he talks about Julianne, he seems to be undeserving.


Skye | 2105 comments By the way, I do like the main character, and the case of Catherine Macbride is both puzzling and disturbing, and Ruiz seems to be ontosomething.


Linda (beaulieulinda117gmailcom) | 1487 comments I just started so I'm still on the roof


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

Skye | 2105 comments It's all right, Linda, I am not very, very far.


message 11: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments It's good, though.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Linda wrote: "I just started so I'm still on the roof"

Oh Oh -This is the spoiler thread, so don't read any of these posts. There is another thread you can post on instead.


message 13: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments Skye wrote: "I believe his father was horrid; a medical snob who went out of his way to make Joe feel very small. I was also wondering why the good psychologist spends so much time discussing himself; it appear..."

I got that as well from the descriptions that he makes of himself. He seems to feel that what is happening to him is almost a punishment. When his father made comments about him, you could almost visualize him going back and forth with himself; Wanting to say one thing, but instead deciding on the less aggressive.


Linda (beaulieulinda117gmailcom) | 1487 comments That's funny i rather liked Lenny. I thought it was more his mother who was the abusive one.


message 15: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments Maybe I haven't reached that point, yet.


message 16: by Bobby (new) - added it

Bobby | 21 comments I was referring to Joe's father. I felt bad for Lenny's character and all the events that worked against him. The mother was horrid. I agree.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Bobby wrote: "Skye wrote: "I believe his father was horrid; a medical snob who went out of his way to make Joe feel very small. I was also wondering why the good psychologist spends so much time discussing himse..."

I think Joe's therapist skills are coming into play when he weighs his words carefully. I liked the part when the father finally came clean about his real feelings. He was a jerk of a father, and he would have been a lousy psychologist, but he loved Joe and Joe loves him.


message 18: by NancyJ (last edited Jun 15, 2018 11:46AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) Skye wrote: "I believe his father was horrid; a medical snob who went out of his way to make Joe feel very small. I was also wondering why the good psychologist spends so much time discussing himself; it appear..."

I didn't see it as low self-esteem, I saw it as humility and empathy. But I do think that people who go into psychology often 1) want to help others, and 2) are trying to find some answers for themselves.


message 19: by NancyJ (last edited Jun 20, 2018 11:05PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) Linda wrote: "That's funny i rather liked Lenny. I thought it was more his mother who was the abusive one."

Lenny was the one accused of abuse, right? I agree that the boy's mother was negligent and awful. The boy's father seemed decent. It's really sad that an accusation like that would be believed without the victim confirming it. I hated the way he died though. I don't think a person could actually do that to himself (the letters on his chest) without passing out first.


Linda (beaulieulinda117gmailcom) | 1487 comments This story at least that part resonates with me because this happened to me and he was also innocent. The only difference is that my son was special needs and said something and they ran with it. So I know how false accusations can ruin a family.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Linda wrote: "This story at least that part resonates with me because this happened to me and he was also innocent. The only difference is that my son was special needs and said something and they ran with it. S..."

That's awful. I imagine the investigation alone could be traumatic. When my kids were little, the nation was all up in arms about a day care center and some really outrageous charges against them. Much later they were found to be false, but their lives were damaged. Someone took what a child said and twisted it to make it sound sinister, and then it snowballed until kids were just nodding to hysterical adults. The kids were so young, they didn't understand any of it. With older kids who do understand, you have to give the kid the benefit of the doubt above anyone else.


Linda (beaulieulinda117gmailcom) | 1487 comments Yeah it sure traumatised my kids as well as me.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 581 comments NancyJ wrote: "When my kids were little, the nation was all up in arms about a day care center and some really outrageous charges against them. Much later they were found to be false, but their lives were damaged."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMarti...


Kimiko | 69 comments I am almost finished with this book. I have been going through a lot of emotions regarding Joe (is he weak? is he on the right path?), his so-called friends (Jock, the rake, who covets Joe's wife), and in Joe's investigation into the murders. In one moment, I want to shake some sense into Joe and in the next, I'm rooting for him, as the underdog. I believe it is the mark of a very well written book that the reader can experience so many highs and lows of emotions during the reading of a good book.


message 25: by NancyJ (last edited Jun 20, 2018 11:04PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) Kimiko wrote: "I am almost finished with this book. I have been going through a lot of emotions regarding Joe (is he weak? is he on the right path?), his so-called friends (Jock, the rake, who covets Joe's wife),..."

I agree with that. I like the emotional waves. I think one reason that he appeals to me is that he's a real person. He shows empathy, he shows bravery, he shows weakness, he gets scared, he figures things out, he makes mistakes, he runs, and he loves people. He's not a cop or a detective and he didn't do all the things that we as mystery readers know he should. This was his first case, and presumably he gets much better as he gets more experience. (Based on the reviews for future books, I think this is probably true. I knew this in advance so that may have increased my overall confidence in him.)

I took a break from mysteries for a few years because I got tired of some of the unrealistic characters. Like the Sherlock types who figure everything out in a minute, or the Jack Reacher types who can win a gunfight with 40 armed bad guys. I like cases that show me something new, or with characters who develop in interesting ways over time.

So this isn't a perfect book by any means, but it was a fun read and I cared about the characters.


Kimiko | 69 comments NancyJ wrote: "Kimiko wrote: "I am almost finished with this book. I have been going through a lot of emotions regarding Joe (is he weak? is he on the right path?), his so-called friends (Jock, the rake, who cove..."

Thank you, yes. Finished the book last nite and yes, I was satisfied with the outcome.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 1216 comments I thought this story was the best mystery I have read this year! Emotional waves is the perfect sentence to describe how the plot plays out. I wanted to kick Joe a few times though. Idiot. I hope he finally gets it Julianne is his best friend.

I felt so sorry for Lenny.


PattyMacDotComma | 505 comments I really enjoyed this one when I read it some months ago. Michael Robotham is now a well-known and popular author, but this was his debut! The first outing of Joe O'Loughlin in what is now a substantial series, and I thought it was great!

I reviewed it at the time, so rather than clutter up the thread, I'll just add the link here.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Randy wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "When my kids were little, the nation was all up in arms about a day care center and some really outrageous charges against them. Much later they were found to be false, but their liv..."

Thanks Randy that's the one. I'll see if memory matched the case.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Kimiko wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "Kimiko wrote: "I am almost finished with this book. I have been going through a lot of emotions regarding Joe (is he weak? is he on the right path?), his so-called friends (Jock, the..."

I really do want to see what happens in the next book, and I hope to see continued growth in all quarters. I really enjoyed the book. It gave me a break from more serious books, so I'm game for more.

Does anyone else plan to read one or more of the books in the series?


message 31: by NancyJ (last edited Jun 30, 2018 11:56PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) PattyMacDotComma wrote: "I really enjoyed this one when I read it some months ago. Michael Robotham is now a well-known and popular author, but this was his debut! The first outing of Joe O'Loughlin in what..."

Nice review! Did you find him to very different between book 1 and 6 that you read? We thought he did a few foolish things in this book.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "I thought this story was the best mystery I have read this year! Emotional waves is the perfect sentence to describe how the plot plays out. I wanted to kick Joe a few times though. Idiot. I hope h..."

If he ever takes her for granted, he's an idiot. That kid is a pistol too.

I read it a month ago and I can't remember what happened to the sleazy friend. I still .have the book, so I'll reread the last two chapters


PattyMacDotComma | 505 comments NancyJ wrote: "PattyMacDotComma wrote: "I really enjoyed this one when I read it some months ago. Michael Robotham is now a well-known and popular author, but this was his debut! The first outing ...

Nice review! Did you find him to very different between book 1 and 6 that you read? We thought he did a few foolish thines"


I'm afraid I read #6 too long ago to be able to compare very well, but re-reading my review, I think what carries through is his distress that he can figure out why people sometimes do awful things. He'd rather not know.

I didn't know Joe's history, but I think Book six, Say You're Sorry was probably true to his character and personality. (That's why I write reviews - to help remind me!)
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I really do need to read the rest of them. I have his latest coming up this month, The Secrets She Keeps, but I think it's a standalone, and not part of Joe's series.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) Thanks Patty! I've been so focused on the Great American Read that I haven't picked up his next book. It might give me a nice break between two weightier books.

I agree that reviews are a nice reminder. I've get to develop a better habit of writing reviews. Sometimes I'll talk a lot about a book on a discussion thread, but forget to write a review, or just put it off too long to remember what I wanted to say! I read the current book (Killers of the flower...) a month ago and still need to write the review, and post some comments here.


PattyMacDotComma | 505 comments NancyJ wrote: "Thanks Patty! I've been so focused on the Great American Read that I haven't picked up his next book. It might give me a nice break between two weightier books.

I agree that reviews are a nice re..."


Even if you don't feel like writing for publication, so to speak, if you make a few notes when reading a real book or copy the notes out of your ebook reader into a document, they will remind you just for yourself. That's what I do before I write reviews, and it helps me remember what struck me at the time I read something.


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

Skye | 2105 comments NancyJ wrote: "Bobby wrote: "I just completely binged on this point. I love the characteristics of Joe. Robotham nailed it with this guy. I found myself getting completely emotional while reading. I would go for ..."

I am still reading this, but nearing the end, and YES, I adore Joe, and I am amazed by his fortitude; struggling through mud and puddles, falling, struggling to run, and he is constantly covered with mud. I love his father now~


message 37: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments NancyJ wrote: "Kimiko wrote: "I am almost finished with this book. I have been going through a lot of emotions regarding Joe (is he weak? is he on the right path?), his so-called friends (Jock, the rake, who cove..."

What an apt description of Joe: he is very human, and seriously, very brave, too. He sees himself as a victim because of the Parkinson's Disease, but in reality he is heroic. I am at the cusp of denouement, though; uncertain if it is Jock or Bobby or both.


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

Skye | 2105 comments NancyJ wrote: "aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "I thought this story was the best mystery I have read this year! Emotional waves is the perfect sentence to describe how the plot plays out. I wanted to kick Joe ..."

Jock?


message 39: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments NancyJ wrote: "Kimiko wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "Kimiko wrote: "I am almost finished with this book. I have been going through a lot of emotions regarding Joe (is he weak? is he on the right path?), his so-called fri..."

I will also continue with this author!


PattyMacDotComma | 505 comments Skye wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "Kimiko wrote: "I am almost finished with this book. I have been going through a lot of emotions regarding Joe (is he weak? is he on the right path?), his so-called friends (Jock, the..."

Robotham said in an interview that if he'd known Joe would be so popular, he probably wouldn't have saddled him with Parkinson's. But once he'd given it to him, he could hardly overlook it in all the subsequent books.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Robotham said in an interview that if he'd known Joe would be so popular, he probably wouldn't have saddled him with Parkinson's. But once he'd given it to him, he could hardly overlook it in all the subsequent books."

Oh no. I don't suppose it can go into remission or stop progressing for 10 years.

Some seemingly small decisions can come back to haunt an author. I remember when Sue Grafton decided to space each book only a few months apart in Kinsey's world. A year might pass in our time, but only 2 months for Kinsey. As a result, Kinsey was stuck using the same old methods (like a poster board) and never got to to make use of computers, online databases, and all sorts of other methods. It also seemed to us like she was going years between flirtations, relationships, or other life changes, so her life seemed one dimensional and stagnant It was a decision that made me lose interest in the series .


message 42: by Skye (new) - rated it 4 stars

Skye | 2105 comments I think the Parkinson's disease seems to make him vulnerable and very endearing.
I adore Sue Grafton, Nancy, and I have all her books except for X, Y and Z ( but I think others have written them--sob). I used to spend a great deal of time looking for Grafton to slip up ( modern technology)--believe it or not, she does and did several times, too.


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Say You're Sorry (other topics)
The Secrets She Keeps (other topics)

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Michael Robotham (other topics)