Joseph O'Loughlin appears to have the perfect life: a beautiful wife, a loving daughter, and a successful career as a clinical psychologist. But nothing can be taken for granted. Even the most flawless existence is only one loose thread away from unravelling. All it takes is a murdered girl, a troubled young patient - and the biggest lie of his life.
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© Michael Robotham; (P) W F Howes Ltd
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Critic reviews

"There are twists and turns in this plot enough to challenge most thriller readers....Gripping stuff." ( Publishing News)
"Believable and authentic from the first sentence....Robotham doesn't put a foot wrong in his plotting, pace or inventiveness." ( The Australian)
"A truly classy thriller, beautifully crafted....a gripping finale that even the most seasoned mystery addicts won't see coming." ( Australian Women's Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Shoshi on 29-03-08

A gripping yarn

This is a pretty graphic tale, fairly violent in places, but un-put-downable, with an immensely likeable central character, wrestling with personal demons, very human, with a good heart, just wanting to do his best, against all the odds!

Through many twists and turns, you wonder whether our hero will ever get his life back together again. No-one should have to suffer as he does, but through it all, he matures and gains a deeper knowledge of himself, of his past, and of human nature.

Initially, I found the present-tense style of narration somewhat irritating, but this was just because it is not the usual convention for storytelling (not sure why not, as it actually given an immediacy not found in the usual style), and after a while I became accustomed to it. The book was beautifully read, and gripping to listen to. Recommended.

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39 of 40 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Gamester on 07-12-13

I only wish I'd read these in order!

A confirmed fan of this genre (Harlan Coben, Michael Connolly, Lee Child et al) I stumbled across these books on Audible. Starting with the latest. I've now purchased and downloaded them all. This appears to be the first involving Joe and Ruiz, it documents their first meeting, under extraordinary circumstances. It also gives Joe's history (which I'd gathered bits and pieces of from the other books). Would be great if the books were numbered in order, or if the descriptions could suggest order of reading. Although, having said that, they are great standalone novels.
These books are beautifully written, with style, pace, great story lines and engaging characters. Although at times you will feel like giving Joe a swift slap when he (yet again) refuses to disclose something that would make his life so much easier. But I guess that is story telling for you.
Start with this one and work your way through. You won't be disappointed.
Gruesome murders, complex mysteries and a great team in Joe and Ruiz. Unlike most fictional detectives, Ruiz doesn't have a penchant for a particular type of music, a drink problem or problems with women. But is fascinating nevertheless.

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27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Alan T Alcock on 06-05-09

Top of the class

This is the first Michael Robotham book I have listened too, this after reading Bombproof.
This book holds you in suspense until the end. Fast paced with characters fleshed out so they become almost real. The reader Crispin Redman deserves a lot of praise for his portrayal of the various characters in the book and in no small way adds to the listening pleasure. Well worth the purchase.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Russell on 20-05-14

A Psychologist Becomes a Sleuth

This was a rewarding accidental discovery for me. The good news is that there are eight more books to look forward to in this series that is not driven by another flawed detective. (I'm following a few of those) Instead we have Joseph O'Loughlin who is a flawed psychologist. He makes some bad choices and they come back to haunt him tenfold in this mystery/thriller set in England.

Although imperfect, this psychologist is capable of some deep insights into human nature giving us a different perspective than the traditional hard ass cop protagonist. It is refreshing to join along with Mr O'Loughlin who has a credible background in something different than detective science as he attempts to unravel the strands of a perplexing murder. In the process, there are enough twists in this book to keep mystery fans engaged.

The narrator, Cripsin Redman does an excellent job with the voices for the various characters. I especially liked how he portrayed the Scottish friend who had designs on our hero's wife.

I am looking forward to the next book in the Michael Robotham Joseph O'Loughlin series and if you are looking for something where a professional detective or policeman isn't driving the story - we get a lot of those - give this one a try.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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