Michael Robotham

The Night Ferry

"… this book will leave you breathless"


Alisha Barba is a detective who is mending, both physically and mentally, after a murder suspect broke her back across a brick wall. Some time later, Cate Beaumont, an old school friend who Alisha had fallen out with, contacts her and wishes to see Alisha at a school reunion. On the night, before Cate can tell Alisha what is worrying her, Cate, who is eight months pregnant, and her husband are mown down. Cate's husband is killed outright and Cate is rushed to the hospital where they discover that Cate isn't pregnant but has been deceiving everyone. Why would her friend go through such an elaborate deception?

With the help of her old boss, Ruiz, the two detectives find themselves in Amsterdam where they come across the murky underworld of illegal immigrants, sex trafficking and a big industry where people prey on the needy and the desperate.

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Michael Robotham is one of the most exciting new writers to hit the crime arena within the last few years. I loved The Drowning Man and I was very intrigued to discover which direction this marvellous writer was going to take. I had loved Ruiz and was pleased to see him again in this novel, albeit in a supporting role rather than as the lead character. Ruiz's ex-colleague, Alisha, enlists his help in finding out who killed Cate. This leads them both to Amsterdam where they discover the seedy world of illegal immigrants that Cate had involved herself in. Why had such a law-abiding woman been dealing with such criminals who pedalled people as if they were so much trash? The answer is plausible and horrifying in equal measures. Even though this is Robotham's third novel, he writes such fluid plots that you might think he has been constructing crime novels for many years. Although The Night Ferry was an exciting read and flowed well, it wasn't a story with many surprises and any revelations could be picked up well before they appeared. It is also difficult for anyone to write from the viewpoint of the opposite sex. To make that opposite sex also Indian is definitely a big job to achieve. Does Robotham make Alisha credible? I believe so, but sometimes I felt that the different protocols and customs were put across as fact without the spiritual understanding that some cultures have for their individual beliefs and practices. Notwithstanding any minor quibbles, Robotham is still an exciting writer to watch. The Night Ferry is certainly a rollercoaster ride and this book will leave you breathless, as our two protagonists race across Europe after some despicable monsters that leave a pile of bodies in their wake. I will certainly be looking forward to Robotham's next book with anticipation.

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