Review of Say You’re Sorry by Michael Robotham

Next Tuesday, October 2, the new mystery/thriller Say You’re Sorry by British author Michael Robotham will be hitting the shelves. I had the pleasure of reading an advance review copy, thanks to NetGalley,  and wanted to give it some advance praise (as they say in book dust-jacket  parlance).

The Joe O’Loughlin series is gritty and harrowing, pitting a consulting psychologist working for various PDs against the toughest of killers, often involving kidnappings and car chases. Usually, this type of suspense fiction is not my cup of tea but after enjoying 2010’s Bleed for Me I figured I’d give Say You’re Sorry a go. There is only one aspect of the series for which you have to be willing to suspend disbelief: Joe O’Loughlin is an on-call police consultant in psychology yet he often ends up discovering forensic evidence as well as chasing down killers whose identities only he seems to be able to discover. If you can put these implausible scenarios firmly aside, they are gripping, read-through-the-night novels. 

Say You’re Sorry, although sixth in the series, is a stand-alone. Robotham does not unnecessarily bore the series fan with plodding back-story but covers enough detail of O’Loughlin’s past to give insight to his character. The new reader can easily immerse herself in the plot without feeling like she is missing key points. The story begins during a pre-Christmas blizzard with Joe waylaid on the way to speak at a conference by a pushy detective who requires his services on a case. The seemingly straightforward case has a few inconsistencies that lead Joe to wonder if it might be connected to the disappearance of two local teenage girls from several years prior. As the perspective shifts back and forth between one kidnapping victim and the third-person view of the action, Robotham builds the suspense from the beginning and doesn’t ratchet it down one iota until the very end. Say You’re Sorry is well written with solid characterizations and a good plot. It is an enjoyable read that I highly recommend.

–contributed by Shannon Baker

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