I have almost finished reading The Suspect, by Michael Robotham. I hadn’t come across the author before – the book was recommended to me by a friend. I am extremely impressed by Robotham’s skilful characterisation and especially by the way that he gains the reader’s sympathy for the protagonist, who is not a very attractive character. I’m fascinated that one of the pivotal events of the novel involves a train journey to Liverpool. By coincidence, a train journey to Liverpool is also significant in the plot of my own novel, In the Family, although of course for a different purpose and with a very different outcome: Robotham’s Professor O’Loughlin finds evidence that will vindicate him in Liverpool, while my own character, Hedley Atkins, goes there to meet catastrophe. I am also gratified (See my blog entry of October 25th.) to note that the opening chapter of The Suspect gives a detailed account of the history of a cancer patient and his rescue from a suicide attempt and that this character does not appear in the novel again!