Monday, February 1, 2010


Lost by Michael Robotham
Det. Insp. Vincent Ruiz (a supporting character in Robotham's debut, Suspect) is hauled out of the Thames with a bullet wound in his leg and no memory of a shooting, let alone how he wound up in the water in Robotham's fine, moody second thriller. Keebal, a nasty cop from internal affairs, hounds Ruiz from the start, and everyone seems to know something Ruiz doesn't. When psychologist Joe O'Loughlin (the protagonist of Suspect) shows Ruiz a picture of young Mickey Carlyle—a seven-year-old girl kidnapped three years earlier whom everyone but Ruiz thinks is dead—he figures there must be some connection between her case and his shooting. Despite his injuries, Ruiz retraces this investigation with the help of his partner, a young Sikh woman named Ali. The past returns in dribs and drabs and none too gently. Mickey is the daughter of a Russian-born crime lord, Aleksei Kuznet; a cache of diamonds and a man known as a "grooming paedophile" also figure prominently in the splintered plot. The warm relationship between Ruiz and Joe, who suffers from Parkinson's, counterpoints the main story line's grit. Robotham works some good wrinkles into Ruiz's relationship with Ali and an empathetic nurse, too. The result is a thoughtful and subtle thriller, with convincing, three-dimensional characters..
--Lost by Michael Robotham, Published Vintage (May 8, 2007). Audio book produced by Recorded Books.

My Review:

I listened to Michael Robotham’s first book, Suspect before I started this blog so there is no review of it here, but I enjoyed the book so much I had to get hold of his second and third books, Lost and Shattered. I hoped Lost would be as good as Suspect and I was not disappointed.

The story starts strong, if a bit slow, as Detective Inspector Vincent Ruiz is pulled from the Thames with a bullet hole in his leg. He awakens eight days later with no memory as to how he ended up in the river or what happened to the diamonds he was supposed to be delivering as part of a ransom for a girl who had been kidnapped three years earlier. The story drags as Vincent keeps slipping onto the past--the case’s past and his own memories of his younger brother--but once Vincent does recover his memory, the pace picks up speed and we’re off on a frenetic roller coaster ride. Vincent begins to put together the bits and pieces of the case, developing theories that involve an exploration of the London sewers and culminates in a flight to the countryside outside Moscow.

This is Michael Robotham’s second novel and it is as good as his first. His third novel, The Night Ferry as well as his fourth, Shattered are on my list and I’ll be giving them a listen very soon.

I give this story FOUR STARS.

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