Crime Fiction Alphabet – L is for Lost

We’re nearly half-way through the Crime Fiction Alphabet and I’m highlighting my favourite book by former Australian ghost-writer turned crime fiction author Michael Robotham. It’s the second of Robotham’s four loosely related books which feature several of the same characters but in each one a different person takes centre stage. Lost opens with Detective Inspector Vincent Ruiz having been shot and nearly drowned in the Thames. He has also lost his memory of the previous days in which critical events took place in a kidnapping case that has tormented him for three years.

Obviously amnesia isn’t a new plot device but it’s used with great skill here. The way Ruiz re-creates the events conveys his frustration and fear beautifully. The story cracks along at a rapid pace while at the same time including detail and back story where necessary so that the characters are wonderfully complex. Robotham is a dab hand at getting to the nub of writing people because even minor characters that only appear for a page or two are so perfectly depicted that you quickly develop a real sense of them. For fans of Robotham’s earlier novel, Suspect, this book provides an enjoyable opportunity to meet up with Joe O’Loughlin again, although this time he is more competent professional than the rattled major-crime suspect he was in the earlier outing.

Michael Robotham takes risks with his crime writing and while it doesn’t always pay off equally well I applaud his approach. Rather than sticking with what can be formulaic series-writing he tries new things and makes each book different from its predecessor and, as someone who has tired of many series due to their predictability, I really appreciate that.

You can read the first chapter of Lost at Michael Robotham’s website.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

My previous entries in the Crime Fiction Alphabet are

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6 Responses to Crime Fiction Alphabet – L is for Lost

  1. Kerrie says:

    I nearly chose LOST myself Bernadette but then decided to highlight Peter James. Thanks for your contributions.

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  2. Sounds good to me! Thanks!

    Here is my Crime Fiction Alphabet: L post!

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  3. Bernadette – Thanks for this review. I really enjoyed Lost, myself, so I’m glad that you chose it. You are absolutely right that Robotham is far from formulaic, and that’s one of the things to like about him!

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  4. Dorte H says:

    I am sorry that the Danish publisher is not going to translate any more of Robotham´s very fine books (they only translated one or two, before they gave up on him). Not for my own sake as English fiction should be read in English, of course, but because he really deserves being acknowledged in Denmark. We don´t get much Australian fiction as you can probably imagine.

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  5. Pingback: Crime Fiction Alphabet – O is for Outsider « Reactions to Reading

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