Jeff Labrecque
June 20, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Night Ferry

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Michael Robotham
publisher
Doubleday
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Fiction

We gave it a B-

London detective Ali Barba, a supporting player in Michael Robotham’s Lost, takes the lead in The Night Ferry, a murder investigation connecting the murky underworld of human trafficking. A fearless Sikh with a spine of steel — literally, due to an injury — Barba is surrounded by male frailty, except for her reliable mentor, Ruiz. The author skillfully exhumes Barba’s guilt-ridden past, which helps sustain a slack second act. Barba’s nemeses are ruthless, but unimaginative, regurgitating infamous soundbites from, of all people, Don Rumsfeld and President Bush. Eventually, even Barba succumbs to clichés like, ”You’ll never get away with this.” Robotham has crafted a Bollywood version of Clarice Starling; here’s hoping his next adventure finds its Lector. B?

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