Say you’re sorry is the latest book in Michael Robotham’s series featuring psychologist Joseph O’Loughlin.
Three years ago, two teenage girls disappeared, and their community drew together, forming search parties and supporting the bereft parents. But when it came to light that missing teens Piper Hadley and Tash McBain weren’t the innocent, straight-A students everyone thought, the focus shifted, and the girls were categorized as probable runaways. The families were regarded with pity and suspicion instead of sympathy, and the case became colder and colder.
Now, a husband and wife are murdered at the farmhouse where Tash used to live. Her parents moved after she disappeared, and the fact that she once lived there seems to be a coincidence, a detail hardly worth mentioning in the case file. The case against the couple’s mentally ill caretaker seems to be airtight, to everyone except his mother and Joe McLoughlin, the psychologist called in to assess him.
But if the caretaker didn’t kill them, why were they killed? McLoughlin believes it may have something to do with Tash’s disappearance three years ago. If he’s right, the girls definitely didn’t run away—and they may still be alive.
The story is told alternately by Joe and by entries in Piper Hadley’s secret journal. It works as a stand-alone novel, but there are some family plotlines that build from book to book, so you may prefer to start with the first one, Suspect. Robotham’s characters are reliably well drawn and sympathetic, and his plots genuinely suspenseful.