Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: The Child by Fiona Barton

Title: The Child
Author: Fiona Barton
Published: June 2017, Berkley Books
Format: ARC E-copy, 36 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher
The author of the stunning New York Times bestseller The Widow returns with a brand-new novel of twisting psychological suspense.

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn house by house into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women and torn between what she can and cannot tell.

My thoughts: I was a big fan of Fiona Barton's debut novel, The Widow, and so I was ecstatic to see that not only did she have a second book coming out, but that it contained a beloved character, the journalist Kate. But not to worry - this is not a series or a continuation of the prior book. These are separate stories that just happen to have one re-occurring character.

This book is so good - it's an intricately written, character-driven story. It's narrated by four women and I loved that it was told this way. This allows us to get inside all four women's heads, giving us that emotional attachment, if you will, to each of them, letting us understand their thinking and motivations. All these women's lives are upended by the discovery of the tiny skeletal remains and I loved trying to figure out just how these women were going to all intersect. 

I was so excited to see that Fiona Barton decided to write another story with Kate Waters, the newspaper reporter from The Widow. I really like her character, especially given that Fiona herself was a journalist. Is it possible that Kate is a mirror image of herself? I'm not sure, but I really hope she continues to keep writing stories with Kate as a character - she is so intriguing and while I feel this book, in particular, delves a little more into her background, there is still more to her than we know.

This is not a fast-paced mystery by any means, but rather a slow-burning one. Slowly, pieces of the puzzle are revealed. As we learn more and more about each of the women, secrets start to come to light, revealing what happened so long ago. And I loved that the ending is not rushed. It was just perfect for the entire story...heartfelt and satisfying, yet still filled with some good twists and turns. This is a great psychological thriller, make no mistake. It's just not the crazy page-turner that some of the other books are...this one is a slower, take it all in, kind of book.

This is an addictive, emotional read and I really enjoyed it. I am a big fan of Fiona Barton's work and I just hope that this isn't the last we've seen of Kate Waters...will she be appearing in book 3? I guess time will tell. But either way, Fiona Barton is definitely a must-read author for me!



  1. Yay! I've been wanting to read The Widow but this one really caught my attention. I'm glad to see that you really enjoyed it. Now I just need to get a copy!

  2. I enjoyed The Widow by Barton and Have The Child on my ToRead list. I'm glad you enjoyed it.


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