Cover Image: The Child

The Child

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Member Reviews

I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book through NetGalley and Berkeley Publishing.  This is a Kate Waters book #2, I did not read the first book but it stands alone just fine.   This story is told from multiple points of view in short chapters, the mystery will keep you turning pages as the main character Kate, a journalist tries to uncover the mystery behind a skeleton of a baby found in a house.  It is a suspenseful psychological thriller with a very unexpected ending.
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I love love LOVED this book! I never saw that ending coming! There were SOOOO many twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t put it down, I had to know what was happening next! I like books where I haven’t figured out the ending before I get there, this was that book. I need more from Barton.
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The main characters of The Child are all intriguing.    There is Kate the reporter following up on a story of a baby’s remains found buried during a construction dig.    Angela is the mother of a baby that was kidnapped from the hospital just hours after her birth and has never had closure.   Emma is a surprise POV; she lived at the location that the baby remains were found.     I found it interesting how different their lives were yet together the stories all came together perfectly.

There were secrets, intrigue, and surprises that I never saw coming.   The mystery was not hard to solve but with each different twist and turn I learned more about the various characters.    I was invested in Kate getting her story, Angela getting her closure, and Emma coming to terms with her teenage years.   There is so much more to this story than meets the eyes.  

The ending was the surprise.    The Child is certainly a psychological thriller that kept me on my toes.    I could not put the book down.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for this free readers edition. In exchange, I am providing an honest review.

Barton introduced Kate Waters, a journalist, to the reader in The Widow. Kate Waters makes a good character to build a series around. There's lots of character development Barton can do with her and as a journalist, there is always some sort of interesting story she can be looking into.

A child, a newborn child, has been discovered buried. From what is immediately evident the child didn't live or had no chance to live past being birthed and it looks like this child was born a very long time ago. So many questions come with this discovery; who is the child, was it murdered or born dead, who are the parents of the child, does anyone else know about this? With very little to go on the local police open an investigation.

Kate Waters is looking for a good story. She's tired of doing puff pieces and wants something to grab her, and the readers, attention. Plus, the rumors around the newsroom hint at possible layoffs and she needs this job. What would she do at home all day anyway? It's been a couple of years since her story about Jean Taylor and she needs another boost to her byline like that. When her eye catches a few sentences about a baby being found buried she decides to try and turn it into something.

Kate, with an apprentice in tow, begins to sift through the details and search out the leads. Slow and steady wins the race and all. Eventually, pieces of this puzzle begin to emerge but they are detailing a picture quite different than what anyone, including Kate, thought it would be.

Fiona Barton writes a solid story. In her first title, I felt like the story dragged in parts but this title had a good pace to it. She's clearly working on developing Kate Waters with each title and it all fits - it doesn't seem too slow or too rushed. I'm curious to read the next title in the series as it continues with a personal storyline for Kate introduced in this book.
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This was an interesting story, and the chapters are told from different characters perspectives. I liked it, but there were a lot of characters to keep track of. The story bounced back and forth between the present and two different time periods in the past. I was surprised by the ending, which is always the sign of a good book for me. I like the author's writing style and will read more books by her.

I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from Berkley through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Tried to read it and listen to it, and I couldn’t get into it either time. It’s not holding my attention and I’m not interested in learning the connection to the women’s stories about the babies.
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Review on Goodreads and Amazon

4 Star review

This is the second Kate Waters mystery I have read and find them to be very enjoyable. I will say this one kept me guessing a bit more as to the full layout of the story than the first in series did. I thoroughly enjoyed the character development. I will admit though to not being thrilled with the MULTI POV Ms. Barton's books have, especially when another character is thrown in. This can result in 5 different POVs. I simply find it distracting and irritating. Thus, the 4 star review. 

Reviewed for publisher via Netgalley.
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When the skeleton of a newborn is discovered at a building site in a rapidly-gentrifying part of London, Angela is convinced that it belongs to her baby Alice, stolen from her hospital cot 40 years earlier. But Emma, a ghostwriter who works from home and who has definite mental health issues, is just as convinced that the baby has something to do with her own tormented adolescence in the 80s. Kate Waters, a reporter who’s known for really getting to know the people she’s interviewing, gets to know both Emma and Angela.

Emma’s troubled past haunts her. She hides it from her husband, a professor, as much as she can. Many of her troubles seem to stem from her adolescence and  from her rocky relationship with her mother, Jude. Jude and her then-boyfriend actually kicked Emma out of the house at one point, and Emma struggles as her mother continues to want this man to come back into their lives.

Angela’s husband and other children wish she could move on from the loss of her baby, but she can’t, and has never been able to. The policeman in charge of the investigation suspected Angela and her husband were possibly involved, but of course were never able to prove anything. Now the same policeman revisits the case.

Meanwhile, Kate is dealing with a changing newsroom, as everything’s gone digital now and there’s less call for old-fashioned investigative journalism. Undeterred, she tracks down the old inhabitants of the neighborhood, getting to know the boy who made the discovery of the tiny skeleton, the owner of the local pub and his wife, and the older woman who still lives in her original house and who has long memories. She looks at old photo albums, and becomes a friend to the women involved. And bit by bit, she comes to the truth. But can she reveal it? She’s treading a fine line between retaining the trust of the police and the trust of the women involved.

The Child is an excellent book, one I’ve already read twice and plan to revisit in the years to come. Fiona Barton’s pacing is masterful, and I know I should have figured out the major plot twist earlier but I didn’t, and it rocked me. I really cared about the characters, and excitedly turned each page in anticipation of what would follow as the mystery was revealed, bit by bit. Can’t wait to read more from this author!
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I really enjoyed The Widow last year, so I was excited to read the author’s follow-up The Child. I mistakenly thought this was a sequel, but although the books share a common character, it is definitely a standalone with a completely different plot. Like The Widow, the book is very slow building with a character-driven narrative. A lot of different stories are weaving through The Child and it takes some time for the connections to be revealed. I think the book could’ve been thinned out a little since some of the sub-plots only came across as filler and didn’t lend much substance to the novel. The Child was a solid 3 stars for me, but the ending was very well done and elevated it to 3 ½ stars.

Review posted on Amazon and Goodreads
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Fiona Barton always delivers with wonderful plot twists. I am eagerly awaiting her next book The Suspect in January 2019.
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I loved The Widow by Ms. Barton and was equally as impressed with this one. The way she weaves her stories together is highly enjoyable for lovers of psychological thrillers.
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If you've read a Fiona Barton book, you're familiar with the brilliant twists and turns...The Child makes no exception. Turning page after page engrossed in the story, I felt like I was on the investigation team and at any moment I'd be asked my opinion on what happened. Of course, I would have been wrong, LOL. 

I love the way this book unfolds because we get SO much perspective. We have several stories to follow and all along find a way to connect them, which at first always seems impossible. I was on the edge of my seat as I cruised through this suspenseful novel, in the end I was as shocked as I hoped to be. 

If you like a good psychologically suspenseful novel, this is the way to go. 

-side note- I do suggest reading The Widow first, though not required.
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Two books in, Barton continues the theme that all it takes for an evil man to flourish is for a woman to defend him over the people he hurts. Click on the link below to read the rest of my review.
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Kate Waters is journalist looking for the next big scoop when she reads about a recent construction site in London. While the workers were doing the renovations they find the skeletal remains of a baby. Immediately Kate wants to know more and thinks that this could be a big story.

With the help, or hindrance, of a new intern Kate meets with several of the construction workers and starts to piece together what could have happened to the baby.  There are several other women who’ve read this story and who think they may know who the truth.

As Kate investigates the past of the building and tries to connect with the people that may have lived in the area or have children missing she encounters Angela. She is a homemaker who has lived with the guilt of having left her baby in her cot at the hospital while she took a shower. In that small instance while she left her alone her baby went missing.

There are alternating narratives which lead you down the path of different conclusions. I did not see how everything was going to come together until well into the story so I really liked being kept in suspense. I thought Kate was a believable character and liked how she came to rely on her intern and together they worked together to find the truth. A very enjoyable read.
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When an old house in London is being torn down, the skeletal remains of an infant are found.  Reporter Kate Waters sees a story and is bent on investigating what is clearly a crime.

When the story of the infant remains appears in the local paper it captures some interest beyond the average 'human interest story' for a few individuals.  One woman is particularly interested and convinced that the infant was her child who was stolen from the hospital in 1970. Reporter Waters picks up on that lead and begins investigating - fully aware that the police at the time strongly suspected the woman (Angela Irving) of doing something to her own child.

Waters' investigation has her searching for, and interviewing, residents of the neighborhood from the 1970's - no small task given the transient nature of the area some 40+ years prior. When the police have some DNA information, Kate Waters jumps the gun in order to get the advance story.  Further work by the police changes everything Waters thought she knew about the case and her own investigation deepens as she tries to track down the anonymous caller who has information not known to the general public.

Author Fiona Barton has written a compelling story that is part mystery and part human interest/general fiction.  The story is told in multiple points of view which is generally a format that I don't really like, but Barton handles it well and the transitions are generally smooth and easy to follow - beyond the character information at the beginning of each chapter, the character voices are distinct, and what they are thinking about is clear from the very first moments of each chapter, which makes a big difference.

Barton also does a nice job of building the story and capturing the reader's attention and interest. The mystery builds well, with 'hiccups' along the way, derailing what Waters (and the reader) were heading toward.

However, the 'surprise' revelation near the end was obvious to me as soon as the police revealed a new piece of information.  It was so obvious that I expected the 'revelation' to be made early so that it could be explored more, but instead the reader was led along, trying to make this the 'big surprise.'

There were a few things that I wasn't expecting, though given the nature of the crime and the found body, I shouldn't have been surprised by the background that is revealed.

This is not my typical read, but for the most part I enjoyed Barton's writing - but as a mystery it was too easy for me.

Looking for a good book? The Child, by Fiona Barton, captures the reader's attention with well-designed characters and an unforgettable crime, but the mystery is rather apparent early on.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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A twisty page turner that will keep you guessing to the end.
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I know everyone that has read this book has said wonderful things.  I just didn't really care for it. Sorry...I expected more suspense. It seemed to drag for me.
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I'm chalking this one up to my way too high expectations - The Widow was one of my favorite reads of 2016, I set the bar high and was naturally disappointed. Also, I wasn't a big fan of the audio, I noticed each and every time the narrator(s) ended a sentence with 'x said.' Kate said, Emma said, etc.
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"The Child" was a thrilling delight, so much so that I immediately grabbed Fiona Barton's first novel, "The Widow". You don't necessarily have to read "The Widow" first, but know that a lot of the same characters, particularly journalist Kate Waters appear in both. 

"The Child" revolves around a cold case, when an infant skeleton is discovered in a building site in London. The story is told from multiple perspectives, including Kate's. Additional point of views include Angela, a grieving mother who lost her daughter years before and Emma, a young wife facing terribly anxiety. They are all looking for something. All have some interest in the baby's skeleton. 

The pace is quick. The chapters are short, shuttling you from one perspective to another.

The ending comes together in a most satisfying way that left me hungry to read everything else Barton writes.
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