The Child

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Jul 2017

Member Reviews

Loved this book! It was such a fascinating read with a great twist. I look forward to reading more by her
Was this review helpful?
The Child was a very gripping tale of many characters and their involvement in a discovery of a buried child. This was my first read by this author and I was very pleased to see her writing style was similar to some of my favorite thriller authors. It was elegant and suspenseful at times. I loved how the ending wrapped everything up with no loose ends. I am thankful to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. I plan on picking up the rest of the authors work as soon as i can. The only issue i found with this book was the unrealistic lab issues. The author seemed to present it as if the scientist would know less about how DNA works than a journalist. Overall I highly recommend this novel.
Was this review helpful?
First line - My computer is winking at me knowingly when I sit down at my desk.

Summary - When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

Highlights - It has a pretty great twist at the end that I wasn't able to figure out earlier in the book.

Lowlights - I felt like the first 3/4 of the books was very slow. A lot of reviewers said it was a page turning psychological thriller but I didn't find that to be the case until the end.
Was this review helpful?
I happened to read a negative review of this book prior to choosing it and that put a cloud of doubt in my mind, because I didn't think I was going to enjoy it.  Happily, I liked it much more than I anticipated.  :)  I liked the chain of events (I did have to juggle some characters for a while, though) and the bits of twists.  The storyline had several facets to it, which I found to be a good blend.
Was this review helpful?
Stevie‘s review of The Child by Fiona Barton
Crime Fiction published by Transworld Digital 29 Jun 17

Somehow I missed the release of Fiona Barton’s debut novel, which is a shame, since it sounds as if it’s exactly the kind of investigative story that I love to read; possibly I saw the rather bland title and missed the far more informative blurb. Fortunately the same problem didn’t crop up with her second novel, although the title is just as uninformative as to the nature of the story itself as was that of the previous novel. Although both stories feature some of the same characters, notably Kate, an investigative journalist, this book stands very well on its own as far as I can see. As for the title, the child in question never really appears, having died some decades before we meet our various leading women.


For much of the story, the child has no identity, its skeleton having been dug up during the redevelopment of some gardens in a formerly rundown part of London. Kate, however, is determined to find out the child’s name and when and why someone chose to bury it in secret. Some months after breaking her last big story, Kate feels herself under pressure to deliver another sensation, especially with the ever-present threat of redundancies looming over the paper on which she works. Fortunately, she is able to call on a police contact, who helped her before, and he is able to put her in touch with detectives working on the current case, much as some of them resent Kate’s intrusion.

Also following developments in the investigation, albeit from a greater distance, are Emma — a former resident of the street where the child’s body was unearthed — and Angela, whose new-born baby was taken from her room in the maternity hospital and never seen again. Kate is convinced that the child is Angela’s, but while some evidence seems to confirm that theory, other pieces of the jigsaw suggest that the child was buried more recently than the date of Angela’s loss. Emma, meanwhile, is hiding her own secrets relating to the child’s — and her own — tragic history.

In the background, the not at all sympathetic characters of Emma’s mother, Jude, along with Jude’s on-off boyfriend of many years’ standing have secrets of a criminal nature that both threaten the investigation and have the potential to change everyone’s perceptions as to the identity and origins of the child. More tangled threads for Kate to unravel and make sense of, before her editor or the authorities prevent her delving further into past events.

I was utterly enthralled by this story, even once I’d come up with my own — correct, as it turned out — theory of what had happened to create the mismatched evidence. All three main characters, not to mention their families and friends, had me fascinated — and not just the likable ones. I definitely plan to read the author’s previous book very soon, and I hope very much that this isn’t the last investigation Kate will get herself involved with.

Grade: A
Was this review helpful?
This was an interesting read, as journalist Kate Waters looks into the discovery of a baby's skeleton in a condemned house - one that might be linked to an unsolved abduction case. A case that appears straightforward suddenly twists and turns, and the outcome was unexpected,, but made sense once you put all the facts together. An enjoyable, suspenseful novel.
Was this review helpful?
Great suspense/mystery and a wonderful follow up to Barton's previous book The Widow. Classic tale of investigative reporting.
Was this review helpful?
No sophomore slump here.  Page turning, great plot and twists.  Loved it!
Was this review helpful?
Great book! I love suspenseful stories that keep me guessing!
Was this review helpful?
This follow-up to The Widow is just as thrilling and engaging. I loved it! I could hardly put it down!
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. I did not want to put it down. It was intense, and emotional, and thought provoking. I had love/hate relationships with some of the characters. Definitely worth the read.
Was this review helpful?
Fiona Barton has delivered another edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller with "The Child." It was impossible to predict the ending until the last page was read. Barton is a skilled storyteller who knows how to create characters and draw out a plot to a n unexpected ending.
Was this review helpful?
I’m excited and honored to be posting today as a stop on the blog tour of Fiona Barton’s latest book, The Child.

The Child was a quick and enjoyable read from start to finish. It’s told from the perspective of four different woman and differs somewhat from many multiple-perspective books in that only one is narrated in the first person. This gives the book a bit of an unreliable narrator feel, which is something I loved.

The characters are well thought-out. The author gave just enough to make me feel that I knew them, while holding back enough to make me wonder if there was something suspect about each one. I felt a particular affinity for Emma, our potential unreliable narrator. I rooted for her throughout the story even as I questioned her credibility. I can’t even scratch the surface as to why without giving away too many details. I suspect those that have read the book will understand exactly what I mean.

As for the story itself, I found it to be much more mystery than thriller. It was a steady page-turner but lacked the intensity and constant action of a thriller. This is an observation and not a criticism, as this story did not require those elements in its telling.

I thought the ending was brilliant from several standpoints. I won’t elaborate so as not to give too much away. That said, I struggled a tiny bit with the believability factor but, in the end, decided the author’s creativity and the steady pacing made up for it.

Though The Child is not a sequel to Fiona Barton’s wildly popular The Widow, reporter Kate Waters from that novel is one of the main characters in this book. I hadn’t read The Widow and wondered if that would have any effect on my experience in reading this book. Though there were a couple of minor references to a case in Ms. Waters past, which I assumed was the case in The Widow, it was nothing that detracted from the book or made me feel as if I was missing a key point.
Was this review helpful?
Fiona Barton is a world class storyteller, bringing Kate and the other characters to life. Barton does what writers are told and taught to do: she SHOWS readers the story rather than TELLS them a story.

In The Child, Barton uses multiple narrators to lead readers through the mystery, setting it and shrouding it in suspense. By telling the story from different points of view, readers are given each character's insights and memories, keeping readers guessing until the very end.

I'm not always a fan of multiple narrators. Often I find it obscures the story and makes everything just more confusing. But Barton uses it well. Yes, I was unsure of the indentity of the child and who was at fault for its death, but I was never lost. Barton used her voices well.

And, in solving the mystery of the child, the other narrators help Kate get to the bottom of another mystery -- and it's discovery is, in someways, more satisfying than the mystery of the baby.

The Child is both thought provoking and suspenseful. It keeps readers guessing and thinking without a hitch in the pace.

I highly recommend The Child to anyone looking for an intelligent, fast-paced thriller.
Was this review helpful?
My favorite genre is "psychological thriller", so when I heard about this book and the praise that "The Widow" was receiving (debut novel of Fiona Barton) I decided that I NEEDED to read "The Child".

This is a book that I'm not sure how to rate. It's a good book. The ending was amazing, it's well written and I loved the multiple points of views in the story. I really liked Kate, the journalist, I haven't read the previous book of this series, but she was really interesting. The other characters were ok, a little weak, but we can't forget that all those characters contribute a little to solve the mystery.

The pace was slow. I think that some chapters were "filler", and that the book could have been shorter. On the other hand, the chapters are very short, and that made me read the book faster (I read it in a day and a half).

I don't want to talk about the ending too much but believe me, it was great, it made the whole book worth it. Still, I wish there was a little bit more action through the book and not just the final chapters. 

Would I recommend it? Yes, but if you are new to mysteries, and not very patient, this could be a little frustrating. I read a lot of mysteries, so I didn't mind too much, but I can't speak for everyone'. Many reviewers recommend reading "The Widow" before "The Child"; just to get to know the author writing style and because it's easier to read.
Was this review helpful?
Now that I have had a taste of what author, Fiona Barton is all about with this book, I plan to go back and check out The Widow. Instantly, I connected with the story and the characters. Although, I was surprised that this was a very character driven story. What I mean by this is that sometimes in thriller books I find myself gravitating more towards the main lead character and killer. Yet, in this story, there was not a killer or was there? There was just three women. Two whose stories intersect with one another. The person responsible for helping to put all of the pieces together is journalist, Kate Waters.

Kate is a strong character. Although, I do wish that she would have taken more credit for herself a little more. Yet, she is right on point with her journalist skills. Back to the story. After reading this story a while, some readers may pick up on where the story is going like me. However, I can guarantee you that you will still enjoy how the story ends. The Child will have you lost for hours (in a good way) with engaging characters.
Was this review helpful?
This chilling book by popular author Fiona Barton is a fast-paced, hair-raising read. Perfect for fans of her other works, Gone Girl, and thrillers / suspense novels.
Was this review helpful?
It all starts with the skeletal remains of a baby found at a demolition site. Mysteries from decades past are suddenly thrust into the glaring media spotlight. The story dragged a little for me at the beginning but kept my curiosity engaged. There were so many bombshells dropping and unexpected turns in the story that I just had to finish.
Was this review helpful?
This book was not exactly what I was expecting. There were many twists and turns right from the beginning. The fact that the book is told from different perspectives keeps you guessing at exactly what happened in the past. While I did enjoy the first 75% of the book I felt like it fell off at the end. By the 75% mark you had all the information you needed to figure out who's baby it is. I obviously then felt that the last 25% was dragging on and on. I was just waiting for Kate to finally figure it out. The story was great. The progression of the facts was just okay.
Was this review helpful?
Loved this book! Fast paced and excellent character development. Couldn't wait to unravel the mystery and was totally caught off guard by the ending. Excellent read.
Was this review helpful?