The Child by Fiona Barton; release date June 27, 2017; published by Berkley Publishing Group; ISBN 9781101990483
The bundled up skeleton of a newborn baby is found at a London demolition site. As Kate Waters, reporter at The Daily Post, works to put the story together, she unearths a decades old mystery with three unsuspecting women at the heart of it. Angela gave birth to a baby girl forty years ago, kidnapped from her hospital room. Emma is house bound and struggles with anxiety, a result of a secrets she has kept buried. Jude, Emma’s estranged mother, craves an improved relationship with her daughter but is unable to let go of her obsessions. What are their stories and how are these three women connected? But most importantly who is the ‘Building Site Baby’?
What can I say, except that I loved The Child! Fiona Barton has created within its pages an intricately woven web of characters, each with their own trials and tribulations. Each hiding dark secrets. As the story came together, I found myself playing detective, jotting down notes, potential clues and constantly guessing, inferring the likely outcome. Did I have an inkling of what the twist would be? Yes, probably about halfway through when I mused to myself, “Hmm, wouldn’t it be interesting if…”, but it didn’t take away one bit from my enjoyment of the story’s progression and found the resolution to the mystery very satisfyingly written.
Not having read The Widow (no I haven’t been living under a rock), Fiona Barton’s debut novel, I was a little hesitant to read her next novel fearing some overlap and although I did come across a few references to it in The Child and the fact that Kate Waters is in both novels, I was happy to learn that the two can be read as stand alone. Needless to say, I have put a hold on The Widow at my local library!
The Child is a gripping, fast-paced addictive read; the first book in a while that kept me awake reading way past my bedtime! With complex, well developed and totally likeable characters, sharp, relevant dialogue and numerous twists and turns, The Child is one of this summer’s best mystery thrillers.
Thank you to NetGalley and the Berkley Publishing Group for providing a digital advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.