Friday, 19 May 2017

The Child by Fiona Barton Book Review


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.

The Child's story will be told. 


I was thrilled to hear that Kate Waters would be returning in Fiona Barton’s next book after reading her debut novel, The Widow. I really liked Kate’s character, especially her strong and determined will to get to the truth and sometimes for Kate it isn’t always about getting a good story out of it, she wants to see justice done. I was also pleased that DI Bob Sparkes made an appearance as he was also a favourite character of mine in The Widow. 

The Child has an intriguing mystery. At the beginning of the novel, a baby’s body is discovered at a building site in Woolwich. The baby may have been buried there for decades and could be linked to the disappearance of a baby girl, Alice Irving. As Kate Waters investigates the case she uncovers a dark past and the case suddenly takes an unexpected, darker turn. Who is “the building site baby?”

The novel is told from the viewpoint of four of the main characters in this book: Kate, Emma, Angela and Jude. I really liked Fiona’s new cast of characters and I was keen to find out more about them as the novel progressed, particularly Emma and Jude. We are also introduced to Joe a trainee at the paper where Kate works, who Kate takes under her wing although she does this rather reluctantly at first. I really liked the friendship that grew between them over the course of the book and I hope that we’ll see more of them working together in the future. 

After I really enjoyed Fiona’s first novel, I couldn’t wait to start The Child. The book started off as a bit of a slow burner, however; it didn’t grab me like The Widow did from the very first page. For me I struggled to get into the book for about the first hundred pages, but once the police discover who the baby that has been found is, the story really picks up. I really liked that we got to know more about Kate’s character and her family life which was missing from the first book but that was Jean’s (The Widow’s) story.

There are some chilling characters as well and The Child touches on some dark themes. I found one character, Al Soames, particularly creepy. I loved the ending in this book which was very satisfying and I really didn’t expect that final twist. 

Fiona knows how to write a good story and you can see in both books the influence from her years working as a journalist which adds authenticity to the story. 

I found The Child an enjoyable read. I highly recommend it and I’m sure that it will follow up on the success of The Widow. Thank you to Becky Short at Transworld Books for sending me an advance reading copy.

Publisher: Bantam Press

Publication date: 29th June 2017

Print length: 368 pages


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