The Child by Fiona Barton

The Child

The Child by Fiona Barton

 Published: 2017



The Child by Fiona Barton is her second psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher, and of course, the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

To be fair, I enjoyed (but did not love), Barton’s first novel The Widow, and approached this one with a little anxiety.   I want to love everything I read, and I want every new author to succeed.  (And I hate wasting my time.)   I am so glad I took another chance on Fiona Barton.  I definitely liked this book!  She did a great job!  It seemed a little grittier, with deeper characters, and a really good premise.   I was not disappointed.

When the skeleton of an infant is found at the site of a building renovation, journalist Kate Waters wants to find out the identity of this poor child, and how the bones ended up buried in a garden.  And so the mystery unfolds.

Told from the viewpoint of four women, the story continues to gain momentum.

Kate Waters is a driven journalist who will not let go of the story.  Even when she gets too involved.  Even when she starts holding back pieces of information.  Maybe the people are becoming more important than the news story.  Kate’s husband and kids are starting to miss their mom (and neither the police nor her boss are happy with her).  (We might remember Kate as the reporter in The Widow).

Angela is a woman who has been filled with guilt and pain for over 40 years.  Her baby was stolen from her hospital crib, shortly after coming into this world.  Angela has never been the same, and has never given up on finding her missing child.  Is the “building-site baby” hers?  Her husband Nick wishes she would just “let it go”.  It has been a long time, and although he loves his family dearly, he has given up on ever finding their missing child.

Emma is a young woman who is unnaturally interested in the child found at the site. Emotionally scarred from a rough up-bringing, why is she so interested in this child?  Her husband, Paul, is older than Emma, and is a rock, if only she’d let him in on her secrets.

Jude is Emma’s mother, a very self-centered woman who cared more for her boyfriend than she did for her daughter.  It doesn’t appear that things have changed, as Will seems to be back in the picture again.

The female characters in this book are intense. The males, more shadowy, and yet they still play their roles.  Barton did a good job on the characters.  The relationships, whether between husband and wife, or mother and child rang true in all cases.  They weren’t perfect relationships.  They were real.  As well, the relatively short chapters, jumping from one perspective to the next, keep the story moving quickly.  For some reason, however, the beginning of the book tended to drag (maybe it was me).  Once it got going though….WOW!

I will definitely recommend this!


Read: June 2017


Favorite Quote from The Child:

“The bottom of her bag was lined with crumpled scraps of newspaper – ‘It’s like a budgie cage,’ her eldest son, Jake, teased her about the shreds of paper waiting for life to be breathed into them.”


About the Author:  Fiona Barton has worked as a journalist – senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards.  She gave up her job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, has trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.  Now she is writing best-selling novels.  She lives in south-west France with her husband.  Apparently they have a rooster named Titch?


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