On-Sale: June 27, 2017
“You can bury the story…but you can’t hide the truth.”
As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?
As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.
But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…
4.5 Captivating Stars!!!
“When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.” — Yevgeny Yevtushenko
‘The Child’s is a haunting and emotional character-driven suspense novel that also explores our modern-day obsession with 24/7 news.
Angela’s newborn baby was kidnapped from her hospital room several decades earlier. The baby was never found. Angela and her husband Nick carried on after their devastating loss but Angela never fully recovered. When the bones of an infant are found at a construction site, she is sure the body is that of her long-gone Baby Alice.
Kate is a brilliant newspaper journalist who uncovers news stories the old-fashioned way: through leg work and research and determination. She was also featured in the author’s previous book ‘The Widow’ which I am now going to read! I loved Kate’s style. While this book started off just a tiny bit slow, it picked up the pace in the middle and thundered toward an unbelievably shocking conclusion.
“I’ve always thought that’s a funny saying. Let sleeping dogs lie. Because sleeping dogs always wake up eventually, don’t they?”
Emma is married to a university professor many years her senior. She is devastated by the news of the “Building Site Baby’ but why? She has no apparent ties to Angela’s family. Emma has had a difficult relationship with her mother Jude but it seems the two are trying to make peace with each other now that Emma is grown and married. But Emma has secrets of her own that will devastate everyone close to her when they are revealed.
The multiple points of view are executed brilliantly. Each narrator has their own unique voice and are each vital to the story.
‘The Child’ is an imaginative and surprising thriller. While the writing is filled with British slang and customs, that only added to my enjoyment of the story.
There are many twists and turns to this book and the ending was far more touching than I expected from what I though would be a suspense novel. The conclusion was enormously satisfying! Highly recommend this book for all thriller fans as well as anyone who loves a great story.
“People say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. They say that when you been through something terrible … But it doesn’t. It breaks your bones, leaving everything splintered and held together with grubby bandages and yellowing sticky tape. Creaking along the fault lines, Fragile and exhausting to hold together. Sometimes you wish it had killed you.”
(With thanks to the publisher for a review copy.)
About Fiona Barton:
My career has taken some surprising twists and turns over the years. I have been a journalist – senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where I won Reporter of the Year at the National Press Awards, gave up my job to volunteer in Sri Lanka and since 2008, have trained and worked with exiled and threatened journalists all over the world.
But through it all, a story was cooking in my head.
The worm of my first book infected me long ago when, as a national newspaper journalist covering notorious crimes and trials, I found myself wondering what the wives of those accused really knew – or allowed themselves to know.
It took the liberation of my career change to turn that fascination into a tale of a missing child, narrated by the wife of the man suspected of the crime, the detective leading the hunt, the journalist covering the case and the mother of the victim.
Much to my astonishment and delight, The Widow was published in 36 countries and made the Sunday Times and New York Times Best Seller lists.
It gave me the confidence to write a second book ,The Child, in which I return to another story that had intrigued me as a journalist. It begins with the discovery of a newborn’s skeleton on a building site. It only makes a paragraph in an evening newspaper but for three women it’s impossible to ignore.
The Child will be published in June 2017 and I am embarking on my next novel. My husband and I are still living the good life in south-west France, where I am writing in bed, early in the morning when the only distraction is our cockerel, Titch, crowing.
Visit Fiona Barton online at fionabartonauthor.com and on Twitter @figbarton. Join the conversation using #TheChild.
Other Books by Fiona Barton: