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The Child Who

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  613 ratings  ·  122 reviews
A quiet English town is left reeling when twelve-year-old Daniel Blake is discovered to have brutally murdered his schoolmate Felicity Forbes. For provincial solicitor Leo Curtice, the case promises to be the most high profile – and morally challenging - of his career. But as he begins his defence Leo is unprepared for the impact the public fury surrounding Felicity’s deat ...more
Kindle Edition, 315 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,379)
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Lou
An engaging story involving a twelve year old boy accused of the murder and rape of a young girl. We follow the solicitor in his taking on of the case and the turmoil and hate he faces representing a young boy accused of murder. The public hate him as they know of his identity and the solicitor is bombarded by hate and finger pointing. His wife and a young daughter soon find themselves having to face problems, due to his high profile and sensitive case. It was an interesting read and gives you a ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
My thoughts on this one were rather mixed. I'll start with the good: the subject matter. The subject and the ethical questions associated with dealing with crimes by youth is fascinating to me. Given the horrid nature of his crimes, should Daniel be tried as an adult? Does his youth mean that he shouldn't be culpable?

Reading this book really made me think about these questions and innumerable others. I also thought, too, about the reactions people had to Daniel's crime. All of the flak that Leo
...more
Lisa
OK. So I have mixed feelings about this book. I was looking forward to reading a gripping book about a child killer who kills a child. However, it was not gripping at all really....well maybe in small sections here and there but not enough to reflect the though-provoking subject. It never really develops into anything....The way it was written was fairly difficult to understand....when moving from chapter to chapter, the author refers to the characters simply as he or she, so you have to read a ...more
Judy Croome
A taut, excellent thriller, heavily based on the notorious Bulger/Mary Bell murder cases in the UK, Lelic handles a difficult topic bravely. There is no attempt to romanticise his murderer, 12 year old Daniel Blake and his main character, Leo Curtice, a rural attorney who accidentally picks up the trial of the year, is drawn into a complex and sympathetic relationship with the young killer at great personal cost.

Although I did not appreciate the attempt to justify the killer’s actions by blaming
...more
Cleo Bannister
Simon Lelic tackles the emotions aroused when a child kills a child, it aptly starts with Blake Morrison's quote from As If 'The men.... had come wanting to kill the kids who'd killed the kid, because there's nothing worse than killing a kid.

The story centres around Leo Curtice, the provincial solicitor assigned to the case of Daniel Blake a 12 year old boy accused of killing 11 year old Felicity Forbes. Cases like these don't come along very often and Leo thinks he is aware of the spotlight tha
...more
Elas Büchertruhe
Meine Meinung:

Simon Lelic war mir schon früher bekannt durch seinen Roman „Ein toter Lehrer“.
Auch sein aktueller Roman „Das Kind, das tötet“ handelt wieder von einem ernsten Thema, dass innerhalb der Gesellschaft oft heiß diskutiert wird. Steht einem Menschen, der ein grausames Verbrechen verübt hat, wirklich ein Pflichtverteidiger zu? Gesetzlich auf jeden Fall, doch moralisch?
Und wenn es sich dann auch noch um ein 12 jähriges Kind handelt?!


Diese Handlung hat mich in einen absoluten Zwiespalt ve
...more
Fred Hughes
This review is based on a free copy of this book supplied to me by the Publisher through the Goodreads First Reader Program

This is the story of the murder of an 11 year old girl by a 12 year old boy. The impact that had on the boy and his family; and the lawyer hired to defend him, and his family.

The main characters in the book are:

Leonard (Leo) Curtice – lawyer for Daniel

Daniel Blake – 12 year old accused murderer

Megan Curtice – Leo’s long suffering wife

Ellie Curtice – Leo’s 15 year old daughte
...more
Lisa Black
The slightly back-and-forth-in-time nature of the chapters (with no indications, so you have to figure out for yourself where that section fits in the timeline) can be a little bit of work, but otherwise I couldn't put this book down. I read it in two days.
Tasmin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Max Read
“A murder mystery novel, unfulfilled”

Simon Lelic hails from Brighton England where he was born in 1976 and where he moved back to after a decade spent in London. He received an MA in history from Exeter and later took a post graduate class in journalism. In addition to his writing, Simon operates an import/export business and has worked as a freelance journalist and in business-to-business publishing. Simon is currently pursuing his interest in writing novels of which he has three: “Rupture”, “T
...more
Joodith
I'm waiting for the day when I pick up a book and, because it's SO gripping, I read it from beginning to end in one or two days. Unfortunately this isn't the one. It never really develops into anything; we've got characters who are one dimensional, not much detail, but lots of rather dreary, unrealistic conversation and not much of a plot.....well, no plot really. It's a quick read, certainly, but only because there's no substance to it.

Leonard Curtice becomes the defending solicitor in a case s
...more
Hayley
Twelve year old Daniel brutally murders Eleven year old Felicity. What follows is the fallout of his actions. Focusing on the Solicitor who defends him the story is gripping but unsettling as human emotions and conflict come to the fore.

Similarities to the Jamie Bulger case in Britain are veined throughout, the writer Simon Lelic highlights the raw facts leading to many thought provoking questions. Despite being an uncomfortable read this story is a real page turner.

Ellie
Very emotional, the pain of the adults and the child in such an awful situation tangible. No spoiler but the ending was unanticipated. The book raised questions for me about how difficult society finds it to cope with children who kill; the perpetrator is also a victim who deserves compassion.

I strongly recommend that if you feel this book speaks to you, read Gitta Sereny on the case of Mary Bell.
Andy Weston
The potential reader may be deceived into reading this book thinking that it is about a boy who has committed a horrific crime. I was.

This doesn't mean that it is not a good story. Indeed it is a very readable novel. But, similar to Fourth of July Creek, which I read a few weeks ago, it is about the carer, if that is the right word, the person who cares. Pete Snow is a social worker in Fourth of July. And the book is his story. In The Child Who this character is Leo Curtis has been appointed th
...more
Megan Jones
I really enjoyed The Child Who even though the subject matter is grim and not nice to think about, I thought it was still a very good book. I do however agree with some other reviewers that it feels a little fragmented and does not always flow nicely which is why I only gave it 4 stars and not the 5 stars that it should have got. I also feel that towards the end when it started to get really interesting it just ended and I would have liked it to have more in it to explain the aftermath and the c ...more
Kerry
It took me a while to get in to this book, I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it, kept wanting to put it down but also wanted to know what happened. I thought it would be scared but, thankfully it wasn't!

Really good book, fabulous ending - not what I expected at all! And it was a really quick read, the chapters flew by quickly.
Nicole Lundrigan
A great read – left me with lots to consider. Only (very minor) challenge was I found it difficult to get my bearings at the beginning of each chapter. After mulling it over a bit, I'm wondering if that was the intent. That introductory haziness.
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
This novel deals with the highly emotive subject of the murder of a child by another child. Twelve-year-old Daniel Blake kills eleven-year-old Felicity Forbes. The local solicitor in Exeter assigned to the case, Leo Curtice, has never before handled a case anywhere near so big, nor so inflammatory. The novel does focus on the crime itself, but predominantly it concerns the impact that defending Daniel has on Leo and his family, wife Megan and fifteen-year-old daughter Ellie. Leo is absolute in h ...more
Rebecca Martin
I wanted to like this book more than I did. The narrative is set up so that it goes back and forth in time which, yes, creates suspense, but it also creates unnecessary confusion. Half the time I couldn't figure out where I was in the story and this confusion really didn't seem to serve a purpose. If the story had been told relatively chronologically, there would have been plenty of suspense and still a real surprise at the end. I think that the main thing that made me tired after I had read abo ...more
Andrew Macrae
"The Child Who" by Simon Lelic

A troubled boy kills another child in the English city of Exeter. For Leo Curtice, an ambitious thirty-something lawyer with a small law firm, the case looks like his ticket to the big time. But Leo has no idea of the turmoil about to be unleashed as a community enraged by the killing finds Leo, his wife Megan, and their daughter Ellie an easy target for their anger.

Twelve-year-old Daniel Blake has confessed to the sadistic killing of Felicity Forbes, but now what i
...more
Shannon
I won The Child Who: A Novel in a Goodreads giveaway. In Simon Lelic's novel, Leo Curtice is a solicitor who has the lucky break of answering the phone at the right time to catch a big, career-making case. He'll be representing a twelve year old boy accused of brutally murdering a girl his same age. With the community already having decided on the child's guilt, it soon becomes apparent the hostility Leo will face as he tries to understand his client and searches for reasons why such a tragic an ...more
Amanda
A gruesome murder has thrown a British county up-in-arms, and Leo Curtice finds himself the attorney randomly assigned to defend the murderer--a 12 year old boy who killed and sexually assaulted an 11 year old girl. He finds himself seeking to understand what would make a 12 year old kill and finding more empathy for the boy than those around him think is allowable. Meanwhile, threats start coming in against his own family, including his 15 year old daughter.

This book attempts to be a ripped fro
...more
Kirsty
I have to say that this book was a disappointment to me. The plot made it sound like this was going to be a harrowing and tense read, but the writing style and limp characters end up leaving you feeling frustrated.

The lead character Leo is very poorly written, and for a man that is supposed to be a solicitor I found him very dense! He continues throughout the book to dismiss her wife and daughter's fears surrounding his case, and almost makes them sound neurotic for being concerned about such a
...more
Tony
THE CHILD WHO. (2012). Simon Lelic. ****.
This was the author’s second novel, and another fine example of his writing skill. In this tale, a solicitor from a law firm just happens to answer the phone at his office and is told of the need of legal services for a young boy, and is asked to come down to the station. When he gets there, he Daniel Blake, a twelve-year-old boy prime suspect in the murder of a twelve-year-old girl. The murder was particularly horrible; the girl was killed by blunt impa
...more
Julie - Book Hooked Blog
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Gaskin
An intriging plot line, exploring similar themes to We Need to Talk About Kevin but from a different angle. The responsibility of a child for their actions, when their actions are deplorable. At what age does a child really become responsible, and if they are not fully responsible then who is? The role of the parents and home life is explored here but not as fully. The role of society and the responsibility of society take centre stage here, with the novel focussing on the many times the child h ...more
Kai
Child Who brings a good point of questioning the moral of whether the client or the family come first. Leo who is an attorney never represented anyone or made any difference in law. He received a phone called one day and was put into the spotlight of representing Daniel Blake, a 12-years old who is to have killed an eleven year old girl Felicity. Soon he is receiving threatening mails to drop the Daniel Blake's case or his family will be harm. He kept all of this away from his wife Megan and dau ...more
Sharon Bolton
Simon Lelic seems compelled to ask why. (He was probably a very annoying toddler.) His books are neither mysteries nor thrillers in the traditional sense, but rather explorations of the escalating pressures that can drive an ordinary person to commit an act of extraordinary evil. RUPTURE considered the aftermath of a mass shooting in a secondary school. THE CHILD WHO takes place in the weeks and months following the savage murder of one child by another in the same community.

Our main character,
...more
Louise Dix
As an avid reader of Lelic's work I had been looking forward to his third novel and I wasn't disappointed. The Child Who takes what, in less capable hands, could be a tabloid gore-fest, the murder of a school girl by another child, and offers a complex and insightful portrayal of those involved in the case. By focusing on Leo Curtice, the solicitor tasked with defending the accused child, Lelic does not seek to provide easy answers - that is not his style - instead he forces the reader to questi ...more
Louise Dix
As an avid reader of Lelic's work I had been looking forward to his third novel and I wasn't disappointed. The Child Who takes what, in less capable hands, could be a tabloid gore-fest, the murder of a school girl by another child, and offers a complex and insightful portrayal of those involved in the case. By focusing on Leo Curtice, the solicitor tasked with defending the accused child, Lelic does not seek to provide easy answers - that is not his style - instead he forces the reader to questi ...more
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Simon Lelic was born in 1976 and has worked as a journalist in the UK and currently runs his own business in Brighton, England, where he lives with his wife and two sons.
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