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The Child Who

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  775 Ratings  ·  145 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

Kindle Edition, 315 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2012)
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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
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Penguin Books

Pages - 303

Blurb from Goodreads

An unimaginable crime and the man who must defend it-a probing psychological thriller from the author of A Thousand Cuts.A chance phone call throws the biggest muder case in southern England into the hands of provincial attorney Leo Curtice. Twelve-year- old Daniel Blake stands accused of murdering an eleven-year-old girl. But who is truly responsible when one child kills another? As Curtice sets out to defend the
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Angelique Simonsen
easy to fall into ... ending was good
Judy Croome
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cleo Bannister
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.

Jan 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lisa Black
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nicole Lundrigan
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book seemed to have a lot of potential, but such a lot going on that it ending up being way to vague.
It flicked from one part of the story to another and I felt like there were gaps to the story the reader needed to fill themselves.
Was quite a controversial subject to cover, especially focusing on defending an admitted 12 year old murderer and trying to get the reader to sympathise with this character. I often thought that the second part to the story - where his daughter allegedly got abdu
Merissa Long
May 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ceren Ünlü
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Konusu , kurgusu çok iyi. Yazarın kaleminde biraz sıkıntı var...
Kati Schwan
Interesting concept. Terrible execution. I literally just couldnt get past the first 20 pages.
David Hebblethwaite
Simon Lelic is developing a track record as a novelist who approaches his subject matter from interesting angles and explores thorny moral issues, notably in his 2010 debut Rupture, a multi-viewpoint examination of what drove a teacher to open fire in a school assembly. Lelic turned the conspiracy thriller inside-out in last year’s The Facility; now he has returned to contemporary crime with The Child Who. This new novel concerns the case of a twelve-year-old boy who killed a girl at his school; ...more
May 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
A twelve-year-old boy sexually abuses and causes the death of a classmate and is charged with murder. The duty legal aid solicitor is appointed to the boy's defence. Various journalists and members of the public react. The book follows the story of the solicitor and his family, with occasional glimpses of the accused.
There are questions around the treatment of child offenders, but unfortunately this book fails to address them, mainly because this is simply not how the UK justice system works. Th
Fleme Varkey
This is as strange and gripping as it gets. The Child Who’s content ensnares you so completely that you will be bound to follow the case to the end. When I opened the book titled The Child Who I was not prepared for the avalanche that lay within. Stunning, thought-provoking call it what you may but Simon Lelic sure knows how to hold the readers’ attention. When you have so many stories of crime and assault all around you, one tends to become insensitised to what the truth actually is. It’s rarel ...more
Max Read
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“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
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie - Book Hooked Blog
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jessica Gaskin
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Louise Dix
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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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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