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The Drowning Child

(Ren Bryce #6)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  308 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The heart-stopping new thriller in the Ren Bryce series by Alex Barclay, bestselling author of DARKHOUSE and KILLING WAYS.

When Special Agent Ren Bryce is called to Tate, Oregon to investigate the disappearance of twelve-year-old Caleb Veir, she finds a town already in mourning.

Two other young boys have died recently, although in very different circumstances. As Ren digs de
Paperback, UK, 400 pages
Published December 29th 2016 by HarperCollins (first published September 1st 2016)
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Book 6 of this series entitled Ren Bryce.
REN is the Investigator.

Don’t let it put you off from jumping into this one as the plot theme itself is good although it’s been a theme written over and over and I must say I have read better.

REN is flawed. You won’t get into her reasoning though because you would need to read the back story on what made her that way, but, you can read the book in its own right (if that makes sense)

If you don’t read many books with this same theme/subject matter, then you
Liz Barnsley
**3.5 stars**

Late to the party with Alex Barclay novels and Ive started here with book 6 in the series but don't let that stop you if you are in the same boat, easy enough to get into. Too easy if anything, I found it to be a bit of a page turner that often made me late for things.

Loved the vibe here. I like a good small town story, and in this instalment that is exactly where Ren has ended up - investigating a disappearance and discovering that in this town secrets lie buried deep.

Ren as a char
Elaine Tomasso
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for a review copy of The Drowning Child, the sixth novel to feature FBI agent Ren Bryce.

Ren is working for CARD, the FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team when she gets a call to go to Tate, Oregon where 12 year old Caleb Veir has disappeared. When she gets to Tate she finds the town in uproar because not only has Caleb disappeared there are black ribbons up for 2 separate accidental deaths of young boys in the past few mont
always been a big fan of Alex Barclay, but this one let me down. I just could't get into it like I did with Harm's Reach. ...more
Mary Lou
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Det. Ren Bryce joins a team investigating the disappearance of Caleb Veir in the small town of Tate.
It is one year on from the tragic events which brought her last major investigation to an end, and even back on hers meds, she is still running on emotional empty.
This is the sixth in the excellent Ren Bryce series, and they work better if read in order.
What makes these books stand out is the combination of a highly developed, complicated plot line and interesting back stories, but the special ing
Pravina Sivakumar
Aug 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heart-stopping thriller. Interesting characters in a great mystery component; an endless charming story revealing the sharp writing. Each and everything I guessed was turned downside due to the plot twist! A couple of coincidences exist and move the plot forward noticeably but only by expanding the reader's belief. ...more
Margaret Madden
Special Agent Ren Bryce is back and she brings her sassy-style to the small town of Tate, Oregon. A child has disappeared and the lakeside town is weighed down by strange circumstances. Secrets are hidden and rumours are rife. Ren has to discover what is fact and what is merely fiction. But is it too late for twelve-year-old Caleb Veir?

This is Alex Barclay's eight novel and the sixth featuring the memorable Ren Bryce. She is sharp, witty and holds no prisoners. She struggles to control her bipol
Sep 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't a fan of the style of writing at all. Didn't like the main characters, the storyline jumped irrationally, whole sections of the plot just skipped over and you're expected to fill in the blanks.

The main character, Ren Bryce, had the potential to be a proper female lead, but seems to have been relegated to a man hungry, emotional mess.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for going out there and taking what you want, but literally every male character in the book she had either slept with or was th
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE DROWNING CHILD by Alex Barclay is the sequel to Killing Ways and the sixth novel featuring Ren Bryce. It is the first book that I have read from this author but it certainly will not be the last. Disturbing, gripping, and frightening in equal measure, the author weaves an expert tale set in Tate, Oregon - a place which seems on the surface to be your average small town in America. But knowing that you can never really judge a book by its cover, the ever-flawed Special Agent Ren Bryce is dete ...more
Petra Be
Jul 02, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, abuse
Why so many F words? The writing style is strange.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has every cliche in the detective/thriller toolbox but is none the worse for that!

A good plot line with plenty of twists and turns but not too many to stretch credibility.

This is evidently part of a series with Special Agent Ren Bryce. I havent read any others but would certainly look them out. I didnt feel that I needed to have read the series in sequence to keep up with the background storyline.
Nov 20, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this book, and I have to say that I'm quite disappointed.The writing style was messy, the plot was predictable (some twists were kind of weird and unnecessary for the story?) and honestly, I didn't care for any of the characters. Also, I was really annoyed by all the cursing in this book. Almost a third of the book consists of f*cks, sh*t and Jesus (Christ), which is SO ANNOYING. So yeah, unfortunately this book was not my cup of tea. ...more
I thought that this was a decently written book with a good plot and story which I really enjoyed. However, I found the non stop inner monologue of Ren (the main character) extremely irritating and annoying as I may well have made this a 4 star book for the plot otherwise. Would read more in the series though.
My First DNF for the year and I'm surprised it's the last book in a series I've quite enjoyed, but I guess enough is enough finally.
Just not finding this particular mystery very interesting, had a bit of a skim and nothing is showing me it improves, so time to move on. For me book 5 was the best and the one I started on.
Theresa Jones
Jan 19, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ren Bryce, brilliant

This is another fast paced fabulous Ren Bryce thriller. I just love the wit and clarity of her thoughts in the most awful situations. The story sweeps the reader up and the pace leaves the reader almost breathless. It's plausible and has an edge of the seat quality. The only bad thing is, it is then solved and over till the next time.
Christi Poulsom
Started off well, but I couldn't keep track of all the characters. No-one seemed real. Too much detail about things that must have happened in previous books. Didn't like the running commentary of thoughts in italics. Persevered to the end, but not for me. ...more
Dec 29, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was an intriguing story, but I did not like the main detective. I wish detective stories were more about detecting than about the detective's personal issues. But then again, the book would not be nearly as long... ...more
Phil James
Apr 04, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 6th book in the Ren Bryce series and like all books by Alex Barclay it is a great read. The protagonist Ren Bryce is a female FBI agent with bipolar affective disorder and is a great character. Well written, fast paced and very enjoyable.
Nicki Chalder
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this novel.
Horrible subject matter and an irritating internal dialogue in italics, but certainly page turning.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I needed to get used to the writing style at first and sometimes it was still a little over the top, but it was a great mystery and made me wanna check out the other books in the series.
Omer Mukhtar
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can not write a review without spoiling this book, only the interesting thing is every time you suspected someone to be bad turns to be good. I enjoyed reading a lot.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really good listen, plot twists and turn everywhere that keep you guessing, Highly recommend
Francesca Pashby
A decent read but there was far too much ‘back story’ referencing for this reader. Must admit I didn’t realise I was reading number 5 or 6 of a series tho.
Matthew Johnston
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book. Takes a while to get into it but whenever you get going it's so good! Worth a read. ...more
Kate Ashton
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book, I like the author. This follows on from the last book, and the pace was good.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Have lost patience with this writer. There are all the sub-thoughts behind every sentence which drive me crazy.
Deanna Burg
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Would like to read others in this series. Did not realize this was a series. No indication on book cover. May have understood characters better if I read other books first.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Kurdziel hawk
Nov 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this one. Really liked the way the character Ren was written where you hear what she says but then also what’s going on in her head.
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Barclay studied journalism at university and worked for a period in fashion and beauty journalism as a copywriter in the RTÉ Guide. In 2003, she left the fashion industry to write Darkhouse, the first of two novels featuring NYPD detective Joe Lucchesi. Her second novel, The Caller, was released in 2007, and Last Call in 2008. She won the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award at the Irish Book Awards for ...more

Other books in the series

Ren Bryce (6 books)
  • Blood Runs Cold (Ren Bryce, #1)
  • Time Of Death (Ren Bryce, #2)
  • Blood Loss (Ren Bryce, #3)
  • Harm’s Reach (Ren Bryce, #4)
  • Killing Ways (Ren Bryce, #5)

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