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When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

448 pages, Paperback

First published June 27, 2017

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About the author

Fiona Barton

18 books3,675 followers
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 this 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 is available now in the UK, and around the world in the coming months.
However, the sudden silence of my characters feels like a reproach and I am currently working on a second book.
My husband and I are 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, Sparky, crowing.

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5 stars
13,923 (27%)
4 stars
23,235 (45%)
3 stars
11,624 (22%)
2 stars
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1 star
516 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,166 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,439 reviews78.1k followers
June 29, 2017

I was in the minority last year when Fiona Barton’s The Widow was published; I didn’t dislike it, but I felt it was another case of the media hyping up a book to unrealistic expectations and touting a killer twist that wasn’t there. None of this is the author’s fault; it was simply a mismatching of book to reader. When I saw The Child being promoted in a similar form this year, I decided to shut my eyes, close my ears, and go in blind. I avoided all reviews, spoilers, media packets, etc because DANG IT I was not going to let this one be ruined as well! I’m really glad I did that because it seems to be just what I needed to ensure I enjoyed this read more than the last.

While it isn’t officially part of a series, this book does feature reporter Kate Waters who we last saw in The Widow. I really liked the idea of having a familiar, reoccurring character with each book left as a standalone story. I’ll be honest, I had trouble getting hooked into this one at first. I’ve been in a terrible slump lately and have been really particular in which books hold my attention and this one almost lost me. I’m glad I pushed through though because that ending was one of the twistiest (not a real word), oh-my-goshiest (also not a real word) conclusions that I have ever read. I think readers like myself who felt the previous book lacked a punch to the gut will be pleased with the way things are wrapped up here. Highly recommended to those who enjoy a slow burning psychological thriller with a seriously messed up ending.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.

Profile Image for Maureen .
1,380 reviews7,088 followers
March 7, 2020
This is a second novel by Fiona Barton, following her much-lauded The Widow. It also features the crime journalist Kate Waters, when she finds herself investigating a crime in which the police and her own crime editor are not greatly interested.

The skeleton of a very young baby (possibly new-born) has been discovered on a building site in Woolwich. Forensic examinations are not much use in the identification of very small babies. The story creates some interest locally, but the original houses on the site were demolished many years ago, and the only thing the forensics team can come up with (from the plastic bag the body was wrapped in), is that it was buried in the 1970s or later.

In parallel with Kate's investigation into who was living in the demolished houses in the 1970s and 80s; we are introduced to three women, two of whom want to hide the past, and one who desperately wants to find out the truth about her missing baby (who was stolen from the maternity hospital the day after her birth). But if the body is that of the stolen baby, she was buried at Woolwich years after she disappeared from the maternity hospital, and her mother, Angela, never lived there.

The other two women are a mother and daughter, Jude and Emma, who have been seriously estranged for most of their lives, but both lived for a time in the Woolwich terrace. Jude was a true hippy, and after she divorced Emma's father; had brief and stormy relationships with a number of men, then settled down with Will, an older man who was a popular university lecturer. This relationship ended when Emma suddenly changed from a happy, contented girl into the worst teenager imaginable with constant tantrums (except when she shut herself up in her room). The situation became so bad that Jude and Will threw her out of the house, although she was only 15. Emma never came back to live with her mother, who was deserted by Will soon after Emma's departure. With the help of an old school friend, Emma pulled herself together, got into university and ended up as a successful free-lance book editor, married a kind and caring man. She is now just about on speaking terms with Jude, and occasionally visits her.

Kate puts an ad in the paper to try and trace anybody who knows anything about the dead child and is contacted by Angela, who has become convinced that the child is her missing baby Alice, although the time-scale is all wrong. Kate manages to persuade the police to do a forensic test on both Angela and the dead baby to see what lies in the DNA and therefore if there is a match.

The ingenious plot of this engaging narrative picks up pace towards a truly thrilling climax. The cast of characters are real, believable people, flawed like all of us; with Kate being a particularly appealing character because she is compassionate as well as keenly ambitious.
Profile Image for Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings).
1,522 reviews157 followers
January 19, 2018
With a very intriguing start "The Child" by Fiona Barton is one of those books you won't be able to put down until your curiosity has been sated.
This is an excellent example of a slow burning, suspenseful psychological thriller with an ending that I didn't see coming and was completely unexpected.
Baby Alice Irving goes missing from her maternity crib in hospital in 1970. Forty two years later a baby's skeleton is found by workmen on a building site in Howard Street. Alice's mother, Angela wants to believe it's Alice; Emma who was a teenage resident in Howard Street in the 80's is concerned a long buried secret could be about to be exposed and Kate Waters, a newspaper journalist hung up on the humanity side of the discovery of the bones, is determined to get to the truth of who the baby is by befriending both Angela and later Emma. Old memories resurface and it's not long before long buried secrets start to invade and destroy people's lives. Told from the point of view of the three women their stories intertwine perfectly and they seamlessly merge together in an intriguing and emotional conclusion.
I loved the 70's and 80's era that is covered in the story, being exactly the same age as Emma in the book at the time it is set I really felt a part of the story.
All the main characters are just perfect, likeable and realistic, they really showed true emotion and were the type of characters you could relate to and understand their feelings.
I like the authors writing style, it's easy to follow, entertaining, doesn't drag and truly keeps you compelled to keep reading.
With an excellent attention to detail and staying sensitive to the delicate subject matter, this is a fabulously executed book that I thoroughly enjoyed. There's also some great quotes too in the narrative.
This is the second book by Fiona Barton, the first one being "The Widow" and although newspaper reporter Kate Waters is in both stories, they are both individual standalones that can be enjoyed separately or together.
A well deserved 5 stars from me and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend or read more by this author again.
Profile Image for Always Pouting.
568 reviews715 followers
July 6, 2017
When an old house is being demolished in London, the body of a small child is found buried. The story doesn't garner much attention at first, but journalist Kate Waters sees it and can't stop thinking about following up on it. As she begins to look into it a crime that happened decades ago is brought back to attention but things are more complicated than they appear at first.

I personally didn't enjoy The Widow but I really enjoyed this one. I felt like the plot for the widow felt obvious and I wasn't surprised by it. This time though I really got into the plot line. I honestly had no clue where the story line was going and so I couldn't put it down. I really loved the characters here more as well, they were complicated but I didn't have any trouble empathizing with them. I also really enjoyed the way everything came together at the end and looking back I feel like I should have known what was going to happen. Even if I did though the way the plot unfolded and the pacing was so good that I think I would have enjoyed it none the less.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,067 reviews3,610 followers
July 21, 2017
A traveling sister read with my Canadian sisters Norma and Brenda.

This is one of my favorite styles of books. Multiple stories running parallel to one another until at some point they converge in an amazing, unpredictable way. This one absolutely lives up to that! It’s told from the POV of three separate women. You know they’re going to cross paths in some manner….you just don't know when or how. That's the beauty of this book! Kept me on my toes and in the dark throughout most. If it wasn't for my sisters guiding me I would have been left behind on this one! Thank you sisters!

If you like books that resemble a mixed bag of puzzle pieces (And who doesn’t!) then this is a great read for you!

For our full traveling sister review please visit Norma and Brenda's fantastic book blog:
Profile Image for Liz.
2,020 reviews2,525 followers
May 30, 2017
I really enjoyed the Widow by Fiona Barton, so I was looking forward to her next mystery. And I have no complaints. If not quite as good, it was still a very enjoyable mystery that I can heartily recommend.

This is a fast paced mystery told from the perspective of four different women. Short punchy chapters keep this book moving right along. At first I was worried about keeping the women straight, but no problems there. Kate is a reporter who zeros in on the story of a baby’s skeleton found at the site of old housing units being demolished. I have to say I wasn't a fan of Jude, who struck me as a total narcissist. Emma, her daughter, has her issues, too. And I just felt sorry for Angela, whose baby daughter went missing from the maternity ward a day after her birth.

At the beginning, I had to question Kate being allowed to follow an unproven story line and devote so much time to it in a time of layoffs, but that’s a minor quibble. What makes the novel work well is how the different stories all come together. The relationship between Emma and Jude was the real clincher to keeping my interest.

I figured out what was happening well before Kate did. But that didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the end of the book.

My thanks to netgalley and Berkley Publishing for an advance copy of this book.

Profile Image for Julie .
4,027 reviews58.9k followers
June 27, 2017
The Child' by Fiona Barton is a 2017 Berkley publication.

Many of us who read “The Widow” have been eagerly anticipating Fiona Barton’s next book.
This novel centers on a missing child, in a way, but is more character driven, in my opinion.
The atmosphere here is suspenseful, loaded with heavy emotions, and addictively readable. I couldn’t put it down. The short chapters, which normally, is a huge pet peeve of mine, worked in this case, keeping the pacing brisk and the alternate perspectives fresh.

This review is the copyrighted property of Night Owl Reviews. To read the full review, click on this link: https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Re...
*review copy provided by Netgalley
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,735 reviews14.1k followers
July 30, 2017
3.5 I had recently taken a break from thrillers, they had all started to blend together. Never read this authors first book either, but something about this book, the beautiful blue cover and the synopsis, enticed me enough to read. When an old building is being demolished the bones of a newborn are found. Kate, a journalist, trying to hold on in the new world of internet news, finds something about this discovery that makes her want to find the truth behind the discovery. Her search will end up involving three other women, each with a shocking story to tell.

I really took to the character of Kate, her doggedness, and insights. Also liked how this story was laid out, alternating chapters between the characters, gives us a chance to follow right along as the story unfolds. This format tends to work with thrillers quite well. Although I was ahead of Kate in her discoveries, kind of knew where this was going, it was still Interesting enough for me to keep going. Was suspenseful enough without being shocking or graphic, and there were enough side things going on to keep me turning the pages.

ARC from publisher.
Profile Image for Felice Laverne.
Author 1 book3,204 followers
February 12, 2020
I absolutely adored Fiona Barton’s debut novel, The Widow, so I was all-too eager to get my little hands on this one when I heard about The Child. Of course, that’s the problem with not reading blindly, isn't it--with already being familiar with an author’s previous works: you go in with expectations, undoubtedly heightening your expectations on the author, and it doesn’t always pan out. When that happens, those reads seem to fall harder than if you’d never met their predecessors in the first place. But that didn't happen here! This follow-up was awesome! Unfortunately, that’s what happened here.

Not too far into Fiona Barton’s sophomore novel, The Child, I realized that this one wasn’t nearly as clever as her debut, The Widow, and wasn’t nearly as captivating either. Read as a “rush job,” without the finesse and nuance of her previous novel. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of the follow-up to a blockbuster movie--you know, the ones where you can tell the studio was just rushing to churn the next one out to capitalize on the fanfare of the last one.

Have you ever read a novel and just knew you could pick out the characters on the street if you saw them? Their mannerisms are so real, their dialogue so witty, so poignant, so enthralling, that you recall a whole slew of their quotes from memory. These characters come alive on the page and delight you, make you want to be them—or at least kidnap them and keep them as your new bestie. Well, you won’t find that here, people. These characters didn’t saunter around, exuding their very essence across the page like in the previous novel.

Though, to be fair, it’s not all cons in this one. One of the better aspects of this novel is that Barton uses the format of short chapters to swiftly draw her reader in and keep them turning pages. It’s a style that I now recognize her for. That technique makes the read seem shorter, faster, and is a true hallmark of the modern-day thriller, which was once again used brilliantly here. Well, to an extent.
Of all things, The Child was chalked full of filler. I could almost palpably feel myself ripping at the cotton-like filler to get down to the meat, the core of the novel. Some of the chapters were completely useless to the plot as a whole and slowed the read down to a near-screeching halt, contradictory to the goals of the short chapters, placing The Child very squarely into the “cozy thriller” category and loosening the tauntness that readers look for in a good mystery thriller.

All I needed for complete this novel was a cuppa Earl Grey and a biscuit. For some, this’ll work brilliantly, but I can see the flatly written characters turning off character piece buffs, while the added family drama will turn off mystery thrill seekers, stripping away its well-roundedness and landing this one in a category for a very specific kind of reader. It’s not that the characters here were unlikeable, more like they were just silly. Crying at the slightest stimulus. Sighing and huffing and wedge-driving over men who, for the majority of the read, weren’t much more than cliché sketches of cheaters and adulterers themselves. There were moments where I actually imagined them fawning and fanning themselves at the thought of these men, swooning in their own misery, and that made the read feel long, like I was trudging through used Kleenex the entire time.

Let’s go ahead and address this here, shall we?

There’s so much chatter in the book world about (female) characters who are unlikeable for being shallow or crass—The Girl on the Train immediately comes to mind—but these characters in The Child were equally unlikeable for a completely different reason: because they were so spineless, weak and lacking of any motivation that I could get behind for the vast majority of the novel. There were a lot of tears in this book, even moments of rushing out of a grocery store, abandoning their grocery cart, because the noise was too unbearable. These characters all needed a swift kick in the ass if you ask me.

Hmm, and the ending. I won’t give anything away, but I will definitely say that I’m not sure how I feel about it. It could’ve been a phenomenal ending, but it was executed poorly and via unlikeable characters, so, in the end, it just felt like a hastily done soap opera ending. There were loads of other sections that could have been scrapped in favor of perfecting the ending, believe me—and the fact that the ending was held up by sappy, weak-willed characters just ruined it, like spilling liquid on a watercolor painting. all in all, landed The Child with a average score of 3 stars ***


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Profile Image for Diana • Book of Secrets.
780 reviews571 followers
June 27, 2017
THE CHILD is an intriguing mystery surrounding the discovery of a decades old baby skeleton at a construction site. Given the premise, I figured it would also be an emotional read, and it was that. The story is told in alternating perspectives of four women, the investigative reporter (who we first met in THE WIDOW) and three others whose lives will be upended by the discovery.

Journalist Kate Waters is looking for her next big story when the baby’s remains are found. Kate’s investigation leads her to the unsolved disappearance of a baby from a maternity ward in 1970. Could they be related? Kate wants answers not only for her story, but also for the grieving family who’s been in limbo for over 40 years. I think Kate’s character has grown over the course of two books. She sees the humanity in this story, and not just a sensationalized headline for her publication.

I enjoyed Fiona Barton’s first novel, and THE CHILD I liked maybe a bit more. I loved how all the pieces came together in this haunting family drama. It’s a perfect blend of mystery, suspense, and women’s fiction. Unsettling and touching.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Caro (Bookaria).
612 reviews19.4k followers
September 29, 2017
The author Fiona Barton delivers again!

Kate Waters is a journalist and the main character in this novel. She was also a character on the author's previous novel The Widow but you do not need to read it to be able to enjoy this book because the cases are completely unrelated.

Ok, back to the story. The body of a newborn baby is found buried in a neighborhood undergoing construction. Kate develops an interest in the story and her uncanny work and observations reveal the mystery around this baby.

The story is told from several points of view and the characters are interesting and well-drawn. The novel takes place in England and is engaging. 

Overall I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading the author's next novel.
Profile Image for Sue.
1,330 reviews5 followers
July 2, 2017
The Child by Fiona Barton is a brand new novel of twisting psychological suspense from the author of the New York Times bestseller The Widow. While I enjoyed he Widow, I liked this one much better, as I found the characters more fully developed in The Child. Many twists and turns with a surprise ending.

“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? “

This novel is told from four women's perspectives Emma, Angela, Kate, and Jude, past and present.

EMMA has secrets and works from home as a book editor. She is married to Paul a teacher at the University. Emma suffers from anxiety and is on medication.

ANGELA’s newborn baby, Alice was kidnapped from the maternity ward 28 years ago and was never found. Angela never recovered from the trauma. She had been a nurse and was now married to Nick, a stay-at-home mom with son, Patrick and daughter, Louise.

KATE is a reporter for the Daily Post married to Steve, a doctor with two adult sons Jake and Freddie. Kate is fascinated with this story, and decides to try and uncover the story behind the remains. This was “a needle-in-a-haystack job.” This was something she could sink her teeth into and get her out of the office.

JUDE is Emma’s distant mother who is obsessed with her boyfriend, Will. Jude along with Will threw Emma out of their house when she was just 16 years old. Only Will was important to her…not her daughter. Emma has tried to share her secret, but Jude would not listen.

But all these women take notice of the newspaper article of the building site baby.

Each short chapter is devoted to one of the above characters, to allow the reader to get to know all four characters in greater depth. They all play a part in the overall picture. The different stories all come together.

“As Kate investigates, she 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.”

This is a fast-paced mystery that is sure to please. I did not expect the most surprising twist at the end of the book…OMG I didn’t see it coming. I was probably too immersed in the story line.

I would like to thank First to Read for my copy to review as well as the author, Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book. I was fortunate to win both copies on the same day.
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.2k followers
July 26, 2017
Traveling Sisters Review by Norma with Brenda and Kaceey

Norma’s thoughts:  After reading The Widow by Fiona Barton I knew that I had to read this one right away. Although, I did enjoy The Widow I thought that this novel was a much better read!

THE CHILD by FIONA BARTON is an engaging, suspenseful, and character-driven psychological thriller novel that was packed full of twists and suspense that had us on another guessing marathon, messaging back and forth as we were reading.  Soon after meeting our three main characters Kate, Angela and Emma we were intrigued and immediately drawn into their emotional stories trying to figure out how they were all connected and what secrets they were withholding.  At times having Kaceey and Brenda suspicious of everyone and Norma trying to keep us under control with our theories.

FIONA BARTON delivers a well-written and fast-paced story here that is told in four different women’s perspectives Kate, Angela, Emma and Jude that had us all engaged in figuring out their scars, wounds, and secrets leaving Norma on the right track right away. However, Brenda who was off on her own out of the box theory was a bit disappointed with the outcome and the ending of the story. She wanted a bit more for one very interesting character than the ending she was given.  

FIONA BARTON cleverly reveals information at key times for us to figure out key points just before the characters do but not clever enough for Norma who pieced together some of the twists earlier on and then guided Brenda into figuring some out and Kaceey on the right track for another shocking twist.

To sum it all up it was a well-crafted, creative, gripping, fast-paced, and an enjoyable read with a twist ending. Would recommend!!

All of our Traveling Sisters Reviews can be found on Brenda's & my Sister Blog:
March 28, 2020
4+ stars!

A fast paced, twisty, suspenseful instalment in the Kate Waters series!

I love this series! For me, each book gets better! I read these out of order - Book 1, Book 3 and this one, Book 2. While I didn’t love Book 2 as much as I loved Book 3, this was still an excellent read! I really like the main character, reporter Kate Waters. She is edgy, assertive and extremely hard working, yet shows her more vulnerable side by emotionally connecting with her clients. Her extreme dedication to her job had me rooting for her to get to the bottom of this suspenseful mystery.

This story revolves around the discovery of a baby skeleton buried at a construction site. Kate feels drawn to the story and with the help of a newbie reporter-in-training, they jump deep into the dark findings of this mystery.

The writing was excellent. I quickly devoured page after page, chapter after chapter, constantly telling myself, just one more. The novel is presented through multiple characters perspectives in two timelines where the pace and flow were smooth and flawless. I had a sense of nervous anticipation from start to finish in trying to sort through the clues and findings. Although I did figure out some of the main twists and turns, it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment.

Overall, I loved the book and look forward to what comes next (I hope there is a Book 4!)

Thank you to my lovely local library for the loan of this fantastic book!
Profile Image for Malia.
Author 6 books550 followers
August 28, 2017
I liked this a lot better than The Widow, but I did guess the ending quite early on, so an aspect of suspense was missing a little. Still, an engaging story and I would certainly read this author in the future!

Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com
Profile Image for Zoe.
1,819 reviews171 followers
June 27, 2017
Intriguing, disturbing, and gritty!

This is a character-driven psychological thriller that reminds us that secrets from the past often find their way to the surface no matter how well they are hidden or buried.

It is, ultimately, a story about abuse, neglect, manipulation, sexual deviance, deception, heartbreak, lies and familial dynamics.

The writing is suspenseful and twisty. The characters are multi-layered, flawed and vulnerable. And the plot, although a little slow in the first half of the novel is much more intense, emotional, mysterious and unpredictable in the second half of the novel and has an exceptional ending that is sure to not only satisfy but completely take you by surprise.

This is definitely a good sophomore novel for Barton with a lot of heartfelt drama, character development and multiple subplots that will keep you completely entertained, invested and engaged until the very end.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Linda Strong.
3,880 reviews1,635 followers
May 17, 2017
Emma, Angela, Jude and Kate. An infant's skeleton is found as an old house is demolished. It seems like it has been buried for many years, maybe decades. All these women take notice when it becomes newspaper article.

Kate is a journalist. She decides to do a full-length article with follow up ... who does this infant belong to? How long has she been there? Why and how did it come to be buried?

Angela's newborn daughter was stolen from her hospital room 28 years ago and never found. She's never recovered the trauma and it has affected her entire life. Is this her baby?

Emma has secrets that have never seen the light of day. Why is this child affecting her so much? Jude is her mother. Jude threw Emma out of their house when she was just 16 years old. Jude's boyfriend was her priority .... not her daughter. Emma has tried to share her secret, but Jude would not listen.

Kate becomes involved with all of them not only because of a story, but because she genuinely cares. And as she becomes enmeshed in their lives, she finds herself burdened by stories that maybe she shouldn't share with the world.

Having read THE WIDOW by this author, I was eager to see if this one would be as good. It definitely is! It was a slow start though ... each chapter written by a different woman. The book bounces back and forth in their memories from the things happening today to what happened many years ago.

All of the characters are cleverly written. It's so easy to get wrapped up in their lives. The secondary characters -- husbands, police, other newspeople -- are all as credible and add a lot of interest to the story premise.

There are twists and turns along the way, but I did not expect the most surprising twist at the end of the book. Very engaging and riveting book. This is an author to watch.

Many thanks to the author / Berkley Publishing Group / Netgalley for the digital copy of THE CHILD. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
July 25, 2017
A tiny skeleton is discovered at a construction site in a suburb outside of London. The discovery was made during excavation for updated homes. Kate Waters is a newspaper journalist and reads about this riveting story. It has been two years since she has had a big feature and she is intrigued by the article. She can’t stop thinking about what might have happened to this child.

As Kate investigates the story, she seeks information about former residents from the area. She is hoping that somebody from the neighborhood can provide possible leads about the identity of the baby. Kate crosses paths with Angela whose baby was stolen from the local hospital almost forty years ago. Angela is now a grandmother and lives with regrets about the fate of her baby named Alice. She also meets Emma who lived in the building as a teenager. Emma has been plagued with anxiety most of her life and has a strained relationship with her mother. Kate continues to dig deep into the mystery surrounding the skeleton and how it might relate to any of these women.

This story is narrated from each of the women’s perspectives creating a suspenseful psychological thriller. It is a mystery and to include more detail would spoil the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel by Fiona Barton.
Profile Image for Crime by the Book.
192 reviews1,607 followers
April 13, 2017
4.5/5 stars!!!! Find my full review here: http://crimebythebook.com/blog/2017/4...

I enjoyed this one even more than Fiona's debut, THE WIDOW. It has a fantastic cast of characters, and a killer plot twist that I never saw coming!! It's definitely a bit of a slower read at the beginning, but your patience will absolutely be rewarded. Loved this one!!
Profile Image for Ammar.
448 reviews217 followers
June 28, 2017

Out on June 27th

An enjoyable mystery from various perspectives. Emma, Angela, Kate, and Jude. And the body of a child found during an demolition.

Who is this child and how is he related to the various narrators.

The plot is fast and truly a page turner. It wasn't a whodonit as much as a whydonit. I think this book will follow the commercial success of The Widow.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,344 reviews4,863 followers
April 10, 2021

3.5 stars

Like many print journalists in the internet age, Kate Waters - a reporter for the 'London Daily Post' - is anxious about her employment. The paper is slated to let some reporters go, and Kate - wanting job security - needs a good story to impress her boss.

Hence, when Kate learns that an infant's bones were dug up at a London excavation site, she thinks it's just the ticket. Kate proceeds to investigate the incident, with an eye to publishing the identity of the child's mother and the circumstances surrounding the burial.

Kate's initial article about the tiny corpse strikes a chord with two women, former nurse Angela Irving and book editor Emma Simmonds.

Angela Irving gave birth to a baby girl, Alice, over forty years ago - but didn't get to take the infant home. The newborn was stolen from the hospital and never found. Angela, who still hasn't recovered from the loss, thinks the unearthed baby might be her child.

Emma Simmonds grew up on the street where the baby was found, and lived there until she was sixteen. News of the uncovered newborn makes Emma very anxious, but we don't learn why until later.

Most of the story is told from three rotating points of view: Kate, Angela, and Emma.

Kate, an experienced journalist with helpful police contacts, interviews both Angela and Emma - and gets on the inside track with both of them. Thus, when the cops compare Angela's DNA with the baby's DNA, Kate is one of the first to know the results. And when Emma decides to recount her story, she tells it to the reporter. The police aren't always happy about Kate's 'interference', but she actually helps their investigation.

Kate Waters was first introduced in Fiona Barton's previous novel, 'The Widow', in which she was a VERY aggressive journalist - who'd do anything to get her story. I found Kate to be overly abrasive in that novel, and didn't like her much.

In this book Kate is STILL pushy, but demonstrates some of her softer side - both at home and at work.....where she's mentoring a young reporter named Joe. Kate remains focused on getting scoops and writing juicy articles, but shows empathy for Angela and Emma. So that's good.

In Angela's narrative, we learn about her husband Nick and their two grown children, who find it difficult to deal with Angela's unquenchable grief.

Angela is desperate for closure regarding Alice - even if it means learning that the child died a long time ago.

In Emma's story, we find out that she was a troubled girl who had a turbulent relationship with her mother Jude, an attorney.

Jude raised Emma alone, and though Emma asked constantly, Jude wouldn't identify the father. This had unfortunate consequences.

Things got even worse when Jude's boyfriend, Will, moved in with them. Jude was forced to choose between her man and her daughter, and she chose Will - forcing 16-year-old Emma to move out. As a result, mother and daughter didn't speak for years.

Emma is married to an 'older man' - a college professor named Paul - who's very solicitous of her welfare. Emma loves Paul, but has kept a lot of secrets from him. For her part, Jude doesn't like Paul and would like to see her daughter split up with him. In fact Jude - who recounts some sections of the book - shows herself to be a callous, selfish woman who's desperate for a man. She's also a terrible mother (IMO).

As Kate and the police pursue their inquiries, big secrets are revealed - things that eventually pull all the threads of the story together in a very satisfying way.

My major qualm with the book is a plot point that stretches credibility quite a bit - more than I'm comfortable with.

Overall, I enjoyed this suspenseful, well-written book, which has compelling characters and a page-turner storyline. I highly recommend the book to mystery lovers, who'll enjoy trying to puzzle out what's going on.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Gary.
2,614 reviews369 followers
June 14, 2017
This novel is told from four women's perspectives Emma, Angela, Kate, and Jude and makes for a fast paced story with lots of twists.
When a house is demolished the tiny skeleton of a child is discovered and Kate who is a journalist decides to try and uncover the story behind the remains. Kate discovers a connection to a crime that occurred many years ago when a newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. The second woman Angela had her newborn daughter stolen from her hospital room 28 years ago and was never found. She's never recovered from the trauma and it has affected her entire life. The question is the baby hers. The third woman Emma has secrets that she has never shared and the discovery of this child is affecting her. The fourth woman Jude, her mother threw Emma out of their house when she was just 16 years old choosing her boyfriend as her priority rather than her daughter.
I found all the characters well written, extremely interesting and overall made the novel a very good read. I had previously read the authors other book 'The Widow' but found this one a far better read.
I would like to thank both Net Galley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for supplying me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Labijose.
958 reviews414 followers
April 24, 2020
No he leído todavía “La viuda”, a pesar de tenerla. Me apetecía más empezar por la segunda. Sobre todo, por las reseñas que he ido encontrando. Y la verdad es que no me ha decepcionado.

No es un thriller frenético con giros y sorpresas inesperadas. Es una novela de misterio que se lee con lentitud, que no parsimonia. Son tres los personajes principales, que a medida que la trama se desenvuelve convergirán hacia una conclusión que afectará a las tres. Tiene buenos diálogos y está bien escrita (aunque desconozco como habrá quedado en la traducción). Y lo mejor, no ha perdido interés a lo largo de sus casi 400 páginas.

Conclusión: Que seguiré leyendo a la autora, aunque quizás me deje la primera novela para el final.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,135 followers
May 16, 2017
...4+ Stars.

...Really enjoyed my first Fiona Barton novel.....and Oh Boy!.....It's a series!

...THE CHILD is told from four different perspectives with short chapters that flow smoothly making for a very quick and engrossing read.....and don't worry about keeping track of the players as you will soon find it unnecessary.

...Kate Waters is a journalist who knows her stuff...and has a conscience. On the lookout for a newsworthy story for The Daily Post, a disturbing find of a tiny skeleton grabs Kate's attention and leads her on an investigative journey exposing multiple buried secrets.....with one biggie I did not see coming.

...THE CHILD is one fine mystery with some nasty and sleazy character types and much more to the storyline than meets the eye. Look forward to reading THE WIDOW!

Many thanks to NetGalley, and Berkley Publishing Group for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Jan.
424 reviews252 followers
June 26, 2017
For fans of Fiona Barton's debut thriller The Widow, you will be happy to see that journalist Kate Waters is back and has found her next big story: The skeleton of a baby has been discovered at a construction site. The only evidence the police have to go on are the remnants of shredded paper that the skeleton was wrapped up.

As the story starts to unfold, new characters are introduced. each with their own dedicated chapters and stories to share.
Angela-Who has never gotten over the loss of her first born who was stolen right out of her hospital room.
Emma-Who suffers from anxiety so she works from home. She see's the article on the discovered baby and her world is shaken.
Jude-Emma's mother. The two have a delicate relationship that indicates many secrets untold.

As Kate starts to dig in and build her story, what she soon discovers throws these women together and changes their lives forever.

This was a pretty intricate plot that held my interest up to the end. I did struggle a bit in the middle as the pace was a bit slow, but once the twist was revealed everything really sped up and provided some nice closure. I did start to put the pieces of the puzzle together before the big reveal, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment at all.

My guess is that Kate Waters is here to stay, so I look forward to seeing what story Kate will find herself entrenched in next!

ARC provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for Pauline.
746 reviews
July 12, 2017
I had read The Widow by Fiona Barton and was really looking forward to reading her new book The Child and I was not disappointed. I really, enjoyed this book, it had quite a few twists and turns. I thought that the story was well thought out and kept me engrossed. It was a real page turner. I would like to thank NetGalley for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews.
1,053 reviews1,374 followers
July 20, 2017

An unsolved mystery resurfaced when a baby's skeleton was found at a building site.

Along with the skeleton, three main characters emerge too. Kate is a reporter investigating the story. Emma is a nervous adult who became intrigued as well as possessed when she sees the story of the baby. Angela is the mother whose baby disappeared more than 40 years ago never to be found.

THE CHILD took a while to get interesting simply because it was a bit slow, and there were too many characters thrown in. I was lost with so many different characters and couldn't seem to figure out the connection until around half way through the book so don’t give up because it is worth the wait.

As the pages turned and I reached the halfway point, the book started making a connection for me and kept my attention. The mystery became intriguing.

The characters seemed genuine for their roles, but something was odd and different about each of them.

This was my first book by Ms. Barton so I imagine I needed to get used to her writing style and her attention to detail.

There are some good twists to the story as well as some disturbing subjects that are addressed.

All in all, THE CHILD is a good read that will keep you guessing. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Theresa Alan.
Author 10 books1,017 followers
March 19, 2017
I devoured this book in a single day.

When the bones of a baby are found during an excavation, journalist Kate thinks there is a story there, even if finding who the mother was will be exceedingly difficult. Angela, whose baby was stolen from her years ago, is certain that the baby is hers, and Emma, who battles a mood disorder and has been treated for mental illness, reads everything about the remains obsessively.

Told from multiple points of view, the mystery of who this baby is will keep you turning pages. Kate is the force that keeps digging and unraveling secrets. She’s a tough, likeable protagonist. Jude, Emma’s self-absorbed mother, is well drawn as an odious woman who should never have become a mother.

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.

For more of my reviews, please visit: http://theresaalan.net/blog/
Profile Image for Cartas de un Lector.
172 reviews3,406 followers
May 15, 2022
Una muy buena novela policiaca, aunque técnicamente quien resuelve el caso es una periodista. Lo cual lo hace distinto y más entretenido.

Me encantó la construcción de la trama y de los personajes (las tres narrativas estuvieron muy completas e interesantes), además de que aún con la gran cantidad de información, todo es digerible y fácil de recordar.

Disfruté mucho el poder hacer mis propias teorías y ver cómo con algunas cosas adivinaba y otras no. Muy dinámica la experiencia.

Es muy bueno que la autora incorporara temas tan relevantes como la maternidad, abusos sexuales y el dolor de la pérdida. Todo con sus momentos fuertes y emotivos.

También estuvo genial un plot twist que no veía venir y me dejó con la boca abierta por un buen rato.

En pocas palabras, estuvo chido y adictivo.
Lo escuché en formato de audiolibro 🙌🏻
Profile Image for JanB .
1,144 reviews2,508 followers
August 5, 2017
A satisfying page-turner! The short chapters and multiple perspectives kept me engaged and up until the wee hours finishing the book. The story opens when a tiny skeleton is found during excavation of a building site. The book is told from the perspective of four people: the journalist Kate, Emma and her mother Jude who used to live in the neighborhood where the skeleton was found, and Angela, whose baby was stolen from the maternity ward many years ago. While it seems obvious the skeleton is Angela’s baby, the truth is more complicated than the set-up would lead you to think.

The suspense was carried throughout the book, with enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. I had a little trouble keeping everyone straight at first but my persistence paid off. There are secrets to be discovered and the author reveals just enough to keep you turning the pages. I found the surprise twist and the ending satisfying on several levels.

Although this is a standalone, I liked the recurring character of the journalist, Kate, who we first met in the author’s first book, The Widow. The author’s background in journalism is evident in how she writes her character, and I hope she is featured in the author’s next book.

**thank you to Netgalley and Berkley publishing for a copy of the book for review
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