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Fiona Barton returns following her award-winning debut The Widow, landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016, with a riveting follow-up, THE CHILD — as readers catch up with journalist Kate from the first book.
From love and loss, a character-driven intense psychological suspense tale of three women. Emotional destruction — dark secrets and lies are exposed, a whodunit mystery keeping readers glued the pages to the twisty finale!
You can bury the story . . . but you can’t hide the truth.
“When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.” — Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Kate Waters, a journalist was bored. She needed a story. She soon finds an intriguing case and she will not stop until she writes the story and solves the mystery.
Headlined “Baby’s Body Found.”
An infant’s skeleton had been unearthed on a building site in Woolwich near London. The police were investigating. No other details. She tore it out of the paper to save for later as she often does when running across a potential story.
Who is the baby and how did it die? Who would bury a baby? How could anyone kill a baby?
When checking with the authorities she found newborns were tricky when it came to DNA especially if they have been underground for years.
Kate loved a glint of something in the dark. Someone to absorb her totally. Something to sink her teeth into. Anything to get her out of the office. She is obsessed with finding out the name of this baby. She wants the story. The Building Site Baby. Who drove someone to bury a baby?
From alternating POVs, we hear from Kate and the three women: Emma Simmonds, Jude Massingham, and Angela Irving. (enjoyed the way each section is clearly defined).
Angela’s newborn daughter went missing some 28 years earlier. Every March 20 she would cry, thinking of Alice’s birthday. She had less than twenty-four hours with her. The dread would come each year before the baby’s birthday. She could not put the painful memories behind her.
Emma suffers from anxiety and depression from her past. She knows that a secret takes on a life of its own. She must protect her secret. She will keep it safe.
“I’ve always thought that’s a funny saying. Let sleeping dogs lie. Because sleeping dogs always wake up eventually, don’t they?”
Angela soon calls Kate to find out more. Could this be her daughter? She has never given up hope her daughter would one day be found.
Jude had been a single mom in the late seventies trying to forge a new career with a child to look after, but the rent was cheap. It did not matter where she lived, she was caught in her own little world. She threw Jude out of the house when she was sixteen, choosing her boyfriend Will over her daughter.
How does this current tragedy connect these three women? Secrets threaten current lives. A nameless child.
With alternating time periods (2012-2013) with flashbacks to the 70s-80s, Kate continues to dig deep to solve the mystery of the baby. She begins looking at old missing children cases from the 70’s to the mid-1990s. (Loved Kate from The Widow) and her tenacity!
Barton captivates readers with an enthralling page-turner, as addictive and intense as her debut. How well you know those closest to you?
A well-written slow-burning whodunit suspense mystery with depth, Barton once again shines, using her own career as a journalist to enhance the intensity and mystery of the Building Site Baby. Even though each of the women brings emotion to the story, the real mystery to be uncovered comes from the relationship between Emma and Jude and how this connects with Angela.
Highly recommend, both The Widow and The Child. For fans of Mary Kubica, B.A. Paris, Clare Mackintosh, and Ruth Ware. These talented ladies are TOP-Notch authors and enjoy their writing style.
Often a psychological suspense makes a big impact, even though they may not always be edge-of-your-seat fast paced action. I also enjoyed reading about the inspiration behind the novel.
A strong theme of motherhood with a twisty surprise ending. A mother who has not given up after forty-two years. Readers will be drawn into the lives of each of these women. Savor and unravel the mysterious puzzle, with many red herrings. The tension mounts and all the secrets and lies surface. Enjoy the journey.
Well-crafted, twisty, addictive, and intriguing. Can’t wait to see what comes next. . .
A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an early reading copy.
About the Author
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.
"The ultimate psychological thriller! Barton carefully unspools this dark, intimate tale of a terrible crime, a stifling marriage, and the lies spouses tell not just to each other, but to themselves in order to make it through. The ending totally blew me away!" --Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author