The Child Who: A Novel

The Child Who: A Novel

4.0 3
by Simon Lelic
     
 

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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

Overview

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 indefensible, he soon finds himself pitted against an enraged community calling for blood. When the buildup of pressure takes a sinister turn, he fears for his wife and young daughter's safety. Must he choose between his family and the life of a damaged child? With piercing psychological insight, Lelic examines a community's response to a hideous crime.

Longlisted for the Crime Writers' Assocaition's Gold Dagger award fro Best Novel of the Year and the Steel Dagger for Best Thriller.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British author Lelic follows his acclaimed debut, A Thousand Cuts, with an equally gripping psychological thriller also inspired by a horrific real-life crime. All England is appalled by the vicious sex murder of 11-year-old Felicity Forbes, who was violated with a stick before she was drowned. The herculean task of defending Felicity’s killer, 12-year-old Daniel Blake, falls to attorney Leo Curtice, who, unsurprisingly, finds few who support his role in representing the boy. Curtice’s wife naturally associates the dead girl with their 15-year-old daughter, whose classmates harass her at school because of the murder case. Not even the defendant’s mother and stepfather are fully in Curtice’s corner. Virtually alone, Curtice struggles to get the best possible result for a killer whose capacity to understand his evil is unclear. Lelic dares to make his lead less than an Atticus Finch (Curtice views the case as a career booster), and the plot unfolds in a way few readers will anticipate. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (Mar.)
Marilyn Stasio
“And just when you think Lelic has said all he intends to say about society’s hysterical fear of violent children, he gives the subject one last, diabolical twist.”
Houston Chronicle
“Gripping… The much acclaimed, award-winning British writer Simon Lelic continues to impress with his second psychological thriller, The Child Who.”
-Megan Abbott
"By page three, Simon Lelic's harrowing and haunting novel The Child Who has you utterly in its snares. A daring writer but also a deeply open- hearted one, he renders his flawed but sympathetic characters with the most tender of hands, heightening the tale's suspense and drawing us even closer."
-The Guardian (UK)
"An agile, perceptive writer...Could this be Lelic's breakthrough book? It deserves to be."
David Mitchell
“Lelic’s three novels are breakneck, intelligent ‘social thrillers’ that even invade my dream-life.”—David Mitchell
From the Publisher
“And just when you think Lelic has said all he intends to say about society’s hysterical fear of violent children, he gives the subject one last, diabolical twist.” — Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“Gripping… The much acclaimed, award-winning British writer Simon Lelic continues to impress with his second psychological thriller, The Child Who.” — Houston Chronicle

"British author Lelic follows his acclaimed debut, A Thousand Cuts, with an equally gripping psychological thriller also inspired by a horrific real-life crime…Lelic dares to make his lead less than Atticus Finch…and the plot unfolds in a way few readers will anticipate." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"By page three, Simon Lelic's harrowing and haunting novel The Child Who has you utterly in its snares. A daring writer but also a deeply open- hearted one, he renders his flawed but sympathetic characters with the most tender of hands, heightening the tale's suspense and drawing us even closer." — Megan Abbott, author of The End of Everything

"Lelic faces thorny issues of guilt and responsibility head on, and no one comes out unscathed." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"An agile, perceptive writer...Could this be Lelic's breakthrough book? It deserves to be." — The Guardian (UK)

“Lelic’s three novels are breakneck, intelligent ‘social thrillers’ that even invade my dream-life.”—David Mitchell — David Mitchell

Kirkus Reviews
Who deserves your sympathy most: the 11-year-old victim, the 12-year-old who killed her or the lawyer handling the case? Felicity was a bright, bouncy, much-liked preteen. Adults doted on her, schoolmates clustered around her, and her future seemed unlimited—until Daniel Blake, barely a year older, assaulted her, tortured her, bound her hands with wire and left her to drown. County solicitor Leo Curtice happens to answer the phone call requesting representation for Daniel. From the moment he agrees, his life spirals out of control. The public is incensed that he'd defend the evil child. His own wife and teenage daughter beg him not to. But Leo needs to understand why Daniel became Daniel. The boy has nothing to say. His mum defers to his stepdad, who just wants Daniel to admit guilt, take his punishment and keep the matter from going to trial. But Leo keeps asking why: why did this happen, what's in Daniel's past? When menacing letters arrive threatening Leo's family, he downplays the danger. But his wife spots a loiterer at their window, and they're followed and photographed during a day at the beach. Then Leo's daughter goes missing, and he and his wife suffer the anguish of Felicity's family. Did the letter writer abduct her? No one can be sure. His marriage disintegrates. Should he have abandoned Daniel and protected his family? It will take 10 years and even more tragedy before he gets answers to any of these questions. Jarring, disturbing and not for the emotionally squeamish. Lelic (A Thousand Cuts, 2010, etc.) faces thorny issues of guilt and responsibility head on, and no one comes out unscathed.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101577141
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/27/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
878,002
File size:
388 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Simon Lelic has worked as a journalist and currently runs his own business. He was born in Brighton, England in 1976 and lives there now with his wife and two sons. This is his first novel.

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Child Who 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Kypiroth More than 1 year ago
This book was a slow read in the beginning. If I hadn't received it for free through Goodreads first read program, I probably wouldn't have read it. But once I got about 1/4 through it, the story started to pick up, and I truly did not want to put it down. The ending it completely NOT what I expected. In a good way :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ANONWZAWMN More than 1 year ago
Can anyone explain the killing of one child by another? What elements of the killer's personality provoke murder? These questions are at the heart of this fast paced thriller. A story too familiar, yet set in its own geography readers will find themselves provoked to think about these kinds of tragedies. REVIEWED BY GERBAM