The Child

The Child

by Fiona Barton
4.4 19

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Overview

The Child by Fiona Barton

One of the most highly anticipated thrillers of the year—as seen in People, Entertainment Weekly, Time, USA Today, Bustle, Good Housekeeping.com, HelloGiggles, The Boston Globe, PureWow, The Dallas Morning News, and more!  
 
The Child is a perfect blend of beach read and book club selection. It’s a fascinating and fitting follow-up to [Barton’s] best-selling debut novel, The Widow. . . .[A] page-turning whodunit….A novel that is both fast-paced and thought-provoking, it keeps the reader guessing right to the end.”—USA Today
 
“Fiona Barton brings back reporter Kate Waters from the best-selling The Widow and delivers another winner with The Child.…A truly engaging tale. Those who enjoyed The Widow will discover that Barton has only gotten better.”—The Associated Press

“A lightning-paced, twisty story with an ending so surprising you might have to read it twice.”—GoodHousekeeping.com

“Multiple narratives mean non-stop action in The Child…Like her fellow novelists, Fiona Barton knows showing is better than telling because it allows for the reader's perspective…whether the conclusion occasions a shock or an 'aha!' doesn't matter; it's satisfying due to all the work that's gone into its discovery.”—NPR.org

The author of the stunning New York Times bestseller The Widow returns with a brand-new novel of twisting psychological suspense.

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?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate 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…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101990483
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 9,546
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Fiona Barton, the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow and The Child, trains and works with journalists all over the world. Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.

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The Child 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
As a female, mother, grandmother and great grandmother I could strongly identify with the horror of every aspect of this story.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Had me going until the most surprising ending. I shed tears at this twisted ending.
rokinrev 4 days ago
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher Penguin, as part of a giveaway for the OTHER Fiona Barton book,The Widow, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. I am voluntarily reviewing this. This, like every review I post, is not influenced in any way by how I received it) After reading The Widow I wasn't sure if I even wanted to tackle this book. The Widow was "creepy". This one is a sad convoluted tale of the same reporter but in an entirely different context. A baby skeleton is found during a tear down in a section of London. It affects many lives as secrets are searched out and stitched together by Kate Waters, who is positive that there is more than " meets the eye" in what that baby can tell them of the past in what was a fairly closed community, and the answers that come from fallible humans are going to surprise a lot of people, and anger others. This book was very hope filled, and I highly recommend it,
CrazyCat_Alex 18 days ago
Is it possible that there are two dead babies in the same building? This is the question journalist Kate Waters and the police trying to answer. While it is possible it's not likely. And how are these babies related to the narrating voices telling this story? I enjoyed the twist in the end and had a hard time putting the book down. A real page turner for all fans of psychological thrillers. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK!
Anonymous 19 days ago
Angela and Nick Irving's baby girl, Alice, was stolen from the hospital room just after she was born in the 1970s. Now, many years later, she has never been found. Now, it has been reported that the skeleton of a baby has been found buried under an urn planter where some old homes are being demolished. Emma and Paul Simmonds have heard the same news and Paul is worried about Emma as he knows she is a fragile and that this sort of thing will upset her. Emma’s mother, Jude, is a self-centered single mother who has always made Emma call her mother by the woman’s first name. Theirs is a difficult relationship as Jude had put her boyfriend, Will, ahead of her daughter many years ago. Kate Waters writes for the newspaper. When she sees the news on the baby’s body being found, she thinks of her own two sons and wonders about the mother of the lost baby. So, she is very intrigued and starts her own investigation. The story follows these women and how their lives interact as they work toward finding out if this is truly baby Alice. We see the behind the scenes of Emma’s and Angela’s lives. Kate is determined to do a good job for her newspaper to also prove that not all news is found online. The characters are well-written. The book is a bit long and goes into intricate detail, but don’t despair. The ending is what we work toward in reading any book and this one is a true shocker. I loved the author’s first novel, “The Widow” and have been so looking forward to reading “The Child.” It is very good. Don’t miss it.
Anonymous 3 months ago
As good as The Widow or better. I enjoyed this book so much and can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Caroles_Random_Life 4 months ago
This was a good story and I found it to be very readable. I was really drawn into the idea behind the mystery. I wasn't blown away by the story but I did enjoy my time reading this one. I found that the pages of this book went by pretty quickly. I am glad that I decided to pick up this book. This story is told from three main points of view. Kate is a reporter who is intrigued by the discovery of the remains of a newborn baby and decides to try to find out what really happened. Angela is the mother of a newborn baby that was taken from the hospital shortly after her birth. Emma lived in the area that the baby's remains were found when she was growing up and is very troubled by the news of the discovery. I did like the characters in this book. Kate was smart and resourceful. She really did everything in her power to find out what really happened. Angela has been through a nightmare. I could only imagine how difficult the years have been since her baby disappeared. Emma was a bit of a mystery at the beginning of the story. She has had issues in her past and seemed somewhat fragile. There were a lot of other interesting characters that are met in this story and I think each of them were well done. The mystery seemed rather obvious to me pretty early in the book. I kept waiting for something to happen that would make me realize that I was wrong but it never happened. I have had other readers tell me that they didn't figure anything out until the end of the book so maybe I will be in the minority with thinking the solution was too easy to figure out. I really don't like it when I can predict the solution to a mystery long before any of the detectives seem to have even the slightest clue. I think it just takes something away from a mystery when you are able to figure things out too early. I did like the author's writing style. I think that the multiple points of view worked really well in this story since each character had an important piece of the puzzle. Besides the main mystery revolving around the baby's remains there were some other issues that came up in this book and I thought everything worked very well together. I would recommend this one to fans of mystery thrillers. This is the first book by Fiona Barton that I have read and I look forward to reading more very soon. I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.
literarymuseVC 4 months ago
Kate Waters decides to diversify from her boring journalistic ventures into something she can sink her teeth into. During excavation of a building site, the skeleton of an infant of indeterminate age is found. It’s a backstory of no particular attention due to the fact that the newspapers are paying more attention to the shenanigans around the upcoming Olympics in London, England. For some unexplained reason, however, Kate sticks to the story and begins to explore the neighborhood around where the child was found! This story is told from four different points of view: Kate’s version as already described; a woman named Angela whose infant daughter was stolen from her hospital room when she went into the bathroom to take a shower; a woman named Emma whose dark secret has left her in a severe depression with anxiety that she finds impossible to handle even with medication; and Emma’s mother Jude, a self-centered woman whose lack of connection with her daughter leaves the reader thinking and feeling there’s more than meets the eye here. The story moves rather slowly in the middle of the book but then accelerates to roller coaster speed with a telephone call from Emma. Her revealed secret to Kate is so stunning to Kate that she can barely handle it. From there, the confusion rises as Angela’s obsession leads her to believe the dead child is her own and not Emma’s. The reader will be amazed at the way this mystery unfolds and Fiona Barton is superb at plotting with sensitive time and interesting facts. This could be anyone’s story but the way the lives of these three women interact is absolutely astonishing. Kate Waters has not only a journalistic eye and ear but a sensitive soul that enables anyone she interviews to open up and expose supposedly insignificant facts. This is fine, fine mystery or crime fiction reading and highly recommended to readers of all ages!
WhisperingStories 4 months ago
The Child is a thriller told from four different perspectives. Emma, Kate, Angela and Jude. The plot is written over a period of time, from 20th March 2012, to 16th May 2012, with a couple of follow up chapters at the end, dated 2013. Emma suffers from what I presume is depression/anxiety issues. She feels vulnerable and sad most of the time, sometimes struggling to just get out of bed. On 20th March 2012 the Evening Standard newspaper, ran with a story about a baby’s body being found on the building site of where an old house used to stand. This news sent Emma into a panic, making her feel like there was no air in her lungs. Kate is a journalist for the Evening Standard. The story of the baby’s body being found wasn’t really of interest to the paper, being that it looked like the body had been there for many years. Kate though suspected that there was more to the case, and started her own investigation. Angela is devastated by events years earlier, when her newborn daughter had cruelly been taken from her, just 24 hours after she was born. Every year on the 20th March, Angela would grieve for her daughter. The news of a baby’s body being found had given her hope that it may be that of her daughter, and that she may finally understand what happened to her. Jude is Emma’s mum, and a past resident of the now demolished house. She hasn’t had the greatest relationship with her daughter for many years, after her boyfriend kicked a teenage Emma out on to the street. She is a very selfish woman, one who likes to put herself first. Three of these women are in some way connected to the baby’s body. Will Kate dig up enough information to put the puzzle together, and for the truth to be outed? Now I’m not normally a fan of multiple perspective books, that’s not to say I don’t read them, just not very often. I need there to be a valid reason for the author using multiple voices. I’m happy to say that I feel this book just wouldn’t work without it being written in this manner. Around 20 chapters in, I was sure I knew exactly what had happened. Whilst I wasn’t 100% wrong, I certainly didn’t predict all of what had occurred all those years ago. The book is by no means fast paced, but it is most definitely a gripping, intense, suspenseful thriller. The twists, turns, and red herrings that Ms. Barton has written, certainly do throw you off course, more than once. Whilst a couple of the main characters did grate on me a bit, Jude and Emma, I enjoyed feeling as if I was part of Kate’s investigation. Just a woman with a hunch to go on, one who wouldn’t let the story lie, even when it took her to some dark places. A brilliantly executed second novel, and I look forward to reading more from this author.
JennMcLean 4 months ago
"The Child" by Fiona Barton will be released on June 27, 2017. I had heard of Ms. Barton's phenomenal success with "The Widow" so I was happy to try her next stand alone mystery, "The Child". The two books are not a series but two separate stories that are unrelated to one another. Journalist Kate Waters picks up on a small story about a newborn's bones being found at a construction site in a newly developing part of London and she wants to know more. After learning that the bones are old, Kate goes on a hunt for who would have buried a baby in the backyard of an old crumbling house. She believes the baby's story deserves to be told. When a forty year old crime involving the disappearance of a newborn from a hospital crops up Kate knows there's something to tell here. The parents are still devastated and wonder what happened to baby Alice. Through dogged research and door to door interviews, Kate Waters discovers more buried secrets than just a baby. The trick is to connect all the lies to get at the truth. This was one of those slow burn books for me. When I started it I certainly found Kate's investigative techniques interesting to learn about and it was easy to follow along with her thinking on how to discover what happened to baby Alice. But for at least half of the book, probably almost three quarters of it, I wasn't sure if it would get to a satisfying end. I should have had more faith in the author because by the end not only was I cheering but it was one of those rare, edge of your seat, OH MY GOD moments when everything finally clicks into place. You know those moments, we avid readers crave it like candy or drugs, lol. To come across one of those unique moments in a book seems to make your heart stop and your blood race in the same breath. I found myself leaning forward, begging my eyes to read faster and my brain to process better. I think I may have even squeaked and mumbled a few unintelligible things as the pace quickened. This journey was so totally worth the somewhat sluggish middle of the book. In fact, without the slogging I wouldn't have appreciated the spectacular Ahh Haa moment in the end. Much like you need a little broccoli in your life to make the ice cream taste that much better. Don't miss this book and since "The Child" was a five out of five, I suspect her previous book "the Widow" is in fact a five out of five too. The reviews certainly indicate that. I'm guessing I just discovered a new author for my growing list.
Deb-Krenzer 4 months ago
Just who is the "Building Site Baby"? The bones of a newborn found when tearing down old houses that had been there for while has everyone talking. Who's baby is it? How long has it been there? Journalist Kate Waters sees the bit post in a competing newspaper and decides that it would make a good human interest story. She decides to investigate it further and see what really happened to this baby and just who is this baby? This synopsis made for a really good read. I had previously read "The Widow" by Fiona Barton and when I saw this one listed on Net Galley, I immediately hit request. I was very excited when my request was approved. And, after reading it, I think that Fiona's first book was much better, however, this one is not one to stay away from. I never saw the ending coming until way into the book which is always a pleasant surprise. An entertaining read that kept me wondering. Huge thanks to Berkley Publishing Group and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
CharlotteLynnsReviews 4 months ago
3.5 STARS The main characters of The Child are all intriguing. There is Kate the reporter following up on a story of a baby’s remains found buried during a construction dig. Angela is the mother of a baby that was kidnapped from the hospital just hours after her birth and has never had closure. Emma is a surprise POV; she lived at the location that the baby remains were found. I found it interesting how different their lives were yet together the stories all came together perfectly. There were secrets, intrigue, and surprises that I never saw coming. The mystery was not hard to solve but with each different twist and turn I learned more about the various characters. I was invested in Kate getting her story, Angela getting her closure, and Emma coming to terms with her teenage years. There is so much more to this story than meets the eyes. The ending was the surprise. The Child is certainly a psychological thriller that kept me on my toes. I could not put the book down. Thank you Loren Jaggers, Assistant Director of Publicity at Berkley Publishing Group/New American Library and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Barb-TRC 5 months ago
The Child by Fiona Barton is a psychological thriller. I have read quite of few psychological thrillers this year, with many of them simply ok reads, with the authors using the same multi character POV’s, which can get confusing. The Child started off a bit slow and somewhat confusing with multiple POV’s and I thought “here we go again”. But things changed about a ¼ into the story, when it caught hold of me, and I could not let go; that being said, I loved The Child. The story revolves around the discovery of a baby’s skeleton on a construction site of a torn down building. Kate Waters, an investigative reporter, sees the notice about the finding of the “Building Site Baby” and decides to do some investigating. The POV’s of this story are Kate; Emma and Angela, with a 4th, Jude, having an occasional narration. As Kate does her investigation, she will indirectly become involved with the other two ladies. Angela gave birth to a girl over 20 years ago, only to have her child stolen out of the hospital room. Angela and her husband Nick, have been living a nightmare all these years, especially in the beginning when Angela was an initial suspect. Emma is young lady who is emotionally disturbed, which was caused by nightmares from her harsh childhood. Emma used to live with her mother, Jude, near the site where the baby was found. Kate is in the center of this novel, as she makes discoveries along the way that will bring her into contact with various people, including those who lived near the site all those years before. When the body has been identified as having been buried for decades, Kate will find herself researching missing children from that time period. This will bring her to Angela and her missing baby, Alice. When DNA confirms the child is Alice, both Angela and Nick feel they finally have closure. Then a strange turn of events will open the door for further investigation, as the lab informs the authorities that the things wrapped around the burial of the body was only 10 years old. Was the baby’s body moved? Will Angela get closure? The story becomes exciting & intense as Kate’s in depth investigation will come across more secrets along the way. Emma’s emotional stability plays a major part of the ongoing story, which will introduce us to many of the other characters we get to meet, all whom were living near the site a decade earlier. I loved the character of Kate, who was an awesome and caring reporter. Her persistence and determination will help bring out the truths. Once we get past the first quarter, which leads the way into meeting the main characters, it was such a captivating story. I could not put the book down, as I needed to know what happened. What a tangled web it weaves. To tell too much more would be spoilers. The Child was an awesome thriller, with some great characters, and many amazing twists. Fiona Barton has written a fantastic story, and I loved how things came to a very good and satisfactory conclusion. Certainly not like most the psychological thrillers we have read that leave things to the imagination. If you enjoy thrillers, The Child is a must read.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews 5 months ago
Kate Waters is a reporter for the Daily Post. One day while reading through another newspaper, she sees a small story on the back page, that she knows she needs to make her own. The story is about a baby's body being found at a construction site. Although there hasn't been any identification on the baby, police have said that the body could have been placed there recently or years prior. Since Kate is looking for a story to really hit the front page, she talks her editor into letting her investigate the story. During her investigation, Kate comes across a woman named Angela Irving and her husband Nick. Angela and Nick, forty years ago, lost their middle child Alice, while Angela was still in the hospital recovering after giving birth. While Alice slept in her crib, Angela left the room to take a shower. When she came back, Alice was gone. Although they searched the hospital and continued searching, Alice was never seen again. When Kate goes to talk to Angela, Angela is adamant that the baby that was found is Alice. After talking with Angela, Kate encourages her to reach out to the police involved with the case now for a possible identification. After days of waiting, the news finally comes back and the baby is a positive match to Angela. After finding out that the baby is a match, Kate runs her story. After running her story Kate receives a call from a woman, using a fake name, looking to get more information about the baby and asking Kate to continue looking into the story. The woman claims that the baby may not actually be Alice at all. When Kate presses the woman for details, the woman suddenly has to get off the phone. The mystery woman on the phone is Emma. Emma works from home as a book editor while her husband Paul is a professor at the local university. As Emma tries to carry on a normal life, sometimes her anxiety gets the best of her. Although for years Emma has been deemed to have a mental illness, no one understands the full extent as to why. With this new information, Kate continues to investigate. Through her investigation, Kate uncovers many secrets and keeps some information to herself. Soon, she must decide what, if any, of this information she will give to the police. After talking it over with her editor, they decide that Kate needs to bring all that she knows to the police. After bringing her information to the police, although Kate has the story she wanted, she finds herself in the middle of a decade-long mystery. The Child is a great read. This book will leave you wanting more. It is very hard to put down. Your investigative skills are put to the test because just when you think that you may have an idea as to where the story is going, another twist happens and another piece of the puzzle is added. It isn't until the end that you truly understand why and how everything happened. Quill says: If you are looking for a heartwarming mystery, that will put your investigative skills to the test, this is your story.
KarenfromDothan 5 months ago
A “News in Brief” about an infant’s skeleton being unearthed on a building site is published in the paper. A reporter who sees the item asks the who, what, why, and where questions; and is sure she’s on to a big story. I debated with myself as to what genre this novel is, and I’d say it is a sort of crime fiction, but with the detective work being done by a reporter. It’s told from the alternating points of view of the main characters. Somewhat suspenseful, the tension slowly builds as the book progresses as the author keeps you guessing. I didn’t figure it out until near the end of the story. I don’t want to give the plot away, so I’ll just say this is a book about secrets. If you like a good mystery then you’re sure to enjoy this.
whatsbetterthanbooks 5 months ago
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.
booklover- 5 months ago
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.
booklover- 5 months ago
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.