The Child by Fiona Barton
Genre: mystery, suspense, thriller
Date: June 27, 2017
Reviewed by: Lori Twichell
Fiction Addict Scorecard: B
When construction requires an old house in London to be demolished, the workers find something heart wrenching and horrifying. The tiny bones of a newborn baby are discovered underneath a decorative urn in a garden. Investigative journalist Kate Waters can’t stop the questions that are assaulting her brain. Who is the baby? How long has it been there? How did it die? After her years as a reporter, she knows that others will be asking the same questions. This is a story that won’t let go.
As she begins to investigate, she discovers that there’s far more to the story. Decades earlier, a newborn baby was taken from a maternity ward just hours after being born. That baby was never found? Is the building site baby connected? Can she give peace to parents who are still wondering what happened to their baby girl?
Mixing together several different stories, timelines and characters, Barton cooks up a generational tale that is detailed and engaging enough to keep you guessing to the very end, but not too difficult to follow easily. Suspense and drama are sprinkled freely throughout this recipe, creating an exquisite flavor that satisfies at the same time it keeps you coming back for more.
This is my first Fiona Barton title and I was surprised at how quickly I was drawn into this story. Spanning more than one decade, the investigation by Kate Waters bumps through the decades, visiting moments in time from the 60’s and 70’s through modern day. I loved the way that an apartment tied characters and stories together. How many people share the same walls and the same doors – with completely different stories? I love the idea of that. There’s also a little bit of chilling realization to understand just how much your neighbors know and understand about your coming and going.
My favorite parts of The Child included some serious twists and turns that left me guessing where Barton was going to take the story. I struggled with trying to figure out how the puzzle pieces she was describing were going to fall into place and yet when they did, it was beyond satisfying. Honestly, I wanted to know more. The emotion of every character was raw, honest and painful without being too bogged down in depression.
I deeply enjoyed this book and I will be watching for Fiona Barton’s next title for sure!