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The child
Book
2017
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Reviews

Booklist Reviews

When workers unearth an infant's skeletal remains under a block of London flats, veteran reporter Kate Waters (introduced in The Widow, 2016) smells a huge story. Police reveal that the Building Site Baby was buried in the 1980s, and Kate's instincts lead her to the famous, unsolved disappearance of Alice Irving. Hoping the remains bring resolution, Alice's mother, Angela, allies with Kate to push for a DNA match. At the same time, Emma Simmonds is crumbling under the weight of secrets from her days living in the same flats, while her mother, Jude, holds fast to the denial that fueled their decades of estrangement. When DNA results identify the Building Site Baby as Alice, Kate is determined to discover how she ended up buried in a garden so shortly after she was taken. Barton's second missing-child story is a gut-wrenching tale of narcissism, cunning predators, and bare-knuckle survival. Predictable moments? Yes, but fans of character-driven investigations will prize these women's well-drawn paths to resolution over plot twists that may be anticipated. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

The skeleton of a baby is found at a building site outside London. Journalist Kate Waters (introduced in Barton's debut, The Widow) persuades her editor to let her write the story. Her investigation uncovers connections to a decades-old unsolved case of a newborn stolen from a local hospital. The child's still-grieving parents jump at the possibility that the skeleton might be their lost daughter. Kate's search of the neighborhood for clues brings her in touch with both present and former residents, among them three young women, each of whom harbors secrets that might lead to a shocking development that could break the case and boost Kate's career. But she is caught between helping the police and exposing the identity of her journalistic sources. VERDICT Barton's second well-plotted outing, with its sustained tension and believable characters, is an excellent addition to the popular psychological thriller genre. Readers who liked Barton's first novel, Paula Hawkins's The Girl On a Train, and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl will love this. [See Prepub Alert, 1/8/17.]—Susan Clifford Braun, Bainbridge Island, WA

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Canny London tabloid reporter Kate Waters, the catalyst for Barton's devastating debut The Widow, returns in this strong if more subdued psychological thriller centering on a trio of women unknowingly linked by long-buried secrets about to be unearthed. Book editor Emma Simmonds has been battling for decades with depression, as has the single mother, Jude Massingham, who threw her out of the house when she was just 16. Former nurse Angela Irving has never gotten over the kidnapping of her newborn daughter from a maternity hospital 28 years earlier, a heartbreak worsened by police suspicion of her and her husband. Emma, Jude, and Angela are each riveted, for reasons that will only gradually emerge, by an item in a newspaper reporting the excavation of an infant's skeleton at an East London building site. Kate, who could really use another major scoop to help keep her job, is also drawn to the story. Readers patient with the relatively slow initial pace until the intertwining stories gain momentum will be rewarded with startling twists—and a stunning, emotionally satisfying conclusion. Author tour. Agent: Madeleine Milburn, Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency (U.K.). (June)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Author Biography

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. - (Penguin Putnam)

Annotations

When an infant's skeleton is discovered in a demolished house, Kate Waters strives to uncover the baby's identity and unearths links to a decades-old kidnapping, but she is torn between helping the police and revealing her sources. - (Baker & Taylor)

"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"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Investigating the discovery of a baby's skeleton in a redeveloped section of London, journalist Kate Waters discovers links to the kidnapping of a baby from a hospital decades earlier before she is targeted by someone who wants to keep their secrets hidden. By the best-selling author of The Widow. - (Baker & Taylor)

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow comes a twisting novel of psychological suspense—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....[A] page-turning whodunit….A novel that is both fast-paced and thought-provoking.”—USA Today
 
As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers human remains, 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 has been found at the building site?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A child 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...

An NPR Best Book of the Year
A Bustle Best Thriller Novel of the Year
- (Penguin Putnam)

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