Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Child by Fiona Barton: A Review

Angela and Nick's daughter Alice disappeared years ago but Angela still hasn't allowed herself to forget the day that the child went missing while she took time for herself for a shower in the hospital after giving birth.  When the bones of a baby are unearthed during a construction project, Angela can't help but think that it might be Alice.  Kate is looking for a way to assure that she avoids the layoffs that seem to have become routine in her newsroom and is looking for a story that will put her back on the front page when she decides to investigate the story of the remains of the baby.  Who is the baby and why was it buried there are just the first of the questions the discovery leads to.

I was not a huge fan of the character Kate.  She seemed to be a bit of a cliche of a reporter; the ambulance chaser that tries to get the picture of the mother who falls apart after hearing about the death of her child.  At one point, Kate ponders, "It seemed everyone was jumping up and down about the press and their methods of getting information" but then Kate proves the stereotype correct by forcing the release of information provided to her off the record.  While it added an interesting element to the story, I think it was a little bit predictable.  Most of the other characters were not very complex, either and cliches are common in this book.  Joe is a burgeoning journalist and a millennial who can't stop looking at Facebook on his phone and uses Wikipedia as a primary research tool.  The old men are grouchy and the old women are nosy neighbors and they just weren't very complex or authentic.

Barton's writing was very easy to read and encouraged me to read on to find out what happened in the story.  The authenticity of the relationship between Jude, Emma and Will was shocking but I appreciated the honesty.  There was more mystery and more of a background story to this novel than just a mystery about what happened to the baby that was found at the construction site.  It is also about family betrayal and what happens when a child is forced to grow up too quickly.  I can't say that I was completely shocked by the twists in the story (or the ending) but they were important topics to read about and it was a fascinating story.  The first part of the story was a little bit slow but towards the end, I realized why it was necessary to build the suspense so slowly.  It was completely worth the wait!  I really enjoyed this book and I think that any lover of mystery will, as well, especially if they enjoy mysteries that center around family drama.

Watch a video of Fiona Barton talk about how much she loves libraries:

Reviews of books like this one:
Little Deaths by Emma Flint
Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato
City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

This book will be available on June 29, 2017 and can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Read more reviews on this book on Goodreads.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Penguin's First to Read program.  This is my honest opinion of this book.  I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliates program.  By clicking on the Amazon link and purchasing this product, I receive a small fee.  I am not associated with Goodreads or Barnes and Noble in any way and the links provided are available strictly for your convenience and not to imply a relationship of any kind. 

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