THE CHILD by Fiona Barton Berkley Hardcover On-Sale: June 27, 2017 ISBN: 9781101990483 $26.00
You can bury the story . . . but you can’t hide the truth
*One of Publishers Weekly and Bustle’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017*
*A TIME “Top 10” Summer Thriller*
*Pre-publication exclusives featured by Entertainment Weekly and theSkimm*
*Praise from Lee Child, Shari Lapena, and Clare Mackintosh *
*Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal*
*A June 2017 Library Reads Selection*
This summer FIONA BARTON is back with a second novel that proves lightning can strike twice.
Barton’s 2016 debut, The Widow, was an instant global bestseller, captivating readers around the world and setting the publishing industry abuzz.
The highly-anticipated release of THE CHILD (Berkley Hardcover; June 27, 2017) reaffirms Barton’s growing reputation as a writer of rich, character-driven suspense novels. Like Tana French, Louise Penny, and Megan Abbott, Barton’s stories do more than thrill: they explore the complexities of a changing world.
The Widow delved into the secrets that exist within a marriage and the reporter’s role as voyeur. Here Barton continues to mine those themes. THE CHILD tackles the 24/7 news cycle, and lays bare the intricacies of a different but equally fascinating relationship—mother and child.
Says Barton: “The emotions, responsibilities—and the pain—of motherhood are unique to each of us with children. Ask any woman and she will have her own story to tell.”
In a working class neighborhood of London, construction workers make a grisly discovery: the long-buried remains of a baby. When a newspaper mention reveals the find, most readers barely give it a glance. But for two women, its threat to unearth hidden stories is impossible to ignore. For veteran reporter, Kate Waters (introduced in The Widow), it sparks the question “Who would bury a baby?” and starts a hunt for the truth about the nameless child. The story unfolds via the women’s alternating perspectives to eventually reveal: Who is Building Site Baby?
In fact, it was the allure of a hidden story that propelled Barton to her long-time career in news. A journalist and British Press Awards “Reporter of the Year,” she has worked at the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, and brings that experience to bear in her novels.
In THE CHILD she details how Kate’s lengthy investigation into Building Site Baby’s death represents a perilous breach of the newsroom’s new culture of 24/7 online news. Says Barton: “The danger for Kate is that she risks becoming one of the dinosaurs—sidelined because she is unable and unwilling to be part of the revolution. And I feel for her.”
Though THE CHILD delivers an evocative look at the changing face of journalism, and a delicious plot twist, it is the characters’ haunting and rich emotional lives that set Barton apart and confirm her stature as a crime novelist of the first order.
My review: This was a slow starter, but once you get into it, it’s hard to put down! One thing to keep in mind is that this is very much a character driven book. I think if I had known this when I started it, I might have not had as hard a time starting it as I did.
This had many twists and turns, some of which I guessed, but some took me completely by surprise. The story was told from several POV, which worked very well for this story. Sometimes having many POV can be a hinderance to a story, but not for this one. Aside from Kate, everyone is suspect. Who buried the baby at the building site? The journey to find out will keep you turning the pages.
One thing I do appreciate about this book is the good old-fashioned reporting and digging for the facts. I love the exasperation Kate has for the new online reporters and the reporting on what a celebrity every minute movement. The stark contrast between Kate digging through archives of old newspapers to find old articles in The Library, and her new colleague, Joe (of the new generation of reporters), looking blankly at her when she tells him to go through old articles looking for this information or this person—he is completely clueless on how to do research it seems. Kate was by far my favorite person in this story.
This was my first book of Fiona Barton’s, and I am now anxious to read her first book, The Widow.
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