The Child – Fiona Barton

32337905The Child by Fiona Barton

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: June 27th, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Adult, Mystery, Family Drama


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.  


I have to say I did not expect any of it. At first I didn’t know what was going on, but then I started to make some links and come to one or two conclusions.

Only to realize that I would not make a good detective. That’s fine. Not a career I ever thought of for myself anyway.

So this is a smart mystery. In the end, every single thing makes sense, and like most mystery novels, the ending makes you reconsider everything you’ve just read and ask yourself—Were there clues? Yes, there were, I just did not pick up on a lot of them.

This is a book you could easily read in one sitting if you have the time. The story is fast-paced, the writing very accessible and the characters fleshed out enough for you to care about their sides of the story.

There is 1) Kate, a journalist, 2) Emma, a woman with a dark secret and 3) Angela, a mother whose baby was kidnapped at the hospital.

Eventually, I began to enjoy all of these women’s perspectives, but I will admit that, in the beginning, I was overwhelmed. Three alternative perspectives to start the story with is a lot in my opinion. Usually, I don’t mind it so much, but mystery novels are already somewhat confusing (on purpose) to begin with, so it took me time to really understand why Emma especially was even part of this story.

Once I did, though, I could not stop reading. It really is a curious story. Recommended.


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3 thoughts on “The Child – Fiona Barton

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