The Child

The-Child-by-Fiona-BartonAs 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…

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I was hooked by Fiona Barton’s writing after reading The Widow and could not wait to get my hands on The Child.  Kate Waters, investigative journalist for the Daily Post returns in this novel and is once again fabulous.

The skeleton of a new born baby is found in an up and coming area in London, England.  Kate Waters discovers the short story while scanning the pages of the Evening Standard and realizes there could be more to what is being reported.

The book is told by multiple characters:  Kate, Emma, Jude and Angela.  They each have an agenda in the story.  Jude and Emma are mother and daughter who recently reunited after years of an estranged relationship.  Jude refused to listen to Emma as a child and continues on this same path as their lives become intertwined again.  Angela’s baby was stolen from the hospital more than thirty years ago, never to be found.  Is it possible that this could be the remains of her baby?  The lives of these three women unravel as Kate delves in to her investigation.

The pacing in this book is great.  The short chapters and shifts in perspective lend itself to unexpected twists and turns.  Kate is cunning and definitely pushes the limits while getting the job done.  She slowly reveals more sensitivity as the story progresses (she can appear unethical at times).

I highly recommend this book and look forward to more books featuring Kate Waters.

4/5 stars

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