Review: ‘The Child’ By Fiona Barton



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…


‘The Child’ from Fiona Barton is a true crime story that could easily be ripped from the headlines. A child’s abduction and the threads of characters who may or may not have done ‘it’.  The story is rich, the characters are hardly easy to get along with and the plot riddled with intrigue.  Your Netflix account can easily be avoided for a few days once you bring ‘The Child’ home.

Barton can conduct a Master Class in writing suspense and thriller tales that will not only keep you up at night but will challenge the most seasoned reader to dig deep and examine the psychopathy of the characters that Barton is so well versed in creating.

The personalities of the characters came to life as well as their personal journeys. Individual stories of angst and bravery, show the reader that some childhoods never leave. The reader inhales in the lies, deception and the selfishness of the exposed narratives and how deeply corrosive their thoughts, behaviours and instability runs through the entirety of the novel.

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