Tuesday 5 December 2017

The Child by Fiona Barton @figbarton @TransworldBooks . #TheChild #Review

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

The Child by Fiona Barton is published in paperback by Transworld on 14 December 2017, my thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Back in January 2016, I reviewed Fiona Barton's first novel, The Widow, here on Random Things. I enjoyed it very much, especially the insightful way that the author delves into the world of newspaper reporting.

Kate Waters, the reporter from The Widow is back in this second story. She's investigating the mystery surrounding the discovery of a child's skeleton, buried in the garden of a terraced house, and uncovered by contractors who are developing the site.

This shocking discovery sets many wheels in motion and it is not only bones that are uncovered. Narrated by the women most affected by the finding, The Child is a complex and cleverly told story that kept me guessing right up to the last chapter.

The voices of Angela, Emma, Margaret, and of course, Kate are realistic and expertly done. As each women voices her fears and thoughts about the child's remains, their stories become cleverly woven together.

This author's experience as a journalist shines through in her writing and it is refreshing to see a newspaper reporter portrayed as someone with empathy and heart, instead of the stereotypical heartless hacks that are so often involved in a crime fiction. Kate is multi-layered and whilst she is ambitious and determined to keep her job, she is also caring and considerate to those who are involved in this tragic tale.

Whilst I really enjoyed The Widow, I absolutely loved The Child. Fiona Barton's writing seems more polished, her plot is secure and her characterisation is wonderfully done.  This is a sharp, cleverly crafted, complex story that delivers shocks and twists along the way. Entirely compelling, delivered in short, sharp chapter bursts with a reveal that is quite haunting.

Highly recommended, I look forward to Fiona Barton's next book.

Fiona Barton's debut, The Widow, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been published in thirty-five countries and optioned for television. Her second novel, The Child, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Born in Cambridge, Fiona currently lives in south-west France.

Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.

While working as a journalist, Fiona reported on many high-profile criminal cases and she developed a fascination with watching those involved, their body language and verbal tics. Fiona interviewed people at the heart of these crimes, from the guilty to their families, as well as those on the periphery, and found it was those just outside the spotlight who interested her most . . .

Find out more at www.fionabartonauthor.com
Find her Author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @figbarton

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