The Child by Fiona Barton

My computer is winking at me knowingly as I sit down at my desk.

– Opening sentence

The Child is Fiona Barton’s second crime/thriller novel, following her successful first title, The Widow (which I haven’t read).

In classic crime style, The Child starts begins with an horrific discovery; the body of a newborn baby, discovered in a building site in London. Kate Waters, an old-school journalist trying to survive in a world full of online click-bait-churning zombies, decides to do some digging.

But the story is much bigger (and darker) than she initially expected, and Kate is drawn into an emotional and dangerous story – putting a strain on both her personal and professional relationships.

Barton herself used to be a senior writer at the Daily Mail and news editor at the Daily Telegraph, which helped to bring the character of Kate Waters to life, and make the interactions more believable and realistic.

I, myself, once dreamt of being a journalist. I studied Broadcast Journalism for three years at university, but ultimately decided it was the right career for me. However, reading The Child definitely brought back some of those previous yearnings – I love to write, create stories and poke my nose in where it’s not wanted – all the qualities that make up a half-decent journalist (right?!).

Barton is an excellent writer. I was instantly drawn into the story and had to tear myself away from The Child to eat, sleep and go to work. Despite the mystery slowly unfolding throughout the book, it kept the final cards to its chest right until the very end. I had absolutely no idea how it was going to end, which just made me even more eager to keep reading!

Even lovers of crime will (I think) struggle to put the pieces together – it’s not an obvious ‘twist’ that features a lot in other books of the genre.

I’m now keen to read Barton’s first book, The Widow, as I enjoyed this one so much – I really don’t have anything bad to say about it!

The man with the top hat under his arm took the lead and we followed him into the chapel, my mother and me, carrying my baby in my arms for the last time.

– Final sentence

5 Stars (5 / 5)

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