Today I’ll be reviewing a recent release in the thriller genre–The Child by Fiona Barton. First, I’ll show you the Goodreads synopsis and cover!
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 …
***We received an advance readers’ copy from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects our opinions.***
This was a pretty unique add to the thriller genre. I’m a huge fan of adult thrillers, but don’t read or review them all that often, so when I pick one up, I’m always looking for a twisty, deeply satisfying, quick read. And I definitely got that in The Child. The rotating perspectives took a bit of getting into; my favourite perspective was definitely Emma, because she was the only first-person/present-tense POV–and at the moment, I’m really enjoying 1st-person present tense narratives. It’s difficult to write one in a thriller novel and still pull off a twist at the end, but Barton was able to do just that. Multiple twists, might I add.
I think the book did take a little while to hit its stride; it wasn’t until halfway through that the mystery was starting to tie together, and then the ending was full of action. Despite the perhaps slowly unfurling beginning, I think it all paid off in the end. Though I did guess some of the plot twists coming my way, I was still pretty shocked by the end, and satisfied with what I got.
The writing style was a good fit for the genre; I’m a fan of writing that truly sings and flies off the page, but sometimes, good ol’ fashioned detective-fiction writing works, too, especially for a book of this kind. Each character had their own unique voice, particularly Emma.
The concept of this novel was also quite different from my usual thriller reads, like Before I Go To Sleep or The Girl on the Train. The aspect of the missing baby made the read very unique and separated it from the more domestic-based thrillers out there.
Overall, I would definitely recommend The Child to fans of the thriller genre. It’s not my favourite, but it was definitely still enjoyable and fast-paced for the most part.
Rating: 4 – 4.5/5*
This book was released on June 27, 2017.
Thanks for reading!