“You can bury the story… But you can’t hide the truth.”
— Fiona Barton, The Child
Fiona Barton unleashes a phenomenal new mystery starring Kate Waters in The Child. Drawing upon her own personal experience as a journalist, readers are treated with an impossibly addictive story that will keep you immersed and alert till the very end of this adventure. Set in London, The Child thrives in digging into and unearthing questions and answers that have paralyzed and traumatized individuals countless years ago. It all begins when a workman unintentionally discovers the skeleton of a buried baby. Who is this Building Site Baby? While the story kicks things off with Kate Waters pursuing this story, convinced that it is one that merits the attention of the world, Fiona Barton tosses in a couple more point of views and succeeds in building up the intrigue like no other story. In this suspense-filled psychological thriller, Fiona Barton continues to show great promise by delivering another wonderful book for fans to indulge in, especially those who’ve enjoyed The Widow and are looking for more refined stories to read.
While the book begins with multiple point of views that barely have any connection between each other, the story will slowly unfold and reveal the missing pieces that enlightens us on the matter. This mystery alone forces readers to continuously wonder where everything is headed and how things could possibly intertwine and fit in perfectly. As the mystery lingers, we are also offered a thorough and engrossing insight into the lives of all these other characters and all the troubles that haunt their lives to this day. It’s upon discovering the little skeleton and finding out about this news that every character is rattled. The story is then thrown down an never-ending slide filled with questions, answers and doubts. It should be mentioned that Fiona Barton has a knack for creating genuine and fascinating characters in The Child. Every single one of them conveys great persona and showcases a unique identity throughout the story. The “why” and “how” will continue to haunt readers as these characters remain mysterious and sketchy.
Although this slow-pace mystery does a wonderful job in delivering a magnificent story, it did have a few hick-ups that bothered me. One of those moments that had me raise an eyebrow is the behaviour and reactions of some of these characters during pivotal moments in the story. Without diving too deep into that issue, I just have to say that I sometimes wondered if the way some of them acted would’ve honestly been the way I would’ve acted in their shoes. This didn’t exactly kill my enjoyment since I quickly let it blow by me and continued along with the bigger picture at hand. Also, as previously mentioned, the pacing was a bit too slow for the story that was told. I strongly believe that things could’ve went a bit faster and smoother by cutting off some parts, but I also believe that this could’ve caused some damage to the authenticity of the characters and their relationships throughout the story. In fact, the pacing isn’t exactly a problem. It’s more of a preference. This slow-burn psychological thriller could be an excellent hit for readers who aren’t bothered by the rhythm of the story they read.
If this wasn’t enough to convince you in giving this a shot, then its ending should. One of the most important elements to any psychological thriller, at least in my books, is the ending. A slow-burn character-driven story should always worry about the way it wraps things up and delivers its biggest revelation. Fiona Barton does an impeccable job at doing just that. The story’s ending is beyond reproach and tidies things up with great expertise. Although I did somewhat see it coming because of all the pondering that was forced upon me early on with the multiple point of views and how exactly things could be connected, I did enjoy how it was all delivered. The Child is an exquisite second novel by Fiona Barton and is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a good slow-paced journalism-heavy psychological thriller. In fact, if you’re also looking for a strong and intriguing journalist to follow, Kate Waters would be a perfect pick. This is one puzzle that is worth unearthing and discovering.
THANK YOU TO PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE FOR SENDING ME A COPY FOR REVIEW!
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MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆/