The Child by Fiona Barton


“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 ChildDrawing 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.


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37 thoughts on “The Child by Fiona Barton

  1. This does sound like a haunting read- even with the hiccups you mentioned I really do want to know the “whys” and “hows” of this mystery!! Plus no matter how slow it is I do love a good ending!! Definitely want to check this one out- great review!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! It’s a pretty-well written mystery with great characters and a solid plot. With a gazillion thrillers being released hourly, it’s nice to finally land on some that stand out from the mass. 😛 Thanks for reading!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeh! I’ve seen a couple people mention it was fast-paced.. Even other author quotes that mention it as well. I didn’t think it was fast-paced at all, but it could be just me. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to mention it for people who don’t really want that kind of pacing. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you get around to it!! 😀 Thank you for reading too! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard about this one and seen quite a few reviews of it. I definitely get your issues with slow pacing not being to your liking and I guess I’m the same when it comes to that kind of thing. I haven’t read ‘The Widow’ and I don’t know why I haven’t checked this author out. I’ll make sure to check her books out in the future! Very informative review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If their blurbs intrigue you, I think it’ll be worth a shot. I haven’t read The Widow myself, but I’d definitely pick it up if I ever come across it. Thanks for reading, Nikola. Hope your experience with this author will end up being quite positive when you get the chance to read either of her books! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ouuuh, that’s the first time I’ve heard from someone who doesn’t want death to be around them. 😀 I’m super glad you made an exception for Sherlock Holmes. That’s my man right there!! 😉


  3. This sounds like an interesting book. It’s definitely an intriguing concept, and it’s great you were able to enjoy The Child despite some of the issues with some of the character’s behaviour at certain points. The ending in psychological thriller books is definitely important, I read a thriller a few weeks ago and I actually ended up rating it higher simply because of the way it ended. 🙂
    Great review Lashaan! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely was, especially considering that there are far too many thrillers getting released nowadays. Being able to read one that does almost everything so well is just such a thrill (ah-ha, see what I did there?). Yep, yep. The ending in mysteries/thrillers are just sooo crucial. It can ruin or make things sooo much better. Thank you so much, Beth!! I appreciate that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m way too excited for this one now! I couldn’t get my hands on a proof so I bought her first, The Widow, a few weeks ago (there is no logic really, or maybe her name was just in the back of my head and when I saw that novel it made me buy that one instead of another) so I’m looking forward to reading that soon and then I’ll put this one on my next buy list :-). It’s your mention of a never-ending slide of questions and doubts that does it for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually haven’t read The Widow, but after The Child, I’ll definitely pick up her first book in the future. I do hope you enjoy The Widow and find yourself even more excited to read The Child. This one was just thoroughly well-done and felt just right for a mystery/thriller. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I do believe that the ending is important with those psy thrillers… after all, they’re the last thing you’re left with when you finish the book, and sometimes, they make you forget how fast or slow the pace was throughout the book! 🙂
    And I like that the characters appear sketchy! It always help with keeping the suspense up!
    Glad you enjoyed the book and wonderful review as always! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such an intriguing review Lashaan! I’m always so tantalized!! I do understand totally about you not agreeing with some character reactions, lol, i experience that a LOT in the books I read… (does that mean I’m reading the wrong thing?!) Fascinating how you don’t prefer the slow burn as much as a faster pace… I understand though because isn’t the point of thrillers to be a little shocked in the end?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can definitely appreciate slown burns as well as fast pace thrillers though. It’s just that there’s this sweet spot that I find hard to reach for some books and it just makes me point them out. It could easily be influenced by my slower reading pace as well though. Pacing is no easy thing to judge hahah What’s slow for me could be super fast for others. 😛 I’m glad I got you intrigued for this one; it was definitely one of the better thrillers I’ve read this year! Thank you so much for your kind words, Dani! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah pacing is really quite subjective to my mind! It’s good you pointed out how you felt either way. Pacing is off to me when there were moments when I read pages and there feels like nothing going on… the whole point of a book is to somewhat summarize what happened because I’m reading another person’s experiences… but let’s leave out the boring bits.

        Liked by 1 person

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