The Child - Fiona Barton

When the body of a baby is found in a run down area of London the country seems to ignore the small article raised in the paper about it, but three women are now unknowingly connected for life. One woman hopes she can use her journalistic skills to get to the bottom of the mystery, one hopes her darkest secret hasn't been revealed and the other doesn't want to be reminded of the worst time of her life.

Without realising this was second in a series surrounding Kate Waters, a journalist, I started listening to this audiobook as the synopsis sounded extremely interesting. As it was second in a series I did feel like I'd missed something by not having the introduction to Kate as the main character, little bits and pieces dropped into place eventually but I never felt fully connected to her. Reading the first book in the series would definitely be an advantage if you like to feel connected to your main characters. Apart from Kate the other characters were so well written and developed by the end of the novel, especially Emma. Barton's characterisation is something to be admired but I could have done with more on Kate.

Progression gets slow toward the middle of the book as nothing really develops story-wise. Kate is investigating several leads but nothing comes about from them and then the twists happen in the last 10%. If this was a physical book I'd have struggled to get through it but in audio format it was easier to just put on in the background whilst I worked, that didn't make it 'easy' though. The ending itself wasn't a massive twist for me, I could pretty much tell what the twists were going to be from about 50% of the way through so I felt more like I had to finish to confirm my theory instead of trying to finish it because I was enjoying the story. Saying that, it was enjoyable. The character interactions felt very natural for the novel and it touched on some serious topics that are usually avoided such as child abuse, kidnapping and grief.

Would I recommend this one? I'm on the fence. I enjoyed the cast of characters and the concept but it'd potentially appeal more to those who had read the first in the series 'The Widow' so they can connect more to Kate. Slow burn mystery novels are not my cup of tea but it definitely wasn't a waste of time to listen to this.

Do you want to start from the beginning of the series?

Book one 'The Widow' can be found here:

This book 'The Child' can be found here:

The third in the series 'The Suspect' can be found here:

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