Friday, 8 December 2017

Book Review: The Child by Fiona Barton

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 new-born 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 neighbourhood 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...

It's so long ago since I read this book, but I was inspired to revisit and review it after reading Fiona Barton's other novel more recently. The Child is an emotional read, as it visits parents heartbroken from the loss of their child; stolen from them before they even got to take their baby home. The story of the Building Yard Baby becomes more of a mechanism by which other secrets in the neighbourhood begin to surface, but throughout the novel the question of who the Building Yard Baby is remains. 

The Child is an incredibly gripping, addictive read. From page one, I was hooked. Each chapter unravelled more secrets and lies. Each chapter promised answers, whilst raising more questions, and inspiring you to keep reading. There wasn't a point where you could just put down the book and walk away. I felt compelled to keep on reading, to see it through to the end, when all the questions were answered. 

Although I could predict the ending, it wasn't enough to put me off, and it felt like the perfect ending. This was a fantastic book; one I'd highly recommend. 

Rating: *****

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