The Child by Fiona BartonThe Child by Fiona Barton

The Child

byFiona Barton

Paperback | June 27, 2017

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The author of the stunning New York Times bestseller The Widow returns with a brand-new novel of twisting psychological suspense

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…
FIONA BARTON, the New York Time bestselling author of The Widow, trains and works with journalists all over the world. Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at The Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at The Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards. Born in Cambridge, En...
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Title:The ChildFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8.97 × 6.12 × 1.02 inPublished:June 27, 2017Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143197738

ISBN - 13:9780143197737

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Customer Reviews of The Child

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book I thought this was a great book. Kept me interested. Some good twists and turns. Definitely did not guess the ending.
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great story I read this right after reading The Widow and I enjoyed it even more. Fiona Barton is definitely an author I'll be keeping my eye out for in the future. My mom read this book and said the story really struck a cord for her as a mother. I figured out one of the reveals earlier on in the novel, but that didn't affect my enjoyment, in fact it made me more interested in the end because I wanted to see if I was right.
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not without its Problems This book was a good read though it's not without its problems. I would still recommend though.
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from right in the middle I enjoyed this story, but not quite as much as I thought I might considering how much I enjoyed The Widow. still worth the read
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from the ending really well written novel! i enjoyed it
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from okay it was pretty good, although there were some problems with it.
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from good quite a nice read, I really enjoyed it.
Date published: 2017-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great story I read this right after reading The Widow and I enjoyed it even more. Fiona Barton is definitely an author I'll be keeping my eye out for in the future. My mom read this book and said the story really struck a cord for her as a mother. I figured out one of the reveals earlier on in the novel, but that didn't affect my enjoyment, in fact it made me more interested in the end because I wanted to see if I was right.
Date published: 2017-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Enjoyed every moment reading this novel
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful What an inspiring book, kudos to the author. Wish there were more books like these. What a sweet little story, I would recommend this to all my friends. I really enjoyed reading this book. I love these types of books, they are so full of life. Wonderfully written, it was a pleasure to read.
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read A good read with a quirky ending.
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Liked it A very good psychological novel. Well done.
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from decent read alright but nothing special
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I wanted to love this book ... I had hoped to be drawn into a story that was compelling and kept me reading. Unfortunately, the story was just mediocre. I willed myself to finish it, but was generally disappointed in it :( I found it difficult to identify with any of the characters, although their development was well constructed. I also figured out the ending before I got there. If you just want a quick read with a happy-ish ending, this book will fit the bill.
Date published: 2017-09-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good One of the best horror books I've come across
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Crazy I would have never seen it end that way. Simply brilliant
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from eh The ending was way too predictable.
Date published: 2017-08-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Grew on me! Didn't know what to really expect when I picked this book up. I got in to it right away then it lost me through the middle of it. However I found it really picked up at the end! I think the ending is what saved this book for me. I found it slow after getting through the first bit but if you hold out long enough the twist was quite enjoyable and worth the read to get to! An enjoyable thriller/murder mystery in London.
Date published: 2017-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A surprising twist Took me a while to piece things together, but that's because it was so well written and kept you guessing. Definitely what I like in a book.
Date published: 2017-08-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good a really good read, though a bit slow at times, but nonetheless, worth it!
Date published: 2017-08-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from . love the ending and how everything tied in together. one of my favorites! definitely recommend.
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good The multiple perspectives the book is written in really helps you see all sides of the story. I can say I "knew" where they were taking this a little more than half way into it. doesn't mean I was disappointed though!
Date published: 2017-08-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing I wasn't a fan of the Widow but thought I would give this one a try. Very hard to get into and was too slow for my liking.
Date published: 2017-08-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting read Interesting read with good content some missing/long hard to read chapters; but all in all, a decent read. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Goosebumps I was given this ARC by NetGalley in return for an honest review. To add a quick note about the publisher; I requested this book while it was available only for certain markets, I was denied the request, but the publisher was nice enough to inform me that if I requested it again, it would be available for me to read. I truly appreciate their consideration. I cannot lie, this book had me twitching with some anxiety after finishing it. Secrets were uncovered and truths revealed and it wasn’t pretty, but I enjoyed every moment I spent reading this mystery/thriller. This story doesn’t really have one main character, but multiple characters with lives that somehow intertwine, influence and impact one another that require the reader to fully pay attention and thus be more completely immersed in the story. All characters are well developed and fully fleshed out to provide a remarkable reading experience. The plot is straight forward with lots of little twists and turns and intriguing details that will keep the reader interested. The writing was impeccable. It takes the reader by the hand and guides them through the story as it unfolds in the reader’s mind’s eye; crisp and clear. Overall, this isn’t a story for the faint of heart. The Child is a thriller/mystery story that makes its genre proud and would have every reader looking the author’s other works. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to read a story of great depth and substance.
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Worth Picking Up A quick read, about three days. But it did the trick and scratched my reading itch. This book had a few chapters where literally nothing happened, but it's still one of my fav from this particular author.
Date published: 2017-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from didnt finish some of the chapters werent that interesting
Date published: 2017-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING This book was absolutely amazing, I finished it in two days- it definitely is a MUST read and has kept me on the tip of my seat!
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good My favorite book from this author
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking & New Beginnings Multiple characters' point of views were a little to follow in the beginning. Once familiar with the characters, it was a mystery of creating and following the timelines to solve.
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good This book was better than The Widow by this author, but I still found it a bit plodgy and slow moving. I never try to figure out the ending as I am reading. For me it spoils that genuine surprise when the end is revealed. The ending was very satisfying.
Date published: 2017-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from plum points! I wrote this for Plum points! Join Plum rewards today!
Date published: 2017-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from plum points! I wrote this for Plum points! Join Plum rewards today!
Date published: 2017-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Child I loved The Widow, and the The Child was just as great. Full of surprises.
Date published: 2017-08-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from mystery with a twist I liked the format of “The Child”; there were quite a few characters in the book, and each chapter is told from one of their perspectives. I thought it was a great way to gradually get to know each of the character’s history and motivations a little better. In the beginning, I was constantly wondering what all the characters had in common...why were they all so invested in the discovery of the baby’s skeleton? They seemed like such a diverse group. Well don’t worry, because eventually it all becomes clear. This book is a touch on the slow moving side, but it has a very intricate plot and well written, concise chapters to make it an enjoyable read. The twist at the end was one I have to say I figured out quite early on, but was a good one nonetheless. Fans of Fiona Barton’s other book “The Widow”, or anything by Mary Kubica or Claire Mackintosh would surely enjoy this one. 4 Stars
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Child I loved all the surprises and twists. Interesting to the very end.
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! This was a really interesting read that kept me on my toes throughout the very end of the book.
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Good story line, characters a bit lacking but overall worth the read
Date published: 2017-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I just love her novels, they capture your attention until the last page.
Date published: 2017-07-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing Having read and surprisingly enjoyed The Widow, I had higher hopes for this one. I saw the ending coming before I was halfway through the book. I kept reading, thinking that I was meant to guess what I did, and she was going to throw a curve ball, but... nope.
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great story Great story - I loved it! SO well worth the read!
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent! The story came together so well! I should have seen the ending come together, im surprised i missed it! Very well written. Definitely recommend!
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book I liked The Widow, but I love The Child. It was full of surprises and I never saw the ending coming. It took a bit for me to get into, but well worth it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a great mystery. #indigoemployee
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read! Not necessarily a page turner but the story comes together great in the end! Very well written and heartfelt!
Date published: 2017-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Don't give up, the end is WORTH IT!! "The Child" by Fiona Barton will be released on June 27, 2017. I had heard of Ms. Barton's phenomenal success with "The Widow" so I was happy to try her next stand alone mystery, "The Child". The two books are not a series but two separate stories that are unrelated to one another. Journalist Kate Waters picks up on a small story about a newborn's bones being found at a construction site in a newly developing part of London and she wants to know more. After learning that the bones are old, Kate goes on a hunt for who would have buried a baby in the backyard of an old crumbling house. She believes the baby's story deserves to be told. When a forty year old crime involving the disappearance of a newborn from a hospital crops up Kate knows there's something to tell here. The parents are still devastated and wonder what happened to baby Alice. Through dogged research and door to door interviews, Kate Waters discovers more buried secrets than just a baby. The trick is to connect all the lies to get at the truth. This was one of those slow burn books for me. When I started it I certainly found Kate's investigative techniques interesting to learn about and it was easy to follow along with her thinking on how to discover what happened to baby Alice. But for at least half of the book, probably almost three quarters of it, I wasn't sure if it would get to a satisfying end. I should have had more faith in the author because by the end not only was I cheering but it was one of those rare, edge of your seat, OH MY GOD moments when everything finally clicks into place. You know those moments, we avid readers crave it like candy or drugs, lol. To come across one of those unique moments in a book seems to make your heart stop and your blood race in the same breath. I found myself leaning forward, begging my eyes to read faster and my brain to process better. I think I may have even squeaked and mumbled a few unintelligible things as the pace quickened. This journey was so totally worth the somewhat sluggish middle of the book. In fact, without the slogging I wouldn't have appreciated the spectacular Ahh Haa moment in the end. Much like you need a little broccoli in your life to make the ice cream taste that much better. Don't miss this book and since "The Child" was a five out of five, I suspect her previous book "the Widow" is in fact a five out of five too. The reviews certainly indicate that. I'm guessing I just discovered a new author for my growing list.
Date published: 2017-07-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A mystery solved . . . I began reading "The Child" with much anticipation. The premise is an interesting one. The remains of a baby are found at a demolition site in London. Much investigation occurs into who the baby was. Kate, a newspaper reporter, interacts with both the police and various people who lived in the area in the past. The story takes a few twists and turns and the ending is satisfying. That said, at times I felt the plot plodded along and I couldn't wait for a resolution to the story!
Date published: 2017-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Awesome author, awesome story!
Date published: 2017-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping Great heart warming as well and thrilling.
Date published: 2017-06-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome thriller! It took me a few chapters to get into THE CHILD. I didn’t quite know where it was going but the characters intrigued me enough to continue. While a little jumpy with changing POVs, some summarizing of in-the-moment scenes that had just been presented but from a different perspective, the plot needed multiple points of view. Each one added relevant information no other character could know. I’m a quick reader, so it was a little frustrating to pause every few pages and check whose head I’d jumped into because it took me out of the story. I’m not sure if I’d classify THE CHILD as a thriller, as it bordered on police procedural (via the primary protagonist Kate, a reporter), but the pace picked up considerably as the novel progressed. Picture one of those cones you toss a quarter into, wide circles at first and then a tight, zooming spiral at the end. So if you like character-driven novels with a strong plot, you’ll probably love THE CHILD.
Date published: 2017-06-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Twisty & Emotional! Intriguing, disturbing, and gritty! This is a character-driven psychological thriller that reminds us that secrets from the past often find their way to the surface no matter how well they are hidden or buried. It is, ultimately, a story about abuse, neglect, manipulation, sexual deviance, deception, heartbreak, lies and familial dynamics. The writing is suspenseful and twisty. The characters are multi-layered, flawed and vulnerable. And the plot, although a little slow in the first half of the novel is much more intense, emotional, mysterious and unpredictable in the second half of the novel and has an exceptional ending that is sure to not only satisfy but completely take you by surprise. This is definitely a good sophomore novel for Barton with a lot of heartfelt drama, character development and multiple subplots that will keep you completely entertained, invested and engaged until the very end.
Date published: 2017-06-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Strong Plot and Complex Characters Everyone's got a story to tell. When a baby's skeleton is found on a building site, reporter Kate Waters becomes fascinated by the case and decides to delve deeper in the hopes of landing a big story for her newspaper. Her investigation leads her to two women – Emma Simmonds and Angela Irving. Decades earlier and shortly after giving birth, Angela's baby Alice disappeared from the maternity hospital. Although Angela still has hope, no trace of her child was ever found. When the bones are unearthed at the building site, she is convinced they are those of her lost daughter's. As a child, Emma and her mother Jude, lived in the house where the dead baby is found. Emma, now an adult and living with her supportive husband, is a book editor who suffers from severe anxiety. She also has many secrets. Over the years she has had a difficult and strained relationship with her mother. At the heart of it all is an intriguing mystery in a slowly developing and engrossing story. Who is the mother of the baby and how did it die? Who buried it? As the women's lives intersect, more is revealed about them while the pace quickens. The Child is well-written with a strong plot, detailed settings, complex characters and unexpected surprises. With it's intriguing premise and low-key suspense which builds to a crescendo, it is definitely a novel I recommend. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-06-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I'd Skip It. The Child, by Fiona Barton, is a book that is topping many people’s TBR lists for summer. After Barton’s hit, The Widow, which hit shelves last summer, people were demanding a follow up. I, however, wasn’t a huge fan of The Widow but I figured I would give The Child a chance. Unfortunately, Barton’s sophomore novel didn’t really do much for me either. In this novel, Kate Waters, the journalist from The Widow is back and on the pursuit of a new story when a baby’s skeleton is discovered buried in construction site. Several woman, including Kate who is after the hard hitting story are affected by this finding. Angela, still reeling from the disappearance of her baby girl years earlier, would love answers and closure to what happened to her child. Emma, a woman holding several secrets from her past, is drawn to the case with morbid curiosity. Emma’s mother, Jude, is trying to repair her broken relationship with her daughter, but is finding that difficult. As each of the women’s lives is disrupted a twisted maze of secrets are revealed. So, it sounded okay but this novel moved at a snail’s pace. I am talking slower than slow. Glacier speed. Molasses dripping. You get my drift? The plot seemed so redundant and the characters were flat. I didn’t really feel like any of them had much development. I didn’t find anything particularly suspenseful or thrilling. It felt more like a family drama or contemporary women’s fiction. Now don’t get me wrong, the last twenty pages or so of this novel were absolutely brilliant. I loved how Barton tied everything together and the final plot twist actually had me whispering, “well played!” Was this book worth the read? I don’t really feel like it. I would skip it. 2/5 stars.
Date published: 2017-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exciting Thriller Fiona Barton has done it again! Her novel "The Widow," was amazing. I received an advanced copy of this book and I could not put it down. I absolutely enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read more of her novels.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addictive page turner! Fiona Barton's second novel, The Child, releases on Tuesday, June 27/17. I figure if I give you a heads up today, you too can spend a day on the beach next weekend devouring it - I did! Barton is a former journalist. Her first book, The Widow, (my 5 star review) took inspiration from real life, trials and newspaper stories, as does the lead character in The Child. Kate, a reporter, sees this story " 'Baby's Body Found.' Two small sentences told how an infant's skeleton had been unearthed on a building site..." And she wonders "Who is the baby? How did it die? Who would bury a baby?" What a great premise - I too want to know the answers. Kate is not the only person to see the news story. The Child is told from four alternating points of view - that of Kate and three other women. Each of those three has a reason to hope - or fear - their own ties to the little skeleton. I love multiple point of view books - the reader is privy to the information that each character is holding - or hiding. And we can only hold our breath as (in this case) Kate gets closer and closer to the truth. Now, that being said, I thought I had fit the pieces together about halfway through the book. But, as one character also says..."I don't know what to think anymore. Everything is wrong. I've got everything wrong." I was quite happy to not have guessed! The Child is a character driven novel of suspense. Kate is a wonderful lead. I wonder if there are bits of Barton's own journalistic days woven into her character? The details of the investigation and newsroom ring very true. The other three women are just as well drawn - their connections to the child are quite poignant, shocking and in one case absolutely infuriating. I'm deliberately being obtuse - The Child is a story you need unfold and discover as the pieces are slowly put together. Although I will say this - motherhood is a prominent theme and thread that ties the four stories together. "Disturbing the surface had triggered an eruption of unexpected secrets." The Child was an absolutely addicting pager turner for this reader! Definitely recommended.
Date published: 2017-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addictive page turner! Fiona Barton's second novel, The Child, releases on Tuesday, June 27/17. I figure if I give you a heads up today, you too can spend a day on the beach next weekend devouring it - I did! Barton is a former journalist. Her first book, The Widow, (my 5 star review) took inspiration from real life, trials and newspaper stories, as does the lead character in The Child. Kate, a reporter, sees this story " 'Baby's Body Found.' Two small sentences told how an infant's skeleton had been unearthed on a building site..." And she wonders "Who is the baby? How did it die? Who would bury a baby?" What a great premise - I too want to know the answers. Kate is not the only person to see the news story. The Child is told from four alternating points of view - that of Kate and three other women. Each of those three has a reason to hope - or fear - their own ties to the little skeleton. I love multiple point of view books - the reader is privy to the information that each character is holding - or hiding. And we can only hold our breath as (in this case) Kate gets closer and closer to the truth. Now, that being said, I thought I had fit the pieces together about halfway through the book. But, as one character also says..."I don't know what to think anymore. Everything is wrong. I've got everything wrong." I was quite happy to not have guessed! The Child is a character driven novel of suspense. Kate is a wonderful lead. I wonder if there are bits of Barton's own journalistic days woven into her character? The details of the investigation and newsroom ring very true. The other three women are just as well drawn - their connections to the child are quite poignant, shocking and in one case absolutely infuriating. I'm deliberately being obtuse - The Child is a story you need unfold and discover as the pieces are slowly put together. Although I will say this - motherhood is a prominent theme and thread that ties the four stories together. "Disturbing the surface had triggered an eruption of unexpected secrets." The Child was an absolutely addicting pager turner for this reader! Definitely recommended
Date published: 2017-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unpredictable ending! The Child exceeded my expectations. It was even better than Fiona Barton’s debut novel The Widow. This book moved at a fast pace with good character development. I love a surprising ending and The Child’s ending blew me away – completely unexpected. If you’ve read The Widow, you’ll get to build on journalist Kate Waters story as well are her relationship with various characters including the Detective. The Child also has some flashbacks to The Widow, so I would recommend reading them in order (though not necessary). I would highly recommend this book! It is a page turner that you’ll be unable to put down. You will not be disappointed.
Date published: 2017-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this!! I read her last book and expect that this one will be just as awesome.
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! I read her book "The Widow" and was a fan right away, I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. Could not put it down.
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely Well Done Be prepared to take a step away from life and become immersed in "The Child"!! Very well written and with twists I never saw coming......fabulous ending...and I am now a huge fan of Fiona Barton!! I enjoyed "The Widow" but I loved "The Child"!!
Date published: 2017-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring The reader is fully immersed in the experiences of these women, the choices they make, and the burdens they carry. . . . a rich, potent, fluently written tale of endurance and survival.
Date published: 2017-04-01

Read from the Book

Emma TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2012 My computer is winking at me knowingly when I sit down at my desk. I touch the keyboard, and a photo of Paul appears on my screen. It’s the one I took of him in Rome on our honeymoon, eyes full of love across a table in the Campo dei Fiori. I try to smile back at him but as I lean in, I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the screen and stop. I hate seeing myself without warning. Don’t recognize myself sometimes. You think you know what you look like and there is this stranger looking at you. It can frighten me.     But today I study the stranger’s face. The brown hair half pulled up on top of the head in a frantic work bun, naked skin, shadows and lines creeping towards the eyes like cracks in pavement.     “Christ, you look awful,” I tell the woman on the screen. The movement of her mouth mesmerizes me and I make her speak some more.      “Come on, Emma, get some work done,” she says. I smile palely at her and she smiles back.     “This is mad behavior,” she tells me in my own voice, and I stop. Thank God Paul can’t see me now, I think. When Paul gets home tonight, he’s tired and a bit grumpy after a day of “boneheaded” undergraduates and another row with his department head over the timetable.     Maybe it’s an age thing, but it seems to really shake Paul to be challenged at work these days. I think he must be starting to doubt himself, see threats to his position everywhere. University departments are like prides of lions, really. Lots of males preening and screwing around and hanging on to their superiority by their dewclaws. I say all the right things and make him a gin and tonic.     When I move his briefcase off the sofa, I see he’s brought home a copy of the Evening Standard. He must’ve picked it up on the tube.      I sit and read it while he showers away the cares of the day, and it’s then I see the paragraph about the baby.     “Baby’s Body Found,” it says. Just a few lines about how an infant’s skeleton has been discovered on a building site in Woolwich and police are investigating. I keep reading it over and over. I can’t take it in properly, as if it’s in a foreign language.     But I know what it says and terror is coiling around me. Squeezing the air out of my lungs. Making it hard to breathe.     I am still sitting here when Paul comes down, all damp and pink, and shouting that something is burning.     The pork chops are black. Incinerated. I throw them in the bin and open the window to let out the smoke. I fetch a frozen pizza out of the freezer and put it in the microwave while Paul sits quietly at the table.      “We ought to get a smoke alarm,” he says instead of shouting at me for almost setting the house on fire. “Easy to forget things when you’re reading.” He is such a lovely man. I don’t deserve him.     Standing in front of the microwave, watching the pizza revolve and bubble, I wonder for the millionth time if he’ll leave me. He should have done years ago. I would have if I’d been in his place, having to deal with my stuff, my worries, on a daily basis. But he shows no sign of packing his bags. Instead he hovers over me like an anxious parent, protecting me from harm. He talks me down when I get in a state, invents reasons to be cheerful, holds me close to calm me when I cry, and tells me I am a brilliant, funny, wonderful woman.     It is the illness making you like this, he says. This isn’t you.     Except it is. He doesn’t know me really. I’ve made sure. And he respects my privacy when I shy at the mention of my past. “You don’t have to tell me,” he says. “I love you just the way you are.”     Saint Paul—I call him that when he’s pretending I’m not a burden to him, but he usually shushes me.     “Hardly,” he says.     Well, not a saint, then. But who is? Anyway, his sins are my sins. What do old couples say? What’s yours is mine. But my sins . . . well, they’re my own.     “Why aren’t you eating, Em?” he says when I put his plate on the table.     “I had a late lunch, busy with work. I’m not hungry now, but I’ll have something later,” I lie. I know I would choke if I put anything in my mouth.     I give my brightest smile—the one I use for photos. “I’m fine, Paul. Now eat up.”     On my side of the table, I nurse a glass of wine and pretend to listen to his account of the day. His voice rises and falls, pauses while he chews the disgusting meal I’ve served, and resumes.     I nod periodically but I hear nothing. I wonder if Jude has seen the article.

Editorial Reviews

“Tense, tantalising, and ultimately very satisfying … definitely one of the year’s must-reads.” —Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author   “Fiona Barton has outdone herself with The Child. An engrossing, irresistible story about the coming to light of a long-buried secret and an absolutely fabulous read—I loved it!” —Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door   “Clever and compelling. You’ll love The Child.” —Clare Mackintosh, international bestselling author of I See You“Arriving just in time for summer, Fiona Barton's The Child is a perfect blend of beach read and book club selection…. A novel that is both fast-paced and thought-provoking, it keeps the reader guessing right to the end. The Child truly is the best of both worlds.” —USA Today (3.5 out of 4 stars)“Fiona Barton brings back reporter Kate Waters from the bestselling The Widow and delivers another winner with The Child. Barton has the characters tell the story, and various secrets that have remained hidden for decades will come to the surface. She focuses on how the discovery affects everyone and unveils information in such a way that readers will figure out key plot points just before the characters in the story, creating a truly engaging tale. Those who enjoyed The Widow will discover that Barton has only gotten better.” –National Post, 03 July 2017   “This being a Barton thriller, there’s more to pretty much everything than meets the eye.” —The Boston Globe   “Fiona Barton has masterfully delivered again with The Child, her follow-up to her bestselling debut novel, The Widow….So many questions, so much perfect suspense….Barton tells the child’s story as only she can—brilliantly.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram   “A slow-burn portrait of loss and survival.” —Entertainment Weekly  "I loved The Widow, but Fiona Barton has truly outdone herself in her gripping and wonderfully written second novel. Like any great thriller, it takes you on a fast-paced ride with plot twists to the very end. But what will surprise you most about The Child is how deeply you’ll feel for the characters as you turn the pages furiously to reveal their secrets.”—Amy Stuart, bestselling author of Still Mine   “This gripping story kept me guessing to the end. I loved it! Barton treats her broken characters with such compassion that I wanted to reach into the pages and hug them.” —Liz Nugent, bestselling author of Lying in Wait“It's an enthralling story loaded with twists and turns” —Bustle   “Fiona Barton knows showing is better than telling because it allows for the reader's perspective. When the stories from Angela and Emma converge, whether the conclusion occasions a shock or an "aha!" doesn't matter; it's satisfying due to all the work that's gone into its discovery.” —NPR   “[An] intriguing, twisty tale….With plenty of red herrings, nothing and no one is who they seem in this evocative puzzler.” —The Cleveland Plain Dealer   "Readers…will be rewarded with startling twists—and a stunning, emotionally satisfying conclusion." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)   “Barton’s second well-plotted outing, with its sustained tension and believable characters, is an excellent addition to the popular psychological thriller genre. Readers who liked Barton’s first novel, Paula Hawkins’s The Girl On a Train, and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl will love this.” —Library Journal (starred review)