The Child by Fiona Barton – Review.

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About the Book

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

My Review

Sometimes it pays to persevere with a novel. At first, I struggled with The Child, I couldn’t form an attachment to any of the narrators, even though the tale did intrigue me. But suddenly it grabbed me and I was hooked.
Kate, who is the journalist who featured in the authors previous book The Widow, is back and keen to get a story to attach to the child’s bones that were found on a building site. Along with a photographer and a trainee she starts to delve. The changing methods of journalism were demonstrated well, how online 24-hour news has had a significant impact on printed news and the affect that it has had on jobs.
The narrative switches between four narrators. One of them was Kate who I liked a lot more in this novel, she came across as much more compassionate and less of a newshound. Out of the other three, one was utterly repulsive. Cruel, selfish and bitter just about begins to cover it. I won’t reveal their name but will leave you to make your own mind up.
My favourite character was Joe, the trainee. I hadn’t expected him to be so trustworthy and keen to help and he was quite refreshing with his ability to charm those around him. I hope that both Kate and Joe will appear in future novels together.
It’s a different type of crime novel, it focuses more on how the media approach an investigation rather than the police and once I put aside my feelings towards journalism I enjoyed it.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received

The Widow by Fiona Barton

imageThe Widow by Fiona Barton is being published as the book to watch in 2016. I received my copy as a limited edition proof (number 22/100) at this years crime festival in Harrogate. Even though it won’t be published for a few months yet I decided to read it early, before any opinion I had was influenced by hype.
It is a good book but one that I did struggle with at times. The narrative switches between different people. That of the widow I did like reading although at times I felt she was older than the age she was said to be. There was also the police officer who failed in the investigation and refused to let go. And then there was the journalist. It was this part of the novel that I struggled with. I found it draining to read and unfortunately it was a fairly large part of the novel. The husband and Bella’s mother also have their turn but not to any huge degree.
It is clever and I’ve not really read anything like it before. Most crime books I have read focus on the police rather than that of a relative of a suspect. Sadly it is the image of the press that I am left with.