Released: June 27 2017
I got the Child through my Book of the Month Club subscription and if I’m being honest, what drew me to it right off the bat was the beautiful cover. I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I’m so much more likely to read the description of a book if the cover catches my attention. Seeing as how I’m always up for a psychological suspense book, I felt I was up for reading this one.
I have not yet read Barton’s other book, the Widow, so I can’t make any comparisons between the two. I can say that while I really enjoyed this book, I’m finding myself hard pressed to figure out what actually appealed to me so much. Perhaps it was the mood I was in when reading it that made me love it so much, or the tone of the novel. I loved the writing style, and the fact that Barton had a few character perspectives, but not too many. That sort of thing can easily overwhelm a book and its reader. The subject itself was interesting and a bit of a puzzle, which I always enjoy.
The question posed to the reader pretty early in the story is who is the building site baby? I found myself repeating this again and again as I read; trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together for the author laid it all out for me. Admittedly I did solve the puzzle before the great reveal, but considering how the information was handed out during the book, I’m ok with coming to that conclusion early (and thankfully it wasn’t so early that it ruined the entire book for me).
The mystery weaves in and out of multiple character’s perspectives and lives, leaving you wondering who did what or how they’re connected. The only character you really know the connection for (until the end) is Kate, as the reporter/investigator in this story, it’s her job to find the details and reveal them to us, the reader.
Barton did an excellent job selling the human element of the novel; I felt livid or upset for Emma about how horribly her mother treated her. My heart ached for Angela and her missing baby. I felt everything Barton wanted me to feel, and then some. I love it when authors can get you to truly feel for the characters involved.
I really enjoyed Kate’s character – an old school reporter with morals and compassion. Perhaps this is my bias showing, but I feel like finding a person like her is like finding a unicorn. Oddly enough though, that fact didn’t make me find her character less believable, simply more human and likable. Kate is stubborn as a mule and once she sinks her teeth into a story, she doesn’t let go. The bright side to that is the fact that she’s willing to withhold printing a story until the appropriate time (knowing full well the damage it can cause should she not do so). Considering stories like that are her bread and butter, you have to respect it.
I haven’t decided yet if I’ll go back and read the Widow or not, but based on how much I enjoyed the Child I probably will, you know, when I have time. I would recommend the Child for anybody looking for a suspense story, as long as they’re ok with the risk of figuring out the ending on their own (I know not everybody loves that – honestly half the time I can’t stand it myself).