Author: Fiona Barton
Narrated by Clare Corbett, Adjoa Andoh, Finty Williams, Fenella Woolgar, Steven Pacey
Release Date: June 2017. Published by Transworld Digital
Category: Crime, Drama, Audiobook, Contemporary Fiction, Book Review
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.
Told from four perspectives—Angela, Kate, Jude and Emma—The Child is an intriguing tale.
It’s unclear for a quite a while what these four women have in common. Kate is a journalist looking for her next big story and when she reads about a baby’s skeleton being uncovered while clearing a building site, it piques her interest. Who would bury an infant in what would have been someone’s back garden? How did it die? And what happened to the mother? It seemed the bones were historic and the area is and has been full of rented accommodation with tenants changing on a regular basis.
Kate Waters loved a needle-in-a-haystack job. The glint of something in the dark. Something to absorb her totally. Something to sink her teeth into. Something to get her out of the office.
During the course of her investigation, Kate is comes into contact with Angela, Emma and Jude. All three women have seen the newspaper article about the baby and all are affected by it. Angela’s first child, Alice, was taken from the hospital just after her birth. The person who took her was never found and Angela suffered a breakdown. The thoughts of what happened to Alice are always present and while she still feels guilt and the loss of her daughter, she’s always grateful for her other two children.
Jude and Emma are mother and daughter who have a difficult relationship. Jude was always self-centred, putting her needs and wants before those of Emma. They were estranged for years after Jude chose the boyfriend she was obsessed with over Emma, and told her to leave when she was sixteen. Emma has kept a secret that festers away inside her, not even her husband is aware of what causes her anxieties and paranoia.
The problem is that a secret takes on a life of its own over time. I used to believe that if I didn’t think about what happened, it would shrivel and die. But it didn’t. It sits in the middle of a growing tangle of lies and fabrications, like a fat fly trapped in a spider’s web.