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The Child Audiobook

The Child

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Publisher's Summary

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's the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

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

The Child's story will be told.

©2017 Fiona Barton (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

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What the Critics Say

Our members are our most important critics and this is what they have to say about the narrators of The Child....

Clare Corbett:
"The narration is excellent and I would say it is more like listening to a dramatisation than a reading." (Iris on The Widow)
"Clare Corbett is a fabulous narrator." (Chris on The Missing)

Adjoa Andoh:
"Honourable mention should go to the narrator who is *phenomenal*. Great dramatic performance AND she's very good at the many different international and regional accents, which is often such an irritation. Can't praise it highly (or articulately) enough." (Jo on The Power)
"The narration was the best I've ever heard on an audiobook. Wonderful." (Raine on The Power)

Finty Williams:
"Mention must also go to Finty Williams for some beautiful characterisation and a warm and textured performance." (Simon on The Girl with All the Gifts)
"I thought Finty Williams was perfect!" (Z. OConnor on The Girl Before)

Fenella Woolgar:
"The reading too is excellent, Fenella Woolgar added an extra dimension to what is an excellent novel. Her characterisation was superb, and her wonderful modulation kept me spellbound." (Pj on Life After Life)

Steven Pacey:
"It is beautifully read, with a wide range of distinctive character voices - another triumph for Steven Pacey!" (Jill on Let the Right One In)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (131 )
5 star
 (84)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.5 (120 )
5 star
 (74)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.6 (122 )
5 star
 (83)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jane Syd 12/07/2017
    Jane Syd 12/07/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bloody brilliant!"

    I have been hanging for a good story for a while and loved Fiona's debut novel. Boy her second story doesn't disappoint! Truly brilliant storyline, great twist, fantastic character development coupled with outstanding narrators the book is in the "can't put down" types. Fiona Barton is now one of my favourite crime writers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katia 15/08/2017
    Katia 15/08/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "poorly written"

    the author needs to thesaurus the word 'said', there are many more ways to express this word, all I kept hearing was Said Said Said, got tired of it, had to refund the whole book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Auckland, New Zealand 15/08/2017
    Lisa Auckland, New Zealand 15/08/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Looking for a genuinely good mystery? Get this."
    Where does The Child rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the Mystery/Suspense genre - near the top, couple of rungs below Gone Girl.
    I'm not a huge reader of this genre, but every so often if one sounds particularly good, as in a genuinely good mystery with really good twists and turns - and not gruesome - I'll give it a go.
    Usually I find them really disappointing - as in; predictable, same old characters; same old formula; totally unplausible, flat ending. But this one was minimal on all counts. Kept me listening happily until the end, and although the ending can be guessed beforehand, it's still a really good plot.
    There were a few unanswered questions and unexplained red herrings, but bottom line - the last three of this genre I've tried have been badly disappointing and I've returned them (notably - I See You - don't waste a credit!) but this one delivered and I can happily recommend it.


    What other book might you compare The Child to, and why?

    Maybe a little bit of Girl On the Train.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Very good job done by the team of narrators.
    Though be prepared - Angela never sounds anything other than hysterical.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve 12/08/2017
    steve 12/08/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty good story."

    Good, well structured story, bit heavy on the wish fulfillment for the modern woman writer: using her professional woman's powers to manipulate all the emotionally stunted people/dopey men around her and save the day. It makes it a bit hard to suspend disbelief sometimes, but the author is able to hold back a bit so it mostly stops short of being overbearing.

    Narration gets over the top melodramatic too at some points but is mostly good and adds to the story. I enjoyed it as a good story to listen to while working.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chantelle 06/08/2017
    Chantelle 06/08/2017 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional,."

    The characters are well developed and the story is engaging. Fiona Barton is a gifted writer who weaves an intricate story. I really appreciate authors who do not feal the need to use expletives to tell a story , Ms Barton doesn't disappoint . I will definitely be looking out for more books by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne 05/08/2017
    Yvonne 05/08/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    127
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kept me thinking ..."

    This book kept me thinking the whole way through. What's the link... I just couldn't guess it. Thoroughly enjoyed it to the end and the narration was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MarnieB 05/08/2017
    MarnieB 05/08/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another fantastic book by Fiona Barton"

    I LOVED The Widow and was very excited to see this offering.
    It is just as good if not better.
    Excellent story and excellent narration .
    THANK YOU to Fiona Barton again for her clever story and talented story writing.
    Look forward to (audio)book No 3!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alia 04/08/2017
    Alia 04/08/2017 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Light read. Easy guessed twist."

    The compassion for the characters was nice. A fairly compelling read but a long almost frustrating run up to a great but guessable twist. I enjoyed it though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gillian 28/07/2017
    Gillian 28/07/2017 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "'Gripping'"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I admit I did guess the mystery before the end but somehow, it made me eager to finish to see if I was right! I loved the different characters and became really involved in the story. I even took the iphone to bed with me to listen to the end and woke up in the morning with the phone tucked under my chin and the earphones wrapped around my neck!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Auckland, New Zealand 27/07/2017
    Elizabeth Auckland, New Zealand 27/07/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping"

    This was a cleverly crafted suspended book that had me from the first 5minutes. Often I start something and then it bores me. The characters were interesting and believable. Great read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Simon
    Waterlooville, UK
    30/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Rich Drama of Complex Emotions"

    The Child is a very satisfying read, let me say that right up front. Fiona Barton continues with Kate Waters, an experienced reporter with a genuine moral compass and the nose for a story. Out of a two-line minor pages snippet she sniffs out an intriguing mystery. She’s a great lead and around her Barton creates a full cast of genuine characters on which to build her plot. And this is a very character-driven plot. I’m not personally sure what the precise definition of a thriller should be but this is no all-action book and it takes it’s time to flesh out the characters and the background. So, some might find it a slow-starter but it does have genuine drama and to me the acid test is how much I care about the characters come the ending. In this case my litmus paper turned a pleasing crimson. The writing is simple, direct, warm and empathetic. There are one or two scenes that are difficult to listen to but in the main this is hard emotion conveyed with a gentle touch.

    The narration is first class. You only have to look at the cast that were assembled to know that this was always likely to be a top class production and so it proved. I have sometimes been critical of books with multiple narrators not being used effectively but here the structure of the book supported it perfectly with each of the chapters being written from the point of view of one of the main characters. Each narrator in combination with the writing gave their individual characters their own persona and the raw emotion of the piece was conveyed expertly.

    Given what I’ve said the obvious question is why only a four star review? The answer is simply that there were a couple of weaknesses for me. While the plotting is intricate the big mystery starts becoming obvious pretty early in the piece. It’s hard to describe why without giving spoilers and it may be because I have a small amount of knowledge about the subject, but I found it stretched credibility that characters with far more knowledge and experience than me would not even guess at it. I also felt that while most of the characters were extremely well developed a couple of the male characters verged on clichés and how one defends himself at the very end lacked credibility for a man of his background. Other than that though I thought Barton rounded off her story in a very satisfying manner.

    Despite those being weaknesses for me (and I doubt I’ll be alone in this) I really enjoyed this as a read and would recommend it regardless because most of the characters and the writing are extremely satisfying. So much so that it more than made up for the weaknesses that I felt existed.

    33 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • KatMari
    3/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bestseller"

    Was gripped. Empathy developed skillfully for characters. Truly excellent narration, well-cast, fluent, emotive, paced perfectly.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • joanna Prendergast
    30/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story!"

    I've never written a review before, but I thought this book was worth it. The narration is excellent and the story is brilliant, I couldn't stop listening. Very engaging storyline and although I'd worked out the outcome early on, I still wanted to continue listening.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Margaret
    15/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    One of my best reads, I read a lot of books and this one is my number one I didn't expect the ending

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Vivienne
    30/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An enjoyable story with twists and turns."

    I enjoyed The Widow & found The Child just as gripping a tale. I enjoyed the narration too & ended up listening almost non-stop, & was quite caught out by the ending!

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Caron
    Scotland
    2/07/17
    Overall
    "Heart wrenching drama"

    I listened to this over 2 days. Wonderful characterization, great plot tempo and super narration. The best audio book I've listened to in ages and definitely in my top 10 of all time.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    Hamilton, United Kingdom
    15/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "not quite as good as the widow"

    very much a slow build to the story but I listened to the second half in a single sitting. I did however figure the ended well before the last few chapters.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel Redford
    15/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "That's my baby!"

    I was attracted by the excellent cast of narrators on The Child and they each performed their parts with empathy and emotion AND they said who they were at the start of each strand so it was clear - essential for audio but not always done! Emotions were movingly conveyed. But I'm afraid the whole story didn't work for me.

    A 27 year-old skeleton of a baby is found in a building site and two women have DNA tests which prove positive: Angela whose baby was snatched from the maternity hospital 27 years before and never found, and Emma a disturbed woman whose mother Jude had thrown her out as a troublesome teenager at the instigation of her live-in lover Will with whom she was besotted. Then there's Kate the moral and sympathetic detective determined to find the truth. So far so good.

    The main problem is that Emma's claims are guessed from very early on. Another is that there are over 80 chapters but the first 60+ flesh out the back stories of the various characters (and there are a great many of them) and are actually slow-moving and rather dull. The most serious flaw is the University teacher Will who I found fatally unconvincing. He's very attractive to women and has plenty of them - that's fine, but the role he comes to play in the story is completely unrealistic. The story is very much dialogue-driven and that is well done, but the writing although fast paced is banal: Jude has a 'face like thunder'; Kate is 'like a terrier with a bone'.

    But saying this only means that it wasn't for me. I'm sure that Fiona Barton fans will forget their own stresses as they become emotionally involved in this complex ride and find it a satisfying compulsive page-turner. It just wasn't for me.

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah Power
    14/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Equally as great as The Widow"

    Wonderful to remeet Kate in this gripping novel. Perfectly formed, narrated and paced, just a pleasure to keep grabbing some me time and immersing myself into the characters worlds. Looking forward to the next on already.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah James
    RUISLIP, United Kingdom
    5/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another winner from Fiona Barton"

    Well done and thank you to whoever decided to use multiple narrators on 'The Child'. All of the readers were superb and made this book so much more riveting. The audiobook has become such an important medium so it was a touch of genius producing such a masterful recording. I'm partially sighted so rely on audio format and as you can tell, I'm delighted with this audiobook. The story was good. The characters were dark. Dare I say there was a hint of the great Ruth Rendell here. Fiona Barton is a great storyteller. I highly recommend this novel and I think that the audible version will prove to be the best way to experience it.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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