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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

Critic Reviews

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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    364
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    169
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    43
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    7
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    9

Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow. What a well performed story.

Love twists and intrigue?
Download this book. It's brilliant.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great story!

engrossing tale..well woven and beautifully narrated. Highly recommended , the story became so real. I became addicted to listening whenever I could.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

FANTASTIC

This was one of the best audiobooks I've listened to for a while. I worked out the mystery before I was even halfway through the book but that took nothing away at all. The narrators were perfect for each part and I loved hearing the same story from different angles.

Highly recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved every minute.

Captivating story, incredible narration, an emotional rollercoaster. What more could you ask for - highly recommend.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It's good

The narrators were fantastic and I loved that the chapters were from different character perspectives. The book is well written and an enjoyable listen. The story line is good but not amazing. The 'twist' at the end was cool.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rod
  • 26-06-2018

Gripping

Take one of my favourite new authors and two of my absolute favourite narrators, and you have the makings of a great audiobook to dive into this year.

Fiona Barton’s debut novel, The Widow, has remained firmly in my memory since I reviewed it back in 2016. The magnificent Clare Corbett narrated that audiobook and she returns for Barton’s second novel, joined by Adjoa Andoh, Finty Williams, Fenella Woolgar, and one of the best male narrators on the planet, Steven Pacey.

Also returning is reporter Kate Waters who was one of the main characters of The Widow and once again becomes the catalyst, this time uncovering the mystery of a new born baby that vanished from the hospital more than 30 years ago.

The story opens with the discovery of an infant’s remains. Kate latches onto this minor news story and begins investigating, sensing a deeper story. Caught off-guard by the news of the discovery is Angela, the still-grieving mother who lost her child and hopes this will finally give closure; Emma, a married woman with a mystery of her own that seems oddly affected by the discovery of the unidentified infant; and Emma’s mother, Jude, a cold, dismissive presence in her life.

The way these three women are connected to each other is the primary mystery, along with the identity of the body. Kate powers through her investigation, attempting to show compassion but always motivated by getting the story. Along the way, she finds herself lumbered with training up a new intern who may or may not show the potential she needs.

With a cast of five excellent readers, this audiobook bounces along nicely from multiple perspectives. It’s full of intrigue and emotion, with some interesting glimpses into journalism and medical research.

To date, any audiobook with Clare Corbett or Stephen Pacey’s name attached has been well worth the listen, and while the latter only appears briefly in The Child, his involvement is still a recommendation in itself.

The Child is a stand-alone story despite having the character of Kate carry through both of Barton’s novels. For lovers of mysteries, family dramas and superb narration, you can’t go wrong.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I guessed the connection quite early in the story

but it was still enjoyable to listen right to the end.
Could have had a bit more detail at the revelation and plot twist.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

An okay listen

I really liked it in the beginning but the ending was so obvious that I ended up getting so frustrated with the characters for not figuring it out.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great read <br />

The narrators were excellent I loved this book it is such a good story kept you guessing until the end ..

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-04-2018

Powerful!

I was a little concerned because the story didn’t really catch my interest in the beginning. I thought it would be straight forward but it was an absolute original story. I didn’t see the twist at the end coming! Fiona Barton is truly unique!

Well worth the credit!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 30-06-2017

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.

70 of 82 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • joanna Prendergast
  • 30-06-2017

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.

39 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Caron
  • 02-07-2017

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.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joan
  • 05-07-2017

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.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vivienne
  • 30-06-2017

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!

18 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs H
  • 31-07-2017

intricate story a good listen

this book didn't grip me immediately and I found the first couple of chapters confusing (could just be me not listening properly) but it quickly became interesting. the performance is good. unfortunately I second guessed the twist early on but it was still a good listen

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kirstine
  • 25-07-2017

After a slow start becomes gripping

The author’s first book, The Widow, has been a great success so it must be difficult to match this with a second novel. At first I thought The Child was not going to be as good as the former book as the first 12 or so chapters didn’t grab my attention as the narrative meandered along. However, thereafter, the interwoven stories of three women becomes much more intersting. They are Angela, the mother of a child that disappeared from the maternity ward; Kate the tenacious investigative journalist who featured in The Widow; and Emma the third player in this, eventually, intriguing story. I think the male characters are less credible and two at least verge on caricatures, though the police inspector who becomes heavily involved in the complex web of dead and missing babies is portrayed as a sympathetic character which makes a nice change.

There are false trails as the tension builds up and the story becomes gripping with a satisfying denouement, though I had guessed what it might be.

I liked the stories being told from different perspectives and using different narrators. Though not quite as good as The Widow in the end The Child is an excellent listen. Four and half stars when compared with The Widow.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • KatMari
  • 03-07-2017

Bestseller

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

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sigrin
  • 25-12-2017

Lies, love,, dejection, grief and the truth


I loved the widow by Fiona Barton, however I am in half a mind about her character Kate the journalist, surfacing again in this story.
Her morals are a little shady but she does want the best despite the way she manipulates her way in. I presume Ms Barton will be placing her in future books.

The narration was impeccable, but looking at the list if narrators I would expect nothing less. I simply adore Adjoa Andoh she has a breadth of voices and accents that is in surpassable.

There are some great reviews to let you know about the story line, so I will not bore you. Just to say it’s a worth while credit and I don’t think you will be disappointed, remember to try the widow too.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Teresa
  • 10-08-2017

All the children

An absolutely wonderful listen, thank you. The way the characters intertwined was majestic. Poignant on many levels.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful