The Child

  • by Fiona Barton
  • Narrated by Clare Corbett, Adjoa Andoh, Finty Williams, Fenella Woolgar, Steven Pacey
  • 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Simon

Bestseller

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

Book Details

  • Release Date: 29-06-2017
  • Publisher: Audible Studios