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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.
34 of 39 people found this review helpful
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.
66 of 78 people found this review helpful
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!