Author: Fiona Barton
Published: June 29, 2017 by Berkley
Hardcover: 365 pages
Stars: 3 1/2 out of 5
To Purchase: The Child
When an old house in London is demolished, the skeletal remains of an infant are found, and so the puzzle begins. Baby Alice was taken from the maternity ward at the hospital in 1970; the body found at the construction site is an infant, but couldn’t have been there any earlier than the 1980’s based on the evidence found in the grave. What happened in the ten years since Baby Alice was stolen, and an infant, not a ten year old child is found at the construction site? You know the key players early on in the book, but you don’t know the how or why.
The story is told in short, alternating chapters mostly between the three main characters. Angela is the mother whose baby was taken all those years ago. She is now married, with two grown children, but the family has never gotten over the loss of Alice. Kate is a reporter who is like a dog with a bone in going after the truth. When she writes about the baby found, she sets this story in motion, and disrupts several lives in the process. Emma, you’re not quite sure what to make of her. She’s never had a good relationship with her mother – she was kicked out of the house by her mother and her boyfriend when she was sixteen, and she acts strangely after reading the story in the paper.
I would say this book is more mystery, than thriller. It’s not necessarily a knock your socks off type of book, but it’s got great character development and the short chapters with alternating points of view keep the plot moving along. The story comes to a satisfying, twisty conclusion, and makes for good summer beach read. It was fun trying to put the puzzle pieces of this mystery together.