The Child

When a London building is demolished, an infant's bones are unearthed, having been buried beneath the structure for decades. Three women take special notice.

Reporter Kate Waters wants to know who the baby was. How did it die? Who buried it? Emma, a book editor, is shaken by the news of the tiny skeleton's discovery, and hopes the baby isn't who she fears it is. Angela, still mourning the long-ago kidnapping of her daughter, Alice, from the hospital shortly after the baby's birth, both hopes and fears the bones belong to Alice, so she can finally have closure.

As Kate digs into the past, she discovers that quite a few people who lived in the area around the time of the baby's birth have dark secrets they'd prefer to keep buried. Kate might get the scoop of her career, but is she willing to destroy people's lives for it?

Kate, who also appears in Fiona Barton's The Widow, is an appealing protagonist. She's tenacious yet compassionate with her interview subjects: "The college lecturers who taught Media Studies... banged on about objectivity and balance, but she'd like them to sit down with a rape victim or the mother of an abused child and remain unaffected. Without empathy, without feeling someone's pain, how could you... capture the truth of the situation?" Barton captures the truth in Emma's and Angela's aching hearts, takes readers down surprising paths, and ties complex stories together in a satisfying way. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

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