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Publisher's Summary

The author of the stunning New York Times best seller The Widow returns with a brand-new novel of twisting psychological suspense.

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it's a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn - house by house - into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women - and torn between what she can and cannot tell.

Β©2017 Fiona Barton (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Pacing Problems


Had this not been so highly recommended by a friend, I don't think I could have pushed on to finish this book because of the painstakingly slow progress and the straight recounting style the author, a former journalist herself, uses to tell this story. Usually, I appreciate a *show-don't-tell* type of read, feeling engaged in the process of fleshing out a novel. Too often Barton seemed to dawdle on the details in her procedural, until what were supposed to be interesting pieces of a puzzle felt like belabored points.

This is a book that is probably best as a companion for a couple of days, one to listen to a little while, set down at night, and pick up at your leisure. A good book for occupying time, because it's not a bad book, it's just not a book that holds you by the throat or one that is written with beautiful prose you might scribble down in a journal. Myself, by the end of what felt like a long slog, I felt too worn down to even care about the heart-rending journey I'd just listened to.

About the narration: Barton does very well including multiple points of view through her characters. The cast does a good job in most cases with their narration but I felt the total presentation lacked consistency. Some of the transitions between characters were confusing.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie
  • Chicagoland Area
  • 08-17-17

Avid mystery story listener loved this audio book!

This is now one of my top rated listens! Great narration, interesting story and characters. Really nicely done!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Denys
  • Cary, NC, USA
  • 07-18-17

Lost in Narration

Any additional comments?

It's a good story. I did confuse the characters as the narrator's voices were not distinct and the name Anna is not that much different from Emma. As noted by previous reviewers, I too was bored by the endless ruminating and internal dialogue.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Tedious

The storyline is very labored. Coupled with strange narration this made for a very boring audiobook experience. Not interesting enough to continue listening.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Listen to this if you enjoyed "The Widow"

This is a bit of a slow starter, with several shifting POVs that require attention to keep the characters separate. It helps that there are multiple narrators. Unfortunately, the voices were not particularly engaging. The outcome of the disparate plot lines was apparent to me at about the 2/3 point, but it was rewarding to have everything nicely concluded with an emotional ending. If you liked this author's previous book, " The Widow", this is similar in style.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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tears

Well I knew what the ending was going to be by chapter 50.. But the ending chapters were great!!! The tears we're flowing!!!!

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Steph
  • New York, NY
  • 11-28-17

different, in a good way

The story felt like a new one somehow. I really enjoyed the twists it took.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Lots of twists in this book!

Book has a slow start however stay with it as it has a great story line.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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LOVED THIS STORY! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

I don't want to give anything away. This story will leave you breathless and perhaps sweetly sad. There are disgusting events and people but the lovely ones shine through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Committed read

Very slow start. I had difficult time wanting to stay engaged. I committed to finish. About 2/3 in the story finally started picking up. The last few chapters were brilliant. Unfortunate once I was finally locked in the story was complete. Overall it was good story and presentation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful