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The Child

Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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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.

©2017 Fiona Barton (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Powerful!

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!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for joanna Prendergast
  • joanna Prendergast
  • 06-30-17

Great story!

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.

56 of 64 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Simon
  • Simon
  • 06-30-17

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.

94 of 109 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Caron
  • Caron
  • 07-02-17

Heart wrenching drama

I listened to this over 2 days. Wonderful characterization, great plot tempo and super narration. The best audio book I've listened to in ages and definitely in my top 10 of all time.

28 of 34 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-15-18

Below average

I didn't have high expectations but I was disappointed especially because of the positive reviews. That's one to listen whilst on holiday or killing time. The story is weak and implausible and the narration sub standard. I am not sure why the choice was made to have 4 female narrators when the job could have been done by a competent one. The person voicing the journalist makes all male characters sound like they have been suffering from chronic constipation and the person voicing the older woman sounds like she smoked 5 packets of cigarettes before doing the narration. Avoid.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Joan
  • Joan
  • 07-05-17

Another winner from Fiona Barton

Well done and thank you to whoever decided to use multiple narrators on 'The Child'. All of the readers were superb and made this book so much more riveting. The audiobook has become such an important medium so it was a touch of genius producing such a masterful recording. I'm partially sighted so rely on audio format and as you can tell, I'm delighted with this audiobook. The story was good. The characters were dark. Dare I say there was a hint of the great Ruth Rendell here. Fiona Barton is a great storyteller. I highly recommend this novel and I think that the audible version will prove to be the best way to experience it.

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs H
  • Mrs H
  • 07-31-17

intricate story a good listen

this book didn't grip me immediately and I found the first couple of chapters confusing (could just be me not listening properly) but it quickly became interesting. the performance is good. unfortunately I second guessed the twist early on but it was still a good listen

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Vivienne
  • Vivienne
  • 06-30-17

An enjoyable story with twists and turns.

I enjoyed The Widow & found The Child just as gripping a tale. I enjoyed the narration too & ended up listening almost non-stop, & was quite caught out by the ending!

19 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Teresa evans
  • Teresa evans
  • 07-27-19

The child

Wow brilliant story keeps you listening really enjoyed this book. Narration was good. Try it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-03-19

Fantastic twists, great listen

Loved the book, so cleverly twisted, stories brilliantly intertwined. I'm going to look for the next book by Fiona. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Margaret
  • Margaret
  • 07-15-17

Excellent

One of my best reads, I read a lot of books and this one is my number one I didn't expect the ending

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Chrissy C
  • Chrissy C
  • 12-13-17

great story!

engrossing tale..well woven and beautifully narrated. Highly recommended , the story became so real. I became addicted to listening whenever I could.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jane S
  • Jane S
  • 07-12-17

Bloody brilliant!

I have been hanging for a good story for a while and loved Fiona's debut novel. Boy her second story doesn't disappoint! Truly brilliant storyline, great twist, fantastic character development coupled with outstanding narrators the book is in the "can't put down" types. Fiona Barton is now one of my favourite crime writers.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Kerri
  • Kerri
  • 12-29-17

Wow. What a well performed story.

Love twists and intrigue?
Download this book. It's brilliant.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-09-19

Great story line but!

A good tale. Sadly far too transparant with regard to the outcome. I did listen to the end just to confirm that what I had deduced very early on in the telling was what I had suspected was the case.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Ozifarmer
  • Ozifarmer
  • 12-31-17

FANTASTIC

This was one of the best audiobooks I've listened to for a while. I worked out the mystery before I was even halfway through the book but that took nothing away at all. The narrators were perfect for each part and I loved hearing the same story from different angles.

Highly recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-09-19

Amazing performance

Great story that is told from multiple perspectives. the stand out is the narrators, really pulls you into the chrarcters.
Recommend this book for people who like drama, crime and family twists.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Hannah K.
  • Hannah K.
  • 09-01-19

Predictable but still enjoyable

Loved the narration but the main twist was easy to pick up on early in the book leaving me feeling like the rest of the story was treading water waiting for the characters to catch up.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-28-19

Excellent

I struggled with Narrator but other than this the storey was excellent. Well written and held my attention.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Bonnie B
  • Bonnie B
  • 08-20-19

Another Surprising Twist

Fiona Barton is so good at writing stories that captivate and intrigue. This one is no different. I enjoyed the characters, and while I found the story at some parts exhausting (it does get a little slow in the middle), the end twist genuinely shocked me. I don't know how I didn't see it coming, but it was a great conclusion. Really enjoyed the experience of reading this one.

Narration was wonderful, couldn't fault it.

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Profile Image for Ali Angori
  • Ali Angori
  • 06-13-19

Great suspense

Great book. Sometimes the side stories go on for too long but the suspense was great.