Barton’s very successful debut novel, The Widow, was going to be a tough act to follow, and admittedly The Child is not as good. However, there are some very strong aspects to this second novel. Once again, this is a well-written psychological thriller/mystery. What is the relationship between skeletal remains of a child found in a construction site with a child abduction case from the 1970s? Also this is a story almost entirely about women including Kate, the intrepid reporter from The Widow. Male characters other than the plodding police are either inconsequential or sleaze balls. And finally, one of the female characters has incredibly poor parenting skills, setting up the engrossing question – what will she say/do next? Overall, this is a book that becomes hard to put down.
This contemporary novel is a very well-written story about a child abduction in Britain. The story unfolds Gillian Flynn-like with an alternating time frame and chapters from different points of view: The Detective, The Reporter … The Widow is a stand-by-your-man wife so her psychology unfolds ever so slowly. Several characters in this book are overcome by obsession. This is a very good companion book to Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind Of People in that the main focus is on the aftermath of a traumatic event.