cover image The Child

The Child

Fiona Barton. Berkley, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-1-101-99048-3

Canny London tabloid reporter Kate Waters, the catalyst for Barton’s devastating debut The Widow, returns in this strong if more subdued psychological thriller centering on a trio of women unknowingly linked by long-buried secrets about to be unearthed. Book editor Emma Simmonds has been battling for decades with depression, as has the single mother, Jude Massingham, who threw her out of the house when she was just 16. Former nurse Angela Irving has never gotten over the kidnapping of her newborn daughter from a maternity hospital 28 years earlier, a heartbreak worsened by police suspicion of her and her husband. Emma, Jude, and Angela are each riveted, for reasons that will only gradually emerge, by an item in a newspaper reporting the excavation of an infant’s skeleton at an East London building site. Kate, who could really use another major scoop to help keep her job, is also drawn to the story. Readers patient with the relatively slow initial pace until the intertwining stories gain momentum will be rewarded with startling twists—and a stunning, emotionally satisfying conclusion. Author tour. Agent: Madeleine Milburn, Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency (U.K.). (June)