CRIME FIC­TION

THE CHILD Fiona Bar­ton Pen­guin Ran­dom House, $33

Mercury (Hobart) - Magazine - - Between The Lines - LEANNE EDMISTONE

When a work­man de­mol­ish­ing an old house dis­cov­ers a tiny skele­ton, it barely rates a para­graph in the lo­cal news­pa­per, but jour­nal­ist Kate Wa­ters – re­turn­ing from Fiona Bar­ton’s best­seller The Widow – senses a big­ger story. In sep­a­rate parts of Lon­don, two strangers also find the mys­tery im­pos­si­ble to ig­nore. As Wa­ters in­ves­ti­gates, two shock­ing crimes are re­vealed. One had rocked the city decades ear­lier but re­mained un­solved; the other undis­cov­ered un­til now. Both hold the key to the baby’s iden­tity. Start­ing as a slow-burn, this is an en­gross­ing and clever psy­cho­log­i­cal mys­tery of loss, sur­vival and ma­ter­nal in­stinct that gath­ers pace to keep you guess­ing un­til the un­ex­pected yet emo­tion­ally sat­is­fy­ing end.

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