The Child by Fiona Barton

The Child (Kate Waters, #2)The Child by Fiona Barton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This British mystery involves a body, but it’s not clear whether or not it’s a murder. The body is that of a child buried many years earlier that is unearthed during construction. The lead investigator is Kate Waters, a reporter, which makes this a bit different from the usual police procedural. We are introduced to two different women each of whom thinks the baby must be hers. The DNA matches the first one who comes forward, but the date and location match the timeline of the other woman’s experience. She buried her baby in that exact location, but is not connected to the women whose DNA matches. Neither knows of the other. It becomes Kate’s job to put it all together.

I liked Kate’s character and the plot is cleverly written. This is book 2 in what is a fairly lengthy series, I believe. I can recommend this book, but I do have one warning. Do NOT get the audiobook. There are five different readers, and this turned out to be a bad decision on the part of the producers. For starters, the actress who played one of the younger characters sounded much older than her character and another character who was supposed to be older, sounded younger. Since timelines are important in this story, this became very confusing right up to the end. Secondly, there is a lot of dialogue, which means the actress who is portraying character A is doing the voice of character B and C as well as A, but then it switches to another scene where another actress is doing the voices of A and C but sounds very different. The personality of a character changes, or seems to, based on who is reading that character’s lines in that chapter. One minute a character sounds posh, then a minute later sounds almost Cockney, feminine, then masculine, etc. It really became difficult to keep track of who was who, a complaint I’ve seen in other reviews, even those who read the book.

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