The Child by Fiona Barton [in Library Journal]
Just as the audiobook of Fiona Barton’s hair-raising debut, The Widow, got the full-cast treatment, so, too, does her equally unnerving sophomore effort. Mandy Williams returns as Kate Waters, the tenacious newspaper reporter introduced in Widow, who again won’t stop sleuthing until she has all the answers, this time involving the tiny remains of a baby uncovered during the demolition of a derelict London home.
When the initial story breaks, book editor Emma (resonatingly voiced by Rosalyn Landor, who immediately captures Emma’s barely contained nervous fear) is unable to stop thinking about the skeletal foundling. She wonders if her estranged-until-recently mother, Jude (crisply, almost impatiently voiced by Jean Gilpin), has heard the news.
In another neighborhood, Angela, an older woman with grown children (softly voiced by Katherine McEwan with first resigned control, then blind hope), recalls her own lost infant, whose hospital disappearance decades prior remains unsolved. Closer to book’s end, Steve West’s brief, menacing addition will signal the final unraveling of the whydunit – but don’t get complacent as Barton is not nearly done with twisting expectations and disrupting revelations.
Verdict: Libraries should expect Barton’s full-cast chills and thrills to continue to expand her American audiences.