Genre: Psychological Thriller
As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?
As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.
But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…
I may be the only mystery/thriller reader left on the planet who still hasn’t read Barton’s debut, The Widow. It’s been sitting on my nightstand for almost a year and I just haven’t had time to squeeze it in yet. I know that one received some mixed reviews, but that only piques my interest more and makes me want to read it for myself and form my own opinions. I think that this book will get similar reviews as well since my own feelings seem to be all over the place.
I love the premise of this, cold cases always grab my attention in books and this was no exception. Kate is a reporter and I like this type of POV as constantly reading from a police officers perspective can get a bit tedious. Besides her viewpoint, you also hear from Emma, Jude and Angela. Emma and Jude are a mother and daughter with a strained relationship and Angela is a woman who’s newborn baby was kidnapped from the hospital back in the seventies.
Multiple viewpoints are a device that always works well for me and it was well executed here. The chapters are really short and snappy so the POV switches quickly and often, but the overall pacing was sedate. This unusual combination actually worked rather well for me oddly enough. This was heavily character driven as you slowly learn about each woman’s past and what connects them all presently.
I have to admit that I did guess the big plot twist before it was revealed which is always a little disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, it was very well played, I think I just made a lucky guess that turned out to be correct. Barton is a gifted writer and there was something really addictive about this read, I just wish I hadn’t figured out the twist as early as I did, but overall this was an entertaining read that kept my attention throughout.
Overall rating: 3/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.