...and journalist Kate Waters won't stop sleuthing until she has all the answers. Author Fiona Barton's characterization of Kate is particularly well done. She is a reporter for a London tabloid and can be seen as manipulative, as being manipulated, or as a feisty investigator determined to find the truth. She is in her fifties, juggling career and family, and is chafing at her husband's dismissal of her job. Terrified by the technological changes to the media and insecure about her role, she is still driven by the need to find the story.
A loving husband or a heartless killer... She'd know. Wouldn't she?
We are first introduced to Kate in Barton's debut, in which Glen Taylor has died in a freak accident. His death is big news. Everyone believes that years before Glen did the unthinkable, that he abducted a little girl. And now that he's dead, the press wants the exclusive story: the wife's story. Jean's story. She must know what really happened to this girl. Right? Kate says just the right thing to put a foot in the door and make Jean open up to her.
The truth—that's all anyone wants.
But Jean is an enigma. So we shall see what comes of that. Won't we?
She can make people believe anything...
You can bury the story...but you can't hide the truth.
When an evening newspaper's paragraph about an infant's skeletal remains reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three women, it's impossible to ignore. For Angela, it's a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her. For Emma, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered. And for Jude, Emma's mother, it just adds to the list of her own problems.
But, for Kate, it's the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.
Who is the Building Site Baby?
Every parent's worst nightmare...
This is a very different story for Kate because this time it's personal. We see her as more of a mother than as the hard-nosed journalist we know from the previous books and it's a refreshing change. When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing in Thailand—the same place where Kate believes her son, Jake, is—she travels there to pursue the story and discovers even more distressing details which brings the case much closer to home for her. She and her family become the focus of everyone's speculation and interest. She finds out exactly what it's like to have the press hounding you, following your every move, and waiting outside your door.
What if it was someone you knew?
Being a former journalist, Barton really nailed the character of Kate Waters. She knows very well the inner workings and motivations of reporters, their need to always know more. Other characters (detectives, reporters, victims, and their families) round out the narratives, but these are definitely Kate's stories/investigations.
Told from multiple perspectives, Barton maintained the momentum with the revelations and tension mounting in each of these books. And, of course, I loved the short chapters; they kept me turning the pages late into the night. Very addictive reads!
I hope there's another one soon!
But I am also wondering if this will be the last we see of Kate Waters.