THE OTHER CHILD by Charlotte Link
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media
Source: Open Road Integrated Media via Netgalley
The Other Child is a book by German author Charlotte Link, one of Europe’s best selling crime fiction authors and has sold more than fifteen million novels in Germany. This novel was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
The story is about two murders. Amy Mills, a young student that was murdered when she returned home after her baby sitting duties and Fiona Barnes, a 79 year old woman who was murdered after leaving an engagement party. Detective Inspector Valerie Almond, is under the impression that the two murders are related, however her search for the murderer leads to the unveiling of a dark secret…
Dr Leslie Cramer, grand daughter of Fiona Barnes, received a phone call from Gwen – her childhood friend in Scarborough to inform her that she is engaged to be married. Leslie, being recently divorced tries to be happy for her friend, yet also has her reservations about the man’s intentions for marrying Gwen. She sees Gwen as a very boring, plain 30-something year old woman who seem to still live in a bygone era and can’t possibly understand what the man wants with her, or if his intentions are pure. Fiona, seems to feel the same way and decides to speak up about it at Gwen’s engagement party, which causes a huge unsettlement. Dave (Gwen’s fiancé), Leslie and Gwen were all mad at her, and in turn becomes suspects when Fiona was brutally murdered later that evening, on her way home from the engagement party.
The author tells the story about Fiona’s past and a dark secret she shares with Gwen’s grand father, Chad Beckett. Fiona was evacuated during the World War II, along with a boy called Brian to the Beckett farm. Brian, also called “Nobody” is a mentally disabled child that stayed behind on the farm when the war was over, when Fiona returned to her mother. What happened to Brian in the end, was largely the fault of Fiona and Chad’s, a secret that has haunted Fiona for 60 years. Leslie and Gwen who found out the story by chance, in letters written to Chad by Fiona, believes that this could be the motive for the murder on Fiona. In the end, the two murders are not related, and Fiona’s murderer is found to be an unstable, mentally ill person driven by hatred.
The story was an enjoyable read, much better than I expect it to be. I was intrigued to find out what happened to Brian and who Fiona’s murderer was. Amy’s murder never gets solved in the end, however a clear suspect was found. That did not bother me at all, unlike how I felt about the murder/disappearances that was never solved in In the Woods. The novels brings up issues such as dealing with betrayal by a man you loved and how to overcome it, guilt, hatred and the need for acceptance. I didn’t find the novel very suspenseful, except at the end, but I really like it. I found it an intriguing and good psychological thriller and I would definitely recommend it.
Some favourite quotes:
“The wind carried the smell of the sea and the freshly mown grass. It was a perfect day. Holiday. Freedom. I should have been lying under a tree and reading, dreaming and lazily watch the clouds drift by above me”
“Better a horrible end than a horror without end”