The Other Child by Charlotte Link

The_Other_ChildTHE 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”

Rating: ★★★★

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  • I was going well enough with this until the end and then the fact that the writer had clearly not done her research properly concerning the UK police and the sanctions they have available to them rather spoiled it for me. I read it perhaps two or three years ago so I’m interested that the publishers are pushing it again. I wonder if they’ve changed the ending? There were a lot of complaints when it was first issued.

    • Hi Alex, thanks for bringing that up. As per Netgalley, the publication date is 2 April 2013. How did it end? (the copy you were reading)

      I’m sorry the ending spoiled it for you, and I agree that proper research should be done when writing about laws and sanction of another country. I live in SA, so if the ending didn’t change it probably would not have bothered me, because I am not familiar with UK’s laws. I can however see how it would have spoiled it for other readers.

      • At the end DI Almond takes her gun out and shoots the villain (trying not to give too much away here). What Link hasn’t realised is that the police are not routinely armed here and she would have had to go off and at the very least get an armed response team or permission to be armed herself before such an outcome could have occurred. Is that still the way in which matters are resolved?

        • That’s what’s happening, alright …

  • This sounds really good! I don’t know that I’ve ever read a German crime novel, so I’m intrigued based on that part alone…

    • I actually enjoyed reading it!

    • I dont think this one is available anymore, but you should read it and see for yourself. The technicalities didn’t bother me at all.

  • This sounds dark, but good. I have a hard time finding good thrillers but this sounds like it could fit the bill. The cover is great too 🙂

    • And sad too. Not too suspenseful (which can sometimes be good) and it was a nice read. I liked the pace, it didn’t drag like some I’ve read before.

  • I thought this German author captured the north of England very well indeed. I was less enamoured of the murder plot but it was still an enjoyable read.

    • I agree about it being an enjoyable read. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah.

  • Isi

    Here we have several books by this author translated into Spanish and people say they are really good, not only a crime story, but also a thriller, like this one.
    The author is already in my list!

    • I hope you will enjoy reading it once you get to it 🙂 Thanks for stopping by

  • I am so curious about this book. I have heard a lot about the author and never picked up a book. This one looks very interesting.

    • Maybe you should start with this one. I will sure look out for her other novels!

  • I read another book by this author (The Observer) and I thought it was really good. She was new to be, too. Definitely a writer to look for!

  • Sounds like an interesting read!

  • Not sure its something I’ll read but it’s definitely a good twist that the murders aren’t connected for once. I like yr favourite quote section as well,definitely adds something extra to the review and could work a lot in persuading people to read it.

    • Thank you. Sometimes when a quote grabs my attention, I tend to add it to my review. What is your favourite genre when it comes to books?

      Thanks for stopping by

      • I’m surprised I haven’t seen such things in other reviews or thought of it myself even. Anything to do with adventure is the one for me, especially when it’s historical fiction as well. Although at the moment I’m trying to be a bit more flexible and read more widely

        • The Shadow of the Wind has got some of my favourite quotes from literature, have you read this one?

          PS: Historical fiction is my favourite genre! I haven’t read one in about 2 months, so I’m looking for a good one to pick up.

  • Ooooooh the last quote you wrote gave me shivers!

    • Same here, its almost creepy and yet it can mean a lot of different things!

  • Sounds like an interesting book. And I love the quotes you shared at the end! That last quote certainly leaves me curious (and a little scared!).

    • Same here. That’s why I shared both – a creepy one and a “feel good” one. How I wish I can lay under a tree and read 🙂

  • This sounds pretty interesting, I’m not sure if it would be for me though. I’m not really the biggest one crime/mystery novels. Sometimes I will find some that I like, but not often.

    I’m glad you liked this one though! Always good for a book to be better than you’re expecting!

    • I am also not that big on crime novels, however I do enjoy mystery novels and historical fiction. This one was enjoyable – it was a bit of both. I’m glad I ended up liking it 🙂

      • Yes, I am a big fan of historical fiction, so that would probably be what would pull me into this one in the end..lol

  • Great review girly! Beautiful quotes in this book and it sounds very haunting!! <3

    • Thanks Kristen! I love those quotes too, especially the first one 🙂

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