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The Child Who
 
 

The Child Who [Kindle Edition]

Simon Lelic
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)

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Review

'Fantastic. Absorbing, moving, hugely gripping' Mark Billingham, bestselling author of the Tom Thorne novels

'Three possible candidates for the Granta U.K. class of 2013 are Ned Beauman, Joe Dunthorne and Simon Lelic. Lelic’s three novels are breakneck, intelligent 'social thrillers' that even invade my dream-life' David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas

‘Simon Lelic doesn’t shy away from controversial issues . . . He’s billed as a crime writer, but his books are bigger than that. And in his work he finds his stride as somebody who can truly make us examine ourselves, and place ourselves in the scenarios he creates so masterfully. The action, when it comes, zips along at a fair old lick, but it is the thought processes of the protagonists that engage, along with the oppressive atmosphere Lelic has got down to a fine art. Terrific stuff’ Irish Examiner

‘Gripping . . . Lelic, author of the highly acclaimed Rupture, unpicks the layers of vengeance, exploitation and fear that accrue around children that kill, and examines the terrible fall-out for anyone who goes against the vindictive current . . . a compelling, thought-provoking page-turner’ Psychologies

‘Could this be Lelic's breakthrough book? It deserves to be’ Guardian

‘Quietly excellent legal thriller’ Marcel Berlins, The Times

‘An excellent psychological crime thriller from one of the genre’s rising stars . . . Zest, fresh perspective, insight and often quite beautiful writing, something you rarely see in populist thriller fiction . . . Lelic's gift is for immediately unsettling the reader. Just who is narrating this? Who are these people? Where is this going? This wrong-footing isn’t just gimmicky, however. It’s an essential thread in the weave of this excellent novel . . . Much of the joy of this book is about the disorientating nature of Lelic’s story-telling . . . bewitching’ Metro

'Lelic was marked for stardom by his first two thrillers, Rupture and The Facility, and he confirms his place at the literary top table with this, his third . . . Told with compelling force, and at considerable pace, it reveals the frightening law of unintended consequences: even a good man can be destroyed by the best intentions' Daily Mail

‘Simon Lelic’s first two crime novels attracted much well-deserved praise. His third The Child Who is equally good . . . Despite its dark theme, this stark, powerfully written novel ends on a faint note of hope. Lelic is a writer to watch’ Spectator

Review

'Fantastic. Absorbing, moving, hugely gripping' Mark Billingham, bestselling author of the Tom Thorne novels

‘An edgy and unorthodox writer whose specialty is holding the reader in an unshakeable narrative grip while making us question the actions of the central characters . . . It is impossible to feel lukewarm about The Child Who and that as much as anything is a measure of this author’s uncomfortable skills’ Daily Express

‘Simon Lelic doesn’t shy away from controversial issues . . . He’s billed as a crime writer, but his books are bigger than that. And in his work he finds his stride as somebody who can truly make us examine ourselves, and place ourselves in the scenarios he creates so masterfully. The action, when it comes, zips along at a fair old lick, but it is the thought processes of the protagonists that engage, along with the oppressive atmosphere Lelic has got down to a fine art. Terrific stuff’ Irish Examiner

‘Gripping . . . Lelic, author of the highly acclaimed Rupture, unpicks the layers of vengeance, exploitation and fear that accrue around children that kill, and examines the terrible fall-out for anyone who goes against the vindictive current . . . a compelling, thought-provoking page-turner’ Psychologies

‘Could this be Lelic's breakthrough book? It deserves to be’ Guardian

‘Quietly excellent legal thriller’ Marcel Berlins, The Times

‘An excellent psychological crime thriller from one of the genre’s rising stars . . . Zest, fresh perspective, insight and often quite beautiful writing, something you rarely see in populist thriller fiction . . . Lelic's gift is for immediately unsettling the reader. Just who is narrating this? Who are these people? Where is this going? This wrong-footing isn’t just gimmicky, however. It’s an essential thread in the weave of this excellent novel . . . Much of the joy of this book is about the disorientating nature of Lelic’s story-telling . . . bewitching’ Metro

'Lelic was marked for stardom by his first two thrillers, Rupture and The Facility, and he confirms his place at the literary top table with this, his third . . . Told with compelling force, and at considerable pace, it reveals the frightening law of unintended consequences: even a good man can be destroyed by the best intentions' Daily Mail

‘Simon Lelic’s first two crime novels attracted much well-deserved praise. His third The Child Who is equally good . . . Despite its dark theme, this stark, powerfully written novel ends on a faint note of hope. Lelic is a writer to watch’ Spectator

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 810 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0143120913
  • Publisher: Mantle (5 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006J68G28
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,579 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Simon Lelic is married, with two young boys. As well as writing, he currently runs his own import/export business. Previously, he worked in London as a journalist for eight years, primarily on business-to-business publications dealing with topics relating to information technology.

Simon has a BA (Hons) degree in History and an MA in European Studies from the University of Exeter, and a Magistar in Sociology, awarded by the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, where he studied for four months. He also holds a post-graduate qualification in journalism.

Other than his family, reading is Simon's biggest passion, but he also runs, plays golf and takes regular snowboarding trips. Otherwise, his main hobby is karate, in which he trains daily and holds a black belt.

Simon's father was born in Slovenia, and moved to the UK when he was sixteen. Simon was born in Brighton, England, and recently moved back there with his family.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of 2012's top novels 5 Jan 2012
By Dixie
Format:Hardcover
As an avid reader of Lelic's work I had been looking forward to his third novel and I wasn't disappointed. The Child Who takes what, in less capable hands, could be a tabloid gore-fest, the murder of a school girl by another child, and offers a complex and insightful portrayal of those involved in the case. By focusing on Leo Curtice, the solicitor tasked with defending the accused child, Lelic does not seek to provide easy answers - that is not his style - instead he forces the reader to question a number of issues surrounding the case from the frailties of the UK justice system, to the lust for public blood-letting in such cases and, more widely, the failure of society as a whole to protect its most vulnerable.

While the subject of the book is without question a difficult one, the flawed humanity of Lelic's characaters from the unfuflfilled Leo, to his conflicted wife and withdrawn teenage daughter make this book an extremely rewarding read. Narrative tension is maintained superbly throughout the novel due to the sparing use of "present day" chapters, which offer the reader tantalising hints of the dramatic impact that the case will have on Curtice and his family. Lelic's prose - always one of his strong points - is by turns searing and poetic, while all the time maintaining the pared down quality that is fast becoming his trademark.

This is less a book about why a child kills another child, and more a deeply moving and utterly affecting examination of the complex moral and societal issues surrounding such an emotive crime. The recent Guardian review was right - this really does deserve to be Lelic's breakthrough book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Child Who 2 Jan 2012
By S Riaz HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This novel is about a very emotive issue, that of children who kill. In this case, Daniel Blake, a twelve year old boy who kills an eleven year old girl as she walks to school. The story is told mostly from the point of view of Leonard (Leo) Curtis, a solicitor who defends Daniel, much to the disgust of his wife, Meg. As Leo becomes more involved in Daniel's case, he experiences hate mail and his wife and daughter, Ellie, are also targeted. When Megan is spat at in a supermarket and Ellie attacked at school, she begs him to drop the case, but he is unable, or unwilling, to do so.

The author explores this storyline expertly. Does Daniel, expelled from schools, with an aggressive stepfather, mother who seems depressed to the point of apathy and father in prison, deserve sympathy? Could the warning signs have stopped what happened? As the barrister tells Leo, rather flippantly, "It's never about why. We need to condemn a little more and understand a little less. This is England, not Scandinavia." Yet Leo, personally involved, does feel sympathy with Daniel and feels he has been let down. However, when Leo's own daughter is targeted, Simon Lelic shows how difficult it is to want anything other than revenge.

Overall, this was a well paced and well written novel, with good characters. I did feel Meg over-reacted somewhat to Leo taking the case on. Despite the circumstances, it was a high profile case, but she reacted badly even before it impacted on her, or her daughter, personally. The author really captured Leo's initial nervous excitement at a case which meant something to him, before events spiralled out of control.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The child who killed a child 10 Dec 2011
By Eleanor TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's the year 2000 and a twelve year old boy has murdered an eleven year old girl. As the country is convulsed with rage and digust, Leo Curtice is appointed the boy's solicitor. His defending of the undefendable, however, makes him the subject of hatred and threatens to tear his family apart.

Inspired by the Mary Bell and James Bulger cases this intelligent thriller examines the strong emotions aroused when children kill children and the lack of humanity such events evince in the press and the public.

I enjoyed the way that Lelic focuses on the solicitor rather than the killer, as this made the book seem fresh and allows the reader to experience the same moral dilemmas as Leo does. Overall "The Child Who" does feel short and, as other reviewers have remarked, perhaps somewhat lacking in depth. It is, however, an enjoyable and thought-provoking read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Fragmented 10 Jan 2012
By Luna Shine VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the first Simon Lelic book I have read, therefore I can't compare with his past works. I don't need to go into the plot as this has been well documented by other reviewers, so I will just give my personal opinion.

I thought this book was ok. I say that because in the beginning I truly had high hopes for it, but as I got further into the book, I felt it was becoming rather disjointed. There were lots of gaps in the story, and rather than concentrate on Daniel Blake, who was the child murderer, and the real reasons why he killed Felicity Forbes. It was mostly about Leo Curtice, the Solicitor who took on Daniel's case and the problems he was facing in his life, because he had taken on this high profile murder case. I felt the plot was confusing with different references being made throughout each chapter, and sometimes there didn't seem to be any link. Hence the story was sometimes difficult for me to follow and I found myself getting rather confused. I felt too, that there was little substance to the story and that is the reason for my 3 star score.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars First for me
This is the first book I have read by this author. Like s lot of my books it was bought from a Kindle deal of the day email. Read more
Published 10 days ago by mmmppph
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Simon Lelic
You MUST read this book. I started and finished it in 4 sessions. Simon Lelic is a brilliant author. Also recommended is his book called "Rupture". Buy Lelic !
Published 3 months ago by janyeomans
4.0 out of 5 stars Tense compassionate tale
A taut, excellent thriller, heavily based on the notorious Bulger/Mary Bell murder cases in the UK, Lelic handles a difficult topic bravely. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Judy Croome
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting...
This was a fairly good read though I found it a little predictable and drawn out . It was difficult to like any of the characters and therefore felt little empathy with the main... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Alice
5.0 out of 5 stars a gripping read
simon lelic got the idea for this novel The Child Who by listening on the radio to laurence lee's interview who was a solicitor for the jon venables case. Read more
Published 12 months ago by ireadnovels
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
I bought this as a 99p deal and so glad I did. It is not the sort of subject matter that I normally like to read as I tend to shy away from anything that involves harm to... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lisa
4.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing read.
I read this authors first novel and enjoyed it. As said elsewhere he does not shy away from disturbing topics such as child murderers and really manages to get below the surface... Read more
Published 15 months ago by E Griffith
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, thought-provoking novel
What an absolute cracker this one was. The story revolves in the main around Leo Curtice, the duty solicitor, when police telephone the Exeter practice of twelve solicitors where... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ismay1012
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
I really enjoyed The Child Who even though the subject matter is grim and not nice to think about, I thought it was still a very good book. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Justhavingfun
4.0 out of 5 stars **** Thought provoking ****
I have never before thought of the consequences that lawyers ... social workers.. etc take on with some really undesireable cases. It must take a special person to deal with it. Read more
Published 18 months ago by QWERTY
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