The Child Who by Simon Lelic

The_Child_Who ★★★★½
The Child Who
A Novel by Simon Lelic
2012 / 303 Pages

The Setup: An unimaginable crime and the man who must defend it-a probing psychological thriller from the author of A Thousand Cuts.

A chance phone call throws the biggest muder case in southern England into the hands of provincial attorney Leo Curtice. Twelve-year- old Daniel Blake stands accused of murdering an eleven-year-old girl. But who is truly responsible when one child kills another? As Curtice sets out to defend the indefensible, he soon finds himself pitted against an enraged community calling for blood. When the buildup of pressure takes a sinister turn, he fears for his wife and young daughter’s safety. Must he choose between his family and the life of a damaged child? With piercing psychological insight, Lelic examines a community’s response to a hideous crime. (From the hardcover edition)

Simon Lelic is not an author who takes the easy road. In each of his three novels he’s chosen to address an emotionally charged topic and has attempted to turn what the reader thinks they know and feel about the subject matter on its head, forcing them to reexamine their stance and question their beliefs. This trend started with a fictional school shooting in his impressive debut Rupture and then continued with the exploration of the fallout from new fictional anti-terrorist legislation introduced by the government in The Facility. His latest novel The Child Who is no exception, focusing on the brutal murder of a young girl at the hands of one of her male classmates.

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