What is this about: Robert Stern meets Simon, a 10-year-old boy who claims to be a killer reincarnated. Soon, Robert is finding dead bodies exactly where Simon said they’d be, and going on the run from the police who suspect him to be the killer. Carina and Borchert are his only allies, as they try to find evidence to persuade a dying Simon he isn’t a killer.
What else is this about?: Stern has never recovered from the loss of his infant son from SIDS and the man he is trying to unmask in this capatilises on this, which provides much of the emotional weight for him. Corina wants to give Simon something good, some reassurance that he isn’t a killer before he dies, and Simon just wants the truth.
My name is Simon. I’m 10 years old. I’m a serial killer.
Robert Stern, a successful defence lawyer, doesn’t know what lies in store for him when he agrees to meet a new client in a derelict estate on the outskirts of Berlin. To his astonishment, the defendant is a ten-year-old boy – Simon – a fragile child with a chronic illness who insists that he was a murderer in a former life. Stern’s surprise quickly turns to horror as he searches the cellar Simon has directed him to and discovers the skeletal remains of a man, the skull split with an axe – just as Simon told him he would.
But this is only the beginning, as Simon tells Stern where to find even more victims whose bodies have lain undisturbed for years. Suddenly, the present feels murderously dangerous as well…
The Child is a darkly twisting, page-turning thriller that will make your heart pound with adrenaline.
The Child is bloody creepy.
But to the story: what a complicated, emotional plot. Simon truly believes he is the reincarnated soul of a man who killed years before – criminals, but the distinction hardly matters when a boy believes he took an axe to a man’s head. His ex, Carina brings him to Robert for help, and after discovering the first body, exactly where Simon said it was, the three find themselves manipulated by a voice who calls them insisting that Robert’s dead son, Felix, is alive. Robert and his wife long believed that Felix had died days after his death due to SIDS, but this mysterious voice promises he’s alive, having being taken as part of a baby market ring, and he will tell Robert where Felix is if Robert helps him find who killed the men Simon keeps leading them to.
The story takes place over a couple of days so everything is fast-paced, and every decision heightens Robert’s anguish as he keeps going in the hope of learning that his son is alive, while being pursued by a cop convinced he’s guilty. In the same vein Carina is intent on helping Simon, protecting him and ensuring he lives long enough to believe he isn’t a killer. Along the way we learn why Robert left her, and it just adds to the tragedy of his grief over Felix.
In the end, Fitzek unveils a far-reaching plot, and yes you might see the twists and the bad guys coming, but to be honest, I was so caught up in listening I didn’t have a clue.
… but the ending, the ending is going to leave you wondering even more.